is pretty much another Nicholas Sparks book following the same formula of writing that's made him famous. If you're a fan of his books (or even the movies) you'll know what you're getting when you crack open this one. It isn't a really sappy love story, though. Safe Haven
follows Katie, a thirty year old married woman who finally gets the courage to leave her abusive husband. Her journey for safety eventually lands her in the small North Carolina town of Southport. Katie finds work as a waitress and really just keeps to herself as she tries to put her life back together. She meets Alex; owner of the local grocery store, father to his young kids, Josh & Kristen, and widower of three years. Alex is ex-military and the work he did offered him some insight into Katie. He realizes early-on that she was abused, but he finds her interesting and pretty and he really wants to get to know her. Alex takes his time; shows Katie she can trust him and that he's different from what she knows.
Eventually, Katie and Alex begin dating and fall in love. She opens up to him, he to her. What I loved most is how ready Alex is to start a life with Katie. He still misses his deceased wife, Carly, but he knows his moving on is what she wanted and desired most -- for him to be loved again, to love, and for their children to know the love of a mother. The scenes where Alex remembers having such talks with Carly, at the end of her life, were heartfelt and real.
But, as we all know, the past is never far behind and that's definitely the truth for Katie. Her husband soon finds her and what transpires was pages of nail-biting suspense. You never know for sure how a Nicholas Sparks book will end, and this one has a happy ending (thank goodness!)
. The real surprise comes with a twist I never imagined and only confirmed that no matter if the ending's happy or sad, Nicholas Sparks will pull the emotion out of you until you're a blubbering mess sitting among a heap of used Kleenex and wishing for a love like that.