Xavier Martinez Bordieu is a driven man. This scion of super-wealthy Spanish landowners was driven to leave all the opulence of his family’s life to become a doctor, setting up clinics and hospitals in the mountains of Peru in memory of his younger brother, who died recklessly several years before. Sophie Ford, also a doctor, is the daughter of the man Xavier’s family blames for his brother’s death.
In spite of Xavier’s feelings about Sophie’s family, and in spite of Sophie’s phobias of intimacy, (also her father’s fault because of his treatment of Sophie’s mother, who divorced him after the “accident” that killed Armando Martinez Bordieu) there are sparks from the moment they meet again at an isolated landing strip in the back country of Peru. Xavier convinces himself that he can get his revenge on the father by seducing Sophie. Sophie decides that if anyone can help her over her fears, it will be Xavier because he was always the kindest person she knew.
Add in jealousy on both sides plus cultural differences between Spanish semi-royalty and a rural English upbringing and you have all the elements for a roller-coaster ride that leaves both Sophie and Xavier questioning what is really going on. When Xavier finally admits to himself that he loves Sophie and can’t live without her, he is faced with a great dilemma. He is certain that his loving Sophie will destroy his mother.
This is a fast-paced emotion packed treat for the senses. This is a story I would have liked to see as a 400-page book instead of less than 200, to allow me to explore the relationship issues that were, frustratingly, only touched upon. In spite of wanting a lot more of this story, this is a very enjoyable read with enough conflict to keep you worrying how these two will resolve their problems and finally get together. You may even be surprised! I definitely recommend this book for a great escape.
Marcia Corbett, March 2004
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