Publisher: Grand Central
Publishing Date: April 1, 2005
Format: hardcover, purchased
Buy Links: Amazon | B&N
When confronted by raging fires or deadly accidents, volunteer fireman Taylor McAden feels compelled to take terrifying risks to save lives. But there is one leap of faith Taylor can't bring himself to make: he can't fall in love. For all his adult years, Taylor has sought out women who need to be rescued, women he leaves as soon as their crisis is over and the relationship starts to become truly intimate. When a raging storm his his small Southern town, single mother Denise Holton's car skids off the road. The young mom is with her four-year-old son Kyle, a boy with severe learning disabilities and for whom she has sacrificed everything. Taylor McAden finds her unconscious and bleeding, but does not find Kyle. When Denise wakes, the chilling truth becomes clear to both of them: Kyle is gone. During the search for Kyle, the connection between Taylor and Denise takes root. Taylor doesn't know that this rescue will be different from all others, demanding far more than raw physical courage. It will lead him to the possibility of his own rescue from a life lived without love and will require him to open doors to his past that were slammed shut by pain. This rescue will dare him to live life to the fullest by daring to love.
I've read this book more times than I can count, and I never get tired of it. It's one of those go-to books when I'm in the mood for a really good read, or when I just don't know what else I want to read at the time. I haven't read this one in quite some time so I decided that it was a good time for a reread.
I have to say that one of the first things I loved about this book was Denise's son, Kyle. He struggles with a learning disability and Denise has given up her former life in Atlanta and being a teacher to dedicate her time trying to teach Kyle to speak. He has been seen by every doctor and specialist available with no avail. He comes across as an incredibly sweet boy who tries so hard to learn and Denise's dedication is inspiring. Then Taylor and Denise start seeing each other and you can see the sparks fly. And the way Taylor acts with Kyle is very endearing.
But Taylor has so many hidden demons that he tries to bury and not deal with. As the story unfolds, we begin to realize more why Taylor is the way he is. But he still won't accept help from anyone. Denise tries, but he pushes her away. His mom tries, but he won't talk to her about it. Mitch, his best friend, tries, but again, he won't speak of it. My heart ached for Taylor, Denise and Kyle as the story unfolds. They have all been put through so much, and readers can feel their emotions as if they're experiencing themselves. This is easily one of my favorite stories by Nicholas Sparks and I recommend it to anyone any chance I get.