The Storm Within
Healed from her own loss, Juliana Hopkins wants nothing more than to mend reclusive artist Aidan Byrne’s heart, and help close a chapter in his life that has haunted him for over twenty years. Risking their newfound love, Juliana is determined to release the ghosts he can’t let go.
Aidan has been in love with Juliana since the first moment he saw her, but if she can’t leave the tragedies of his past alone, he won’t be able to make a life with her.
She offers him a love he never dared to want, but loving her could rip open all the old wounds he’d never been able to heal.
Uncaged Review: This was another of the lovely Soulmate tree series. In this book, Julianna Hopkin’s spouse, Todd has died. She misses him being with her, believing him to have been her perfect love. To deal with her feelings, she goes for a walk to enjoy the fall weather. Getting tired, she sits to rest under a tree where she talks to her dead husband who tells her to move on with her life. He encourages her to do what she loves (which is cooking) and to find another true love.
She falls asleep in the early evening, only to awaken to find her hermit neighbor, Aiden Byrne is there with his dog. When she says she is alright, he leaves her to return home alone. She leaves the newspaper where she worked and starts up a catering business which is doing well.
The weather turned from fall into winter. A winter storm leaves her without electric and stranded in her home as the ice and snow makes the roads dangerous and bringing down powerlines.
She hears a crash from the road as the weather continues to deteriorate. When she investigates, it’s Aiden with his dog, having gone into a slide with his truck while on the way home, ending up in the ditch at the end of her driveway. She invites him to stay with her until the storm is over and he can get home safely. During their time together, they get to know each other. It isn’t until she sees his medallion of the tree she had rested under while talking to Todd, and hears the legend attached to it, Julianna realizes there may be something to the legend.
She discovers he refuses to get close to anyone for fear of letting them down like he did his brother and sister, who were twins and believes died in the orphanage fire where he had left them. He used his gift for painting to keep his emotions under control after being told they were dead. He allowed the owner of an art gallery to make him famous, but all he wants is to be left alone to live his life in peace. He does believe fate brought them together but doesn’t know why.
There is a twist in this story, which I’ll leave for you to discover, as the story behind both Julianna and Aiden is revealed. This was an engaging book which has you rooting for Julianna and Aiden to have a happily ever after.
I give it 5 stars. It was a great read which kept you turning the pages to see how it all would come together. Reviewed by Barbara