Salem's World by T.D. Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the outside,Salem Richmond looks like she's got it all together. At close to forty, she's a rich, physically fit, single, red-headed bombshell who owns her family's successful PR firm. Yet, behind closed doors, Salem's life is anything but grand. Menopause has struck her early, giving her terrible hot flashes and raging sexual desire. Many mornings, she's waking up beside men like Bucky, a young bartender who she brought back to her mansion for a night of forgotten pleasures.
Bad as these things are, they don't compare to the inner tormoil she's suffered for over a decade. Fourteen years ago, Salem lost her parents and nearly lost her younger sister, Cassie, to a horrific car wreck. Since then, Cassie has been locked in time, still believing she's sixteen and not understanding that their parents are dead. Salem's racked with guilt over not having gone with them on the trip and over having to put Cassie in the hands of other caregivers. Salem desperately wants her sister's mind unlocked from its mental prison.
Enter Dr. Mark Graves, a talented physician who specializes in mental disorders. Salem decides to meet with him and eventually convinces him (via a promise to fund a new mental health wing at the hospital) to join her and Cassie at their family's old cabin to see if he can finally reach Cassie and bring her back. What happens in the meantime is what Salem both wants and dreads. While Mark tries to help Cassie, Salem falls head over heels in love with him.
I have to say that what I love most in this book is the multi-tiered love story that unfolds along the way. Salem is a complex, but utterly sympathetic heroine. She can be brash and impulsive, but is generous and genuinely loves her sister and their parents' company. She even goes out of her way to help young Bucky, the one-night-stand bartender who's had some hard knocks in life. Mark is a widower who lost his wife of ten years to cancer. He's also a physician who sincerely cares for his patients and wants to do right by the new hospital wing and by Salem. He loves her as a man should, not just for a quick romp in the hay. This is a new kind of love for both of them, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it unfold.
Salem's World is another great read from Texas author TD Jones. I really had only one nitpick. With some tighter editing, it would have shined even brighter, but the story and characters themselves were solid. If you enjoy a contemporary romance filled with a multi-layered love story that will tug at your heartstrings, grab your copy of Salem's World today!
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