Engaged to the charming and seductive Greg Anders, Sara Shaw is happily anticipating her wedding in Edilean, Virginia. The date has been set, the flowers ordered, even her heirloom dress is ready. But just three weeks before the wedding, Greg gets a telephone call during the night and leaves without explanation. Two days later, a man climbs up through a trapdoor in the floor of Sara’s apartment, claiming that he is the brother of her best friend and that he’s moving in. While Mike Newland is indeed telling the truth about his identity, his reason for being there reaches far deeper. He’s an undercover detective, and his assignment is to use Sara to track down a woman who is one of the most notorious criminals in the United States—and also happens to be the mother of the man Sara plans to marry.
Mike thinks the job will be easy—if he can figure out how to make a “good” girl like Sara trust him, that is. But Mike has no idea what this mission has in store for him. He’s worked hard to keep private his connections to Edilean, which date back to his grandmother’s time there in 1941. But as Mike and Sara get to know each other, he can’t help but share secrets about himself that he’s told no one else. And in return, Sara opens up to Mike about things she could never reveal to Greg. As the pair work together to solve two mysteries, their growing love begins to heal each of them in ways they never could have imagined.
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Reading Group Guide
Sara Shaw is beautiful, good-hearted, a devoted churchgoer, and the best pie maker around. The catch: she’s engaged to a man everyone despises, a man who happens to lead a secret life of fraud and thievery and who is wanted by the FBI. When Mike Newland, an undercover cop assigned to catch Sara’s fiancé Greg and his convict mother, arrives in Sara’s small town of Edilean, Virginia, things begin to heat up. Mike must work to gain Sara’s trust to help him catch the infamous criminals—and in the process, he falls head over heels for Sara. Together Mike and Sara discover the secret of the town—and Mike’s family—that has been hidden for nearly seventy years. In the end, Mike finally learns what it means to have a family and Sara realizes what it means to be loved.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. “Sometimes she felt torn between the man she loved and the town she adored” (22). Sara faces this dilemma early in the see more