Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he’s determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship.
Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed.
A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria’s lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria’s past begin to surface.
As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria’s life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways. Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they’ve begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour?
I have been a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks since I was fifteen years old. I fell in love with his books and the movies. He’s the one author that has been able to write strictly/mostly about romance and me still enjoy his work. So, of course, I made sure I had my name on the hold list at the local library when I found out he was finally having another new book come out.
The book was fantastic. I’m not even sure I could completely elaborate on my feelings because I found myself so engrossed last night that I stayed up until 2:30 AM, just to finish it. But what I can say is that I wasn’t entirely sure I would enjoy it. The beginning prologue was odd and done in all italics from the point of view of this book’s bad guy. While I typically appreciate authors who do this, this was so far in left field for a Sparks book, that I was already wary, just a few pages in.
Apparently this was also Sparks attempt at adding some diversity to his books. His main character, Colin, is covered in tattoos, works out several times a day and does MMA fighting to help control his anger issues. This too was so far from the usual Sparks leading man, that I wasn’t sure I’d ever come to like him. Until he met Maria and once they begin to talk and it was the way he spoke that really helped push me to Team Colin. He’s a man of few words, unless prodded, but he’s also a man who is all about being truthful and accepting things as fact as opposed to making excuses. His anger issues only help to make him a more interesting character, because it’s apparent how quickly he falls for the young attorney. But here’s the thing about Nicholas Sparks, no matter how unconventional it may seem, he is a phenomenal romance author and I was sold by the pairing of Colin and Maria.
Now, Sparks has done mini-thrillers/mysteries within his books before, but they are rare. When I saw this book was sporting nearly 150 more pages than most of his others, I’ll admit I was a little concern. After all, too often authors try to push themselves by trying something new or going more in depth, but they wind up missing the bar. However, in this case, it worked. Much like At First Sight, Sparks was able to build up the tension and the suspense to a point, I felt it as I was reading it. My only somewhat negative comment is that I felt it was obvious way too early on about the twist of who was actually involved in stalking Maria and her family. In fact, I knew from the first time Maria explains even briefly what happened while she worked at the DA’s office. This can make it hard to keep your interest when you keep saying out loud, “It’s… (no spoilers)”
Despite my initial hesitation and concerns, I fell in love with this book and these characters. I won’t go as far as to say this is my favorite book from the author, but it’s not on the bottom side of that list, either. So if you like romance with a bit of suspense and you’ve never read Nicholas Sparks before, I think you’ll enjoy this. And of course, if you’re a fan of his work, you’ll love it.
Pick up your copy on Amazon: See Me by Nicholas Sparks