A Stolen Youth
by Angela Studer

"'I mean I thought I just cared a lot for you and that it would be easier to let you go now, before I got in really deep.'"

Wyatt James returns home to the Double N Ranch after spending ten years in prison for a murder he did not commit. He was a teenager when he was wrongly convicted, so he has a lot of catching up to do when he gets out. Intent on starting anew with the help of his family and small-town community, Wyatt wants to focus on the future without looking back. But the past keeps showing up even as he starts a new romance with Kate, a strong-willed woman who wants to be with Wyatt even if it brings danger and uncertainty to her life.

The romance swirls into action almost immediately in the opening chapters as the backstory builds to slowly reveal Wyatt’s past and the tragedies that seem to trail him. Studer has a gift for lively dialogue that is realistic and revealing as Wyatt and Kate get to know each other and fall in love quickly and intensely. Their passion and deep connection unsettle Wyatt who fears the harm his past may bring to Kate. His fears seem well-founded as trouble finds its way to Kate’s door, and the suspense is kicked up a notch as danger closes in. The mystery of Wyatt’s past starts to unravel, bringing relief and a satisfying, heartwarming finale.

Studer has written a sweet story about finding love and second chances with charming characters that inspire a belief in living happily ever after. The ranch setting, cowboy sensibilities, warm relationships, and a few plot-thickening curveballs solidify this breezy read as a romantic page-turner. Fans of Nicholas Sparks will delight in this against-all-odds love story written with perfectly pitched dialogue and richly drawn characters. This contemporary romance balances drama and suspense and ultimately reveals the transformational power of love.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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