Olivia joined friends Hudson Bauer and Jeff McAllister in developing a business. While she and Hudson dreamed of using their success to improve the world, Jeff set his sights and fortunes on Olivia. On the most important night of Hudson’s life, Olivia and Jeff eloped. Betrayed, Hudson ended the partnership, throwing Jeff and Olivia aside as he made his own fortune.

After a tragic accident leaves Olivia’s body and heart battered, and her dreams of a family destroyed, she is forced to accept Hudson’s offer to recuperate at his parents’ empty house on Oregon’s Cannon Beach. Her return to the place where the three friends once summered casts new light on her hasty marriage, and on the enemy she once called friend.

Through a new position doing humanitarian work, Olivia reawakens, giving rise to long denied feelings for Hudson. But guilt over Jeff’s death leaves her stuck between grief and the hope of new love. All her life, other people have made decisions for Olivia, but now the future is up to her, if she can make peace with the past and embrace a future with a man she once hated.

Title:  Sweet Water
Author:  Laurie Lewis
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  March 4, 2017
My Rating:  5 stars

Hudson, Olivia, Jeff.  Three friends, one man’s action and betrayal will change their lives forever.

Sweet Water grabbed my emotions from the first page and never let go until the ending.  The raw emotions that came through the page still has a lingering effect.  Eight years ago Olivia made a choice.  One she regretted almost immediately but with her background it was one she would stand by and try to make work.  It’s ironic that what you once believed as solid, irrefutable truth can change when you have all of the information.  And those choices come back to haunt you.  When Jeff died Olivia’s life took a turn that she never expected.  The one man who she believed had betrayed them was the only man who could start to put her world back together again.  Slowly, painstakingly Liv will discover the depths of deception, lies and half-truths that she’d lived with for so long..  She had to heal, Hudson had the means to help that happen and eventually they would have their final standoff.  Would there be victors?  Probably not, but the truth might finally set her free to do what she’d always wanted, to be with the man she’d always loved.  But first she has to uncover the clues of her husband’s actions and discover what truth is.

Often the reader knows information that the characters do not.  That’s a bit different in Sweet Water.  Yes, we know there are explanations, things that Liv wasn’t privy to but we are uncovering those things at the same moments she is.  Hudson’s character is very closed mouthed.  We can assume from his actions and the deception that Olivia is going through what some things truly are, but I wasn’t prepared for all of it combined.  There are such layers in this story, and each one draws you in a bit deeper.  My heart broke for these characters, and yes, in someways even for Jeff.  I was completely caught up in this story.  And I believe you would be as well.

Sometimes I get fortunate enough to run across a story by an author who is unknown to me and I am so thankful for coincidence, or fate or simply dumb luck that put her book in the search bar for me at Amazon’s Kindle books.  Sweet Water touched me on so many levels, I really hope you’ll give it a read soon.  I would not hesitate to recommend this story to any Romance reader.  It’s deep, it’s touching and in many ways it’s real life.  Choices matter, but if we’re lucky we get a second chance to make a different choice.  Take a chance on this story, I believe you’ll be touched and your time will be well spent.

I read this title through my Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Available for the Kindle