I first heard about this book on Carina Press’ Dear Reader Letter included in every book, where Angela James talks about the upcoming releases. It sounded interesting so I decided to read Rebecca Rogers Maher’s previous book, I’ll Become the Sea. I was very impressed and couldn't wait to read Fault Lines.
Sarah was a victim of sexual abuse when she was a teenager. Her story is heartbreaking. She doesn't know how to be in a relationship, doesn't even know if she’s capable of it. Her family life is very complicated because her mother ignores what happened to her. Sarah has to deal with her attacker, who happened to be a family member. And her only close relationship is the one she has with her best friend. But her friend recently found her happy ending, and Sarah doesn't want to intrude in her happiness. So she feels lonelier than ever.
She finds normalcy in her work as a wedding planner, where she has control of everything. One day she meets Joe, a wedding photographer. They flirt and end up spending the night together. But she treats him as a one-night stand, because in her mind, that’s all she’s capable of. But Joe is attracted to her and wants to meet again. That encounter is what sets in motion the events that will finally help Sarah regain her life.
The first thing you should know is that Fault Lines isn't a Romance. There is a love story and a romantic interest, but the focus is Sarah. I think the Women’s Fiction label fits it much better because Sarah’s journey isn't really about the romance and she mostly walks it alone. Joe helps, but he’s not the answer to her prayers. He doesn't heal her, and that’s as I think it should be.
It wasn't an easy book to read and if sexual abuse is a trigger for you, then you shouldn't read it. I liked Sarah and found her struggle authentic. Her relationship with Joe starts rocky and he’s the one who does all the work, first pursuing her and then staying by her side. He also had a difficult past and is in a place where he can understand what Sarah is going through and maybe even help her. Or at least stand by her side while she figures things out.
I liked the book a lot but its biggest flaw is the length; 126 pages aren't enough to fully develop a story so complex, and to give a character like Sarah a satisfactory ending. The book ends in such an abrupt way that I thought my copy was incomplete.
I really enjoyed this book. It had a compelling heroine and a sweet love story. The tone is dark and the romance scarce, so it won’t be for everyone, but I liked it a lot. I liked the author’s voice and I can’t wait to read her next book.
Note: I'll Become The Sea is the first book in the series, featuring Sarah’s friend. They stand alone well, but I recommend reading them in order just because both are great books.
Review by Brie
Sarah Murphy plans other people's weddings. She's gorgeous and successful, but she also carries a dark secret.
At one of her events, she meets Joe Sullivan, a sexy photographer with a difficult past of his own. When he snaps a rare unguarded photograph of her and captures the real person hiding behind the facade, she feels exposed. To restore the upper hand, she tries to do what she always does: use sex to defuse the situation.
While Joe is eager to deepen his relationship with Sarah, he's aware of her emotional shield and the way she disconnects from her body. Seeing her at her most vulnerable doesn't scare him off, but he needs to know what she's hiding.
Sarah has a tough decision to make. Does she want to go on living a lonely, emotionally frozen life? Or can she finally risk revealing the truth and move forward with Joe?
Carina Press. September 24, 2012.