Howard (Simon and Schuster), May 2010
In Hanover Falls on November first, late at night, Bryn Hennesey plays cards with a resident at the homeless shelter, wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran Charlie Branson. Bryn feels guilty because she hasn’t told her husband that she is still volunteering at the shelter even though he does not want her hanging with criminals and addicts.
While they are playing cards, she hears a siren sound in the background, which suddenly gets much louder. It is the fire department coming to put out the fire in the shelter. As they evacuate the building, the firefighters including her husband, Adam, rush into the inferno to insure all the residents are out. After the fire is put out, the building collapses killing several firefighters including the husband of Bryn and Garrett Edmonds' wife Molly. The grieving Garrett turns to Bryn for comfort. The pair realize they have deep feelings for one another but something in her past may cause him to turn his back on her.
Besides being an entertaining novel, the story line is embedded with many moral issues that will have readers reconsider their values as respect and understanding of others are critical in any relationship. Bryn is a wonderful person who volunteers to help the needy at personal cost and risk. The survivor guilt she feels almost cripples her but time and Garrett’s empathy help her heal. Deborah Raney makes her second chance at life work because the audience believes that her lead couple is real.