On the day she is to be walking down the aisle to marry her fiancé James Donato on a summer morning, Amy Tierney is walking down the aisle to bury him. Stunned at James’ sudden and mysterious death in Mexico, Amy is stopped first by her fiance’s brother, who hands her a large check. He tells her it represents James’ savings account and the family wants her to use it to start a new life. Next, Amy encounters a strange woman who claims to be a psychic that knows for a fact that James is still alive and well. Grief-stricken, Amy takes the check and ignores the psychic, choosing to live a life without her soulmate of 20-some years. She starts her own restaurant and in the process, meets photographer Ian, who is caring and supportive. It’s only when Amy begins receiving post cards from a Mexican hotel with pictures painted by her allegedly deceased fiancé that Amy’s life goes off the rails. She decides to go to Mexico and find out once and for all if her childhood sweetheart was the one she buried or if he’s living a new life in another country. When Amy arrives in Mexico, she finds a man, Carlos, who looks and acts much like her James. But this man speaks Spanish, has a new family, and no memory of her. Is this James, and if so, how can he not remember her? And how can Amy make a life with this stranger who doesn’t remember her when she’s come to love and trust Ian?
This story is one part suspense, one part emotional coming of age. Amy realizes – only after considerable time – that marrying her childhood sweetheart wasn’t the dream she always imagined it to be. It took his death, burial, and the appearance of Carlos to force her to question the relationship she’d always relied on, the one she’d always assumed was perfect.
As for the suspense part, is it outlandish? Yes. Largely predictable? Sure. But intriguing? Absolutely. Sometimes you just need a roller coaster of a tale, no matter how convoluted the tracks may be.
Amy is pretty sheltered and downright clueless much of the time. Canny readers will certainly ask questions and make connections she fails to. The big picture pieces are obvious but the smaller details are not, and those are what will keep you reading until the end. Not terribly realistic, but quite a ride nonetheless. The emotional maturation is the stronger part of this tale, and although it’s subtle, it certainly shines through. Take this one on vacation or a long car ride.
Amazon link is here.