Chris is in love w/ 25 year old Slater. On the verge of consummating their love her volatile cousin, Natalie, burst into Slater's home upset. Now Slater seems to be pushing Chris away but she believes it is because of some business deal that he was trying to close. She is informed by his secretary that he wishes her to stop by his house that evening, even though he usually picks her up. Of course Chris walks over there after work to discover Natalie in Slater's arms in what she believes is a lover's embrace - yet sounded more like a comforting embrace. She doesn't say anything and instead runs home and calls telling him she doesn't feel well and of course he doesn't say anything either. Natalie returns home looking rather smug (as though she knew what Chris had witnessed) and a week later she is informing Chris that she is pregnant w/ Slater's child. Chris can't handle this and eventually leaves town w/ another man after informing Slater that she wishes to pursue a modeling career and he isn't what she wants at all. A month later she hears from her aunt that Natalie and Slater had married and so Chris gets on w/ her career becoming a very successful model. She hasn't really seen or heard anything from Natalie aside from a rather nasty letter she received and chose not to respond to. However, seven years later she is contacted by her cousin's attorneys who enlighten her to the recent suicide of Natalie and the fact that Chris has been appointed to be the guardian of her child with Slater, Sophie. Sophie bears an uncanny resemblance to Chris and for this Natalie has always hated the child. Chris returns to town to take up her duties and see if she can help the small child who hasn't spoken since shortly before her mother offed her manic-depressive self!
This story was an intriguing read that kept me glued to the pages as the mystery unfolded and things were revealed. The chemistry between Chris and Slater was definitely there even though they didn't want it to be there because of all the pain and lies from the past. I could not believe that Chris was so stupid at the age of 19 to believe what she did of this man that she claimed to have loved and she stated loved her as well. She allowed her manipulative cousin whom she KNEW hated her to tear them apart and for that Chris needed a good swift . . . . Granted the evidence given looked shady, but she didn't even give him the opportunity to explain. Then of course you have the fact that Slater swallowed Natalie's vicious lies as well. This man didn't seem to like her to begin w/ so the reasons for him marrying her seemed very contrived and stupid. Add in the fact that over the course of the next few years NOT ONCE does he think to have her psychologically evaluated or even question her lies from years ago. Especially given what he said Natalie tried to do to a six week old child!! This doesn't bode well for their smarts, does it? No matter, it still kept you involved in the story because you couldn't believe how easily these two could be maneuvered around!! One would think that in all that time Chris would have gained some experience in dealing w/ other, but no - she is again skillfully manipulated by another woman on the scene when she returns to town. At least Slater wasn't though. He knew the truth about this one, but then he was still quick to believe the worst about Chris. Although he had a bit more to go on considering Chris ran off w/ another man, claimed her career was more important, and she was a world famous model - he bought into the stereotype. He was surprised when he found out the truth though. He likes to say, "You owe me" to her a lot. Apparently because he never got to have her in his bed she owes him! He is nasty to her a few times as well but I think some of that is his wounded pride so I cut him some slack.
A few things that didn't flow right for me: Chris tells Slater what Sophie said at the cottage and then later she acts as though she never told him - I had to reread that twice so I'm not sure why it changed later.
Their first encounter she is touching him but the next one it seems as though the first one had never even happened because it is remarked that she was touching him like she never had before - like it was all new there was no reference to the first time. At the second encounter Slater says his favorite line again, "You owe me," and Chris thinks this is the second time he has said that. Nope he had said it several times before!
I have to say that Sophie seems more of a plot point/convenience than a real character. She was supposed to get a book for Chris to read to her and yet it seemed to take long enough for her father to seduce Chris.