It's a token of how magically written this is that you end up enjoying this book despite the gobs of heavy, unsettling emotion crammed in so few pages. You'd have to reach for a horror novel to match the level of hell inflicted on this poor heroine. Thankfully, Ms McClendon doesn't take you through the nightmare as it happens. Rather, she begins the story with the hero stumbling upon the barely alive woman in the Alaskan wilderness. This is a precariously balanced plot because you want the romance to catch fire even as you know how raw and irreparable the heroine's wounds are. Without hesitation, he offers her an unconditional friendship, one that flirts with what-ifs and balances itself satisfyingly between being quixotic and practical. As their attachment to one another adapts with time, their emotional honesty remains constant, making it impossible to emerge from this story unscathed by its sentimentality and sensuality.