by Bob Riepe
Gotham Books

"There is only one thing worse than a self-absorbed person and that is two of them married to each other."

Dr. Quinn Shanahan is protective of those closest to him. He is riding with his simple-minded brother, Braden, when a violent band of thugs accosts them. The gang beats Quinn and absconds with Braden. Quinn believes he knows who the real perpetrator is but has no definitive proof. Despite the abduction, Quinn resolves to proceed with his routine activities. He seeks the hand of wealthy Harriet Wiggins in marriage. The pair marry, but a dark cloud hangs over Quinn's head. Quinn comes from an abusive and dysfunctional household and doesn't want children. When Harriet informs Quinn of her pregnancy, Quinn's reaction threatens to scuttle their relationship. In addition to his nuptial turmoil, someone is determined to undermine Quinn's reputation in Fergus Falls. Quinn's back is to the wall, and his sanity is precarious.

The author's novel is a compelling fictional melodrama following the ups and downs of Quinn Shanahan's life and the citizens in the town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Quinn is a complicated man with heavy emotional baggage. He is the quintessential anti-hero, his flaws nearly overwhelming his positive attributes. The plot of the book finds Quinn falling for the equally fallible Harriet. Harriet lived in the spoils of her family's wealth and now desires that same luxury with Quinn. She courts the affection of others while criticizing Quinn's jealousy. The interactions between Quinn and Harriet form the crux of the emotional element of the story. The themes of forgiveness and redemption are powerfully played out in the book as well. Author Riepe has crafted a truly excellent and readable novel.

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