As an experienced San Diego lifeguard, Sam Cleveland has been trained to save others. On what becomes the most treacherous beach day ever, she battles the sea as her ability as a lifeguard is tested. While she risks her life to rescue swimmers from the rough surf, her world comes crashing down when she learns that her brother Robert has been in a serious accident. She then must leave San Diego and the young woman she’s recently started dating to return to her hometown—a place that holds a horrid memory from her childhood.
Once back in Mississippi, Sam sits vigil at Robert’s bedside. Always protective when Sam was a child, Robert clings to life as investigators search for the person responsible for his accident. As she faces the possibility of losing her brother, Sam is reminded that her hometown holds an unspeakable secret that she and Robert vowed to always keep buried.
On the hunt for the man who intentionally harmed Robert is Lieutenant Annie Wright—the woman who captured Sam’s heart years ago. Now just friends, Sam and Annie work together to find the person responsible for Robert’s injuries. But as painful childhood memories resurface, so do old feelings of love. Will Sam choose to move forward with the chance at new romance in San Diego, or will she return to the comfort of familiar love with Annie in Mississippi?
Saving Sam was a lot of fun. The material isn’t always the lightest (a character’s painful past is one of the plot mechanisms), but overall the book had the inertia of a binge-worthy TV series. It’s somewhere between a police procedural and a love story; sort of like Scandinavian noir, but taking place in Southern California and Mississippi.
I particularly love how it follows the way the main character Sam retrospectively processes her love for her brother. Very touching and memorable.
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