Salvation - I. Beacham Salvation is a story about love, loss and the possibility of finding love again. Regan's brother's tragic suicide brings her out to Devon to settle his affairs, where she meets the resident gardener Claire. They overcome a testy start to develop a burgeoning friendship that seems destined to lead to something more. But malicious whispers, unspoken secrets and angry accusations soon threaten to tear them apart.
The pain of losing a possible, once-in-a-lifetime love may be too much to bear, not to mention the awkwardness of having to live/work in close proximity with each other.

The author gives us some really interesting and intriguing characters to sink our teeth into. I can't really delve too deep into their backgrounds because it's all part of the mystery. The entire premise of the book rests on unspoken secrets. A bit flimsy as a foundation but it works for the most part. Enough for the angst to bring me to tears at one point. I'm not a big fan of angst that can be squared away with some adult conversation but I thought this book managed to *just* make it believable enough for me to not roll my eyes. Am I getting too jaded? Maybe. Or maybe all that assuming by the characters that the other is such and such felt just a bit too much like a trope. Regan was in a really bad place emotionally and very vulnerable to manipulation and her outburst wouldn't have been uncharacteristic. But her dogged refusal to let Claire explain herself afterwards felt inexplicable knowing that she herself had backed out of a tell-all session that Claire had scheduled earlier before the shit hit the fan. . The resulting angst was delicious though so no complaints there. :) I love everything about Claire but especially her devotion to Rosie. She's the kind of character that lesfic readers wish they could bring home and keep forever. But how does an accomplished, high achiever like her deal with the daily monotony of grunt work. I understand the therapeutic possibilities of backyard gardening but Claire's job is the back-breaking, intellectually numbing kind. Okay I understand the need to be always near Rosie but I wished towards the end that she'd find something better to do with her abilities. Why is it such a big deal for Regan (her settling for a high school teaching career, instead of the more 'intellectually challenging' university research) , but not for Claire, who certainly deserves better. I was surprised that nothing about it was ever brought up in the entire book. I thought that if Regan truly loved Claire and isn't the immature, self-absorbed woman she comes across as, she should have asked about it and tried to draw Claire out of her self-imposed 'existence'. Also, I would have liked to see more of the Claire that was before Rosie's illness--the uber confident, spitfire Claire who tangled with her superior and won her love. Now wouldn't it be perfect if Regan managed to find THAT Claire again and if the author showed us she did instead of us just assuming it or, if we're wrong in our assumptions, whatever happened to that Claire. In fact, I think I would have enjoyed the entire book a lot more if there had been way more 'showing' than 'telling' overall .

ARC from Netgalley and BSB

4.25 stars

PS. One of the supporting characters, Karen, could use her own book. Hint. Hint. ;)