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Montana Secrets    by Kay Stockham order for
Montana Secrets
by Kay Stockham
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

In Kay Stockham's debut novel, Montana Secrets, physical therapist Grace Korbit is battling demons from her past. She has just been hired by her childhood friend Jake to help his brother (her ex-boyfriend) Seth Rowland recover from an accident that left him a paraplegic. Seth's been told that it is very possible for him to make a recovery, but he refuses to believe it, and spends his days feeling sorry for himself. The once active cowboy now sits in his wheelchair doing nothing.

Grace in the meantime is carrying a secret that she has kept close to her heart. It has made her fear and distrust men. Seth was one of only two men she tried to have a relationship with, but both failed due to her fears. Now, Grace is back in Seth's life. While at first there doesn't seem to be hope for either of them, Seth slowly understands that it's up to him to change his attitude so he can progress with his recovery, and Grace tries to battle her demons, because deep down she still loves Seth.

I enjoyed this romance. The characters are realistically drawn, with supporting characters just as likable as the main ones. The five-year old niece, Lexi, is especially endearing. There were just enough subtle hints to the mystery behind Seth's ex-wife Arie that I felt her story could make another wonderful, albeit tragic, novel. Grace is somewhat jealous of this woman she never met, who left a lifetime of paintings, since Seth never wants to talk about the woman he once loved. Overall, I recommend Montana Secrets as a great character driven story.

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