''I rescued you on this island…and you rescued me right back."
Ben Logan never asks anyone for help. Until, during a deadly hurricane, he's washed up on a deserted island. There he finds his life in the hands of sparky, petite nurse Mary Hammond. Trapped with only each other for comfort, Ben and Mary turn to one another.
Back home safely, Mary dominates Ben's dreams. And when, three months later, Mary arrives at Ben's New York office, it's with news that their one night had the power to change their lives forever…
Very good story between two emotionally wounded people. The story begins with a bang as Ben and his twin brother participate in an around the world yacht race. Unfortunately they arrive in New Zealand along with a huge cyclone (hurricane) that destroys their boat. Ben forces Jake onto the rescue helicopter first, but has to wait for another helicopter for his own rescue. Instead, his life raft ends up destroyed and he is at the mercy of the waves.
Mary is spending a few days on a small island, dealing with some work and family issues. Her nasty stepmother and stepsisters have blamed Mary, who is a nurse, for the death of her stepsister's newborn infant. Her father, who is useless against his new wife does nothing to help her. She's also been placed on leave by her employer. Mary has taken this time to try to decide what to do, and also work on the book she writes for stress relief and escape. By the time she knows about the track of the cyclone, it is too late for her to leave the island. She takes her dog and supplies and heads to a cave for safety. On the way she spots Ben, who has washed up on the beach.
The descriptions of Mary's rescue attempts, the cyclone itself, and what it was like in the cave were so vivid that I felt as though I was there. I could feel Mary's worry over Ben's injuries, and hope that they were not life threatening. As the storm intensified, Mary and Ben got to know each other. Both of them seemed to have a knack for sensing when something was bothering the other. Mary is a nurturer and gets Ben talking about himself and his brother. She tries to calm his fears about his brother's safety. Ben doesn't normally talk about feelings. His home life had been awful, with a cold and emotionless father and a melodramatic mother. There's something about Mary that penetrates his armor, and he finds himself caring about what happens to her. When the cyclone passes, they celebrate their survival, even knowing that they won't see each other again. After their rescue, each goes their own way, though Ben thanks Mary for saving him by sending a lawyer after her stepmother. That turns out both good and bad.
Two months later, Ben is back in New York and his financial empire, but he hasn't been able to forget Mary. He's stunned when she shows up to let him know she's pregnant. She doesn't want anything from him, just to tell him. Ben's first reaction is horror. He never wanted to get close to anyone because of his fears about what he would do. The idea of being responsible for someone else's happiness scares him. But at the same time, he doesn't want to accept the idea of Mary going back to New Zealand and raising the baby without him. His idea of how and why to keep her in New York is one that she just can't accept. I loved seeing how she tried to show him that though she may technically be alone, back at home she has friends and the community that have become like family to her. It was wonderful to see her hold out for what she really needs from him, even though she doesn't think it will ever happen. I loved Ben's protectiveness that had him taking care of her at the end and finally accepting that he is capable of having a family. There's a neat little twist at the end and it further emphasizes how much he has changed.
There are only a couple scenes between Ben and his brother Jake, but both of them show the chasm that has grown between them. The one at the end really shows just how badly his past has affected Ben. He was really quite a jerk to Jake. Jake had some pretty blunt things to say to Ben, and it was interesting to see the way it made Ben think. I'm looking forward to reading Jake's story.