There is something to be said for letting go. Ryland Roberts knows that better than anyone. He’d let go of his ambitions, of his family and—most of all—of her. He’d perfected the art of putting his past behind him and accepted the fact that the town he wanted to leave in his rearview was the place where he was going to live out his days. But sometimes the past doesn’t just go away. Sometimes it comes back to haunt you.
Piper Jameson convinced herself that she left for all the right reasons. She’d saved people by leaving—made sure that they weren’t tainted by her rebellious ways. When her little sister asks her to come home and say goodbye to their ailing mother, she’s forced to see that things aren’t always as they seem. The people who she’d left behind might not have been saved at all.
In the amount of time it takes a bullet to travel from point A to point B, Piper and Ryland will have to put their feelings for each other aside and make a choice. Forced on the run with Piper’s sister, they begin to understand that the future they thought was gone was never really lost.
We all have that list of go-to authors. The ones that you know you will read and devour and probably love anything they have written and you will be the first one to have it in your hands… you know the kind of author… Elizabeth Lee has quickly become one of those authors for me. With this smart, chaotic, sexy, angsty and suspensful romance, she very well may have sealed the deal.
Piper is coming home to a life she left many years ago. She needs to say goodbye to her mom and make sure she knows that Piper loves her, despite the years she spent away from her. But leaving was her only choice. She had to save him. He is the one she left for. Knowing that her leaving would save him from fulfilling his dreams, it was her only option. And truly with the step father from hell, she really had no other choice. But staying away for so many years without reaching out to those she left behind could be the biggest tragedy of them all. Losing the one man she truly loved, leaving her little sister in the hell that was their house, never allowing herself to come to terms with the loss of it all.
But she knew in her heart that leaving was the only way she could protect Ry from the accusations and charges they would face. It was the only way to save them both. She took the opportunity to do it. And no one really missed her, the entire town thought she ran away. She left of her own free will. If anyone ever found out the person behind her leaving, the town wouldn’t believe her anyway. He was respected outside the home. But love was something that wasn’t abundant inside the walls. Piper never lived up to his expectations and for that she was constantly in trouble and a battle with no end in sight with her step-father.
But leaving Ry and her sister was the hardest thing she could have done. It wasn’t just her heart that was shattered with her leaving town. Ry’s life spiraled out of control. She was it for Ry. It may have been many years separating them from each other but the storm that is about to fly into town when Piper returns so so much greater. Never expecting to find herself in this craptastic town again, never expecting to be found again, suddenly she is here. One more time. But everything has changed.
Ry has a job and a home but is he truly happy with his life all these years later? Has he moved on? It doesn’t matter one way or another to Piper because she will be leaving as soon as possible and never looking back. There are quite a few road blocks standing in her way before she can leave this town.
Can Piper come to terms with the events of the past that have brought her here today? Can the past truly ever be overcome? Can Ry actually forgive her for leaving? Can she forgive herself? And what about her sister? What kind of life has she led?
This book just shook me to the core. There is so much more to it than a sweet little romance with a bit of drama. This book was full of suspense and angst, heartbreak and love. And when you throw all of those elements into a raging inferno, things are going to get hot. Just when you think there is a chance for everyone to be at peace with their decisions, everything shifts and changes. You are right back on the edge of your seat, gripping your devise thinking haven’t they been through enough? But through it all you always hope that true love wins out, that the heart can mend, that even the longest of distances or the greatest lengths in time can’t change true love.
One thing that stood out for me in the writing, Elizabeth Lee tells the story from two separate perspectives. But unlike so many other books, the duel perspective is done with great ease in this one. It flowed well and it set a pace for the story. I really appreciate that. Duel perspectives are sometimes hard to adjust to in books, but I had no issues at all with this one and Elizabeth Lee should be commended for that writing technique. Not many can pull it off, she definatley can.
This book had a dark side, it had a light side and at the very end, you realize there truly is light. I loved and adored this story line so much. Elizabeth Lee just captured all of the elements I love in a read and put them in this story. This is one I will certainly be re-reading and holding on to. Five fabulous stars for Where There’s Smoke by Elizabeth Lee. I couldn’t put it down, I wouldn’t put it down!
When I’m not writing or playing the part of wife and mother, you can find me dancing back-up for Beyonce, singing back-up for Miranda, or sunning myself on the beach with a drink in hand. Here’s the thing about being born and raised in a small town—you have a very vivid imagination! Now, I channel it all to create stories where the girl always ends up with the right guy, first kisses are magical, and a happy ending is just that!