Crossing Caine's Road
by Maggie Hinton
Trafford Publishing

"Without even thinking, she reached for the telephone and held it to her breast to give him time to get in the door of the trailer. And then dialed his number, her hand trembling."

Life is messy. The picture of the happily married couple with the nice house, two kids, and the requisite white picket fence rarely jives with reality. Broken relationships, personal tragedies, and unexpected career changes pepper our lives, sometimes forcing us to leave our past behind and forge a fresh start for ourselves. Hinton's debut novel features two protagonists who have to do just that in a story that is both heart-warming and thought-provoking.

Melanie Greyson has spent the last several years caring for a man who may never recover. Her ex-husband, Grey, has been in a coma ever since a tragic airplane crash, and his doctor and father are ready to pull the plug. Melanie is not ready to give up on him, but needing some space for her and her children, she takes a teaching job in a small Arizona town four hours away. Also hired that year as the new band teacher and living just across the road from her is a former professional trumpet player with a complicated history. The attraction between the two soon becomes overwhelming, but will their pasts and the challenges they face in this new setting pull them together or drive them apart?

Hinton deftly blends romance, danger, and ethical dilemma into a novel rich in emotion and realistic characters. A former English teacher, the author shows her expertise in handling not only the main storyline effectively but in also managing the subplot of Melanie's daughter's doomed romance. Believable dialogue and smooth pacing round out the strong points in a book that is well worth reading.

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