Come Sundown

There's a sad story lurking behind the Bodine Ranch--30,000 idyllic acres in the Montana wilds, offering resort-like family vacations with horse shows and riding. Alice Bodine gladly left in the late 1980s; at age 18, unhappy and feeling overshadowed by her older sister, Maureen, she hightailed it to California. In 1991, disillusioned after three reckless years, Alice longed for home. En route to surprise the family with an unexpected homecoming, however, she is abducted by a man she'll later call "Sir"--a twisted psychopath who beats, rapes, brainwashes and holds Alice captive in chains for 25 years.

The family believes that when Alice set off for California, she abandoned them for good. The unknown horrors she faces in captivity--just a few miles from the ranch--is a stark contrast to the life of Bodine Longbow, Maureen's daughter, who oversees the ranch with her brothers. When Bodine hires handsome horseman Cal Skinner, an old crush recently returned from a hiatus in Hollywood, a romance blooms until Cal becomes a suspect in a pair of murders. Meanwhile, 47-year-old Alice suddenly escapes her violent captor and returns to the multi-generational family fold with a shattered psyche. The threats that follow promise danger for all.

Romance and suspense are Nora Roberts's (The Obsession) specialty. She delivers both in Come Sundown, but it is her keen emotional probing of the lost and found--along with the often heartbreaking bonds of family--that rise to the fore. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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