Tourists flock to Jefferson Point for the antique shops and riverboat tours. Everyone knows everyone and secrets are impossible to keep. Or so it seems…
Dr. Ryan Harper’s brutal slaying stuns the picturesque river town. High school football star, Prom King, and on his way to finishing his residency, Ryan was their golden child.
After a two-year struggle to care for their young son alone, his widow, Nicole, reluctantly returns to Jefferson Point. Her homecoming reopens old wounds, as Ryan’s family and friends struggle to adapt to life without his dynamic presence.
The last person Nicole expects to reconnect with is Aaron Foster, Ryan’s best man and reluctant keeper of his secrets.
With opinions circulating on Nicole’s post-Ryan existence, she must maneuver the rapids of past loves, new expectations, and haunting dreams of her fallen husband.
The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Life is a frank story of questionable decisions, small town politics, and love after loss.
Nicole sat straight up in bed, her heart galloping in her chest. Momentarily unsure where she was, her eyes darted around the room and panic set in. Sunlight streamed through the curtains; it was obvious she’d slept the entire night. After a terrifying moment, she realized she was in her new bedroom. She gulped several deep breaths of air and pushed her blonde hair out of her face. Covering her eyes, she tried to block out the images from the reoccurring dream about her late husband.
Ryan, dressed in green scrubs, stood drinking a cup of coffee at the nurses’ station. Red-eyed from no more than two hours of sleep, he was the resident on-call. He’d picked up a shift for a friend, leaving Nicole home on maternity leave. Though he was granted two weeks off for the birth of their son, after only six days, Ryan joked that he’d get more sleep on a crappy on-call cot than at home with their newborn. Nearing the end of his second-year residency, he lived and breathed medicine. Scoring brownie points with the staff docs was his number one goal. Nicole often wondered how different her life would be if he’d only stayed home another week as originally planned.
He’d been showing off Ike’s baby pictures when the ER doors slid open and a hooded man stormed in and began
shooting. He gunned down two nurses close to the entrance, then an orderly. He took out a patient who attempted to flee in her wheelchair. Always the hero, Ryan sprang into action. He tackled the gunman from the side, taking him down. The shooter managed to fire two shots on his way to the ground.
Ry hadn’t died instantly; he slowly bled out over the next few minutes as the ER erupted in chaos.
Nicole rubbed her eyes, trying to erase the vision her subconscious had concocted of her husband’s last moments. She reached into the bedside table and pulled out her bottles of Zoloft and Xanax. Swallowing two tiny pills, she looked over her shoulder. In the center of her bed, her son slept soundly, his thumb firmly in his mouth. Over two and a half years old, Ike was the spitting image of his father, except with Nicole’s fair hair and skin. He would have no memory of his dad, and she wondered if that was going to be a blessing or a curse.
I’m writing this literally 5 minutes after I finished reading. The Perpetual Quest is one of those books that grabs you and holds on tight from the start. I knew from page one I’d be needing a fresh box of tissues for this one and I was right, you’ll also need them at around 84% and 96% as well. Two years after her husband is gunned down at work Nicole decides to move back to their hometown with their now two year old son Ike, where everyone considered Ryan to be the “Golden Boy” which we discover is so far from the truth! The story focuses on Nicole and Aaron (Ryan’s best friend) and their unrequited feelings for one another that have been buried under the surface since HS. In addition to Nicole and Aaron we also meet Avery (Ryan’s sister) and Shilah and we’re taken on their journey as they try to find love together despite the dysfunctional homes they respectively feel they come from and we have Lauren and Jack; a couple married for 4 years who show us that marriage is work and damn hard at that sometimes BUT I love that they talked and communicated with each other about their issues. All the couples did and they fought for what they wanted. The Perpetual Quest for the Perfect Life has relatable and flawed characters. It’s a beautifully well written story about love, heartache and second chances. This really was a great book and well worth staying up till 1 a.m. to finish!
I give it 4.5 stars
To find the authors:
About Michelle and Tammy:
Tammy Coons is the youngest of 7 children and lives in Illinois with her husband, Casey and three children Skyler, Sawyer and Savana. Tammy graduated from Scott Community College in 2010 and holds a diploma in Health Information Technology. In order to pass time while seeking employment in 2010 she decided to update Fury, one of the many stories she and Michelle have written together in the past 20 years.
Michelle Pace is a RN living in Texas with her husband, Les. She has two daughters, Holly and Bridgette, and one son, Kai. A singer and actress in her youth, Michelle has always enjoyed entertaining people and is excited to continue to do so as a writer.
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