Taylor McAden is a volunteer fireman who is always the first to plunge into danger. But there is one risk he cant seem to take: falling in love. Until he meets Denise Holden, a single mother who has moved to the small town of Edenton, North Carolina, to build a new life. A near fatal car crash will bring these two together, but before that can happen, Taylor must first look into his past and see if its not too late to take a chance on the future. A New York Times bestseller for 17 weeks, A Walk to Remember (Warner, 10/99) has over 900,000 copies in print. Film rights to A Walk to Remember were sold to producer Denise DiNovi (Message in a Bottle, Practical Magic) at Warner Bros. A New York Times bestseller for 29 weeks, Message in a Bottle (Warner, 1998) has nearly 700,000 copies in print and was a major motion picture starring Kevin Costner, Robin Wright Penn, and Paul Newman. The Notebook (Warner, 1996), a New York Times hardcover bestseller for 56 weeks and a paperback bestseller for 52 weeks, has nearly three million copies in combined print. The soon-to-be-released movie is directed by Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father) and stars Ashley Judd (Double Jeopardy).
Denise Holden's life is a fragile mix of luck and hard work. A single mom of a speech-delayed son, Denise makes ends meet by moving to the small town of Edenton, North Carolina, and working the late shift as a waitress. When Denise crashes her car and her son Kyle flees the accident and disappears into the storm, her only stroke of luck is the quick arrival of Taylor McAden, a volunteer fireman. Taylor's got a knack for fixing people, and he can't help wanting to be involved with Denise beyond the initial rescue of Kyle.
As Taylor helps Denise recover from the accident and get to know the town, they discover a sweet bond and a magical chemistry that pulls them closer and closer. Though Taylor fits perfectly into Denise's family, he's unable to open his heart to being loved by her. As Taylor struggles to understand his conflicting desires, Denise questions the wisdom of gambling with Kyle's and her own emotions.
Author Nicholas Sparks has found a loyal audience for his stories about the internal battles that accompany the arrival of love. His heroes may be truck-driving manly men and his heroines emotional swamis, but it's easy to overlook the traditional roles when the complexities of human relationships are so beautifully described. Sparks has found his forte, and this novel is sure to be as popular as his earlier works. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien