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The Drifter by Susan Wiggs

The Drifter

by Susan Wiggs

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Dr. Leah Mundy is woken up at gunpoint in the middle of the night by a desperate gunman with an entire broken-down boat worth of secrets. Who--or what--is he running from? What is his relationship with Carrie, the desperately sick woman he nearly abducts Leah in order to heal? Why does he make Leah feel things she's never felt before for anyone--even though she desperately tries not to, and what will she do about it? Is it worth it to start a relationship with someone who isn't going to stay? Just who is the "drifter"? The answer may surprise you!

Although this book wasn't quite what I expected after reading the publisher's "blurb", I did end up enjoying it quite a bit. The characters, both primary and secondary, were well-written, and their motivations, though not entirely clear at the time, were eventually explained satisfactorily. My only issue--and really, it's not much of one--is that at times the writing was a bit too vague. I know we have to be kept in suspense and of course don't want to know too much too soon, but every now and then, usually in a flashback,the way they were written actually pulled me out of the story while I did a mental "huh?" and tried to figure out what had just happened. Other than that, though, it was a satisfying read. It was my first by Susan Wiggs, and I will be looking for more by her in the future. (Plus, it's nice to read a historical romance that has a title and cover picture I don't mind my kids seeing me reading ;-)) ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 20, 2013 |
Classic tale of a prim woman doctor wirth a secret, and a charming, laid back drifter, also, with a few secrets tucked under his belt. Leah and Jackson attempt to uncover each other's secrets and fears, while they fight their attraction to one another. The story features Jackson's mad 'wife' who's addicted to opium, and an ageing sherriff who's on the trail of the drifter. Good. ( )
  gogglemiss | May 24, 2011 |
Whidbey Island, 1894. One of the lush, green islands dotting the Pacific Northwest coastline, and home to Coupeville, a sleepy little seaside town. Dr. Leah Mundy, the town physician, awakes in the middle of the night to find a stranger with a gun trained on her, demanding her help. The stranger is Jackson Underhill, a man on the run from a dangerous past, and the patient is Carrie, his childhood sweetheart.

Leah has devoted her life to the study of medicine and caring of patients and even though the circumstances are unnerving, she agrees to treat Carrie, who is suffering a miscarriage and who is also in the throws of wicked withdrawal symptoms from a morphine addiction. Leah and Jackson become closer as they struggle to help Carrie get well. But just when it seems Carrie has turned a corner and is on the road to recovery, she leaves town with another man and Leah learns that all is not as it seemed between Jackson and Carrie.

Jackson has discovered he likes the way of life on Whidbey Island and he likes the serious, yet vulnerable Dr. Mundy. Though he feels his past could catch up with him at any moment, he yearns for the quiet, stable life that has thus far eluded him but could be within his reach. But of course, there are complications: suspicious townfolk, a corrupt sheriff, a smuggling ring and the U.S. Marshall on his trail. I won't go into more detail about the plot because there are some twists and turns and I don't want to give anything away.

Ms. Wiggs has a talent for creating multi-dimensional characters that every reader can relate to and that talent shines through again in this book. It's a better than average romance, with lots of sexual tension, mystery, action and excitement. I have not read her contemporary romances, and of her historicals her Calhoun series is still my favorite. But this one is good, too, and I recommend it to fans of historical romances. ( )
  jdquinlan | Feb 26, 2010 |
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Book description
Comes a drifter to a windswept island . . .
He wanted to tell her everything. About the lost years that had changed him from a desperate young boy into a man hardened by life. About the night he'd sold his soul for a woman who wasn't worth the price . . .

But Jackson Underhill said nothing. After all, he was an outlaw, clearly on the run -- reason enough for silence.

The truth was Dr. Leah Mundy scared him. She made him want to trust again, to share his burden. She made him want a home, a family. And it was dangerous to want such things. Because the past would find him if he stayed -- and there could be no future with a woman who would not leave.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786258284, Hardcover)

It isn't easy to be a female physician in 1894, but Leah Mundy is fiercely committed to healing her fellow humans. Being awakened in the dark of night to heal the sick is a common occurrence, but never before has she woke to a threatening gun barrel and a dangerous stranger demanding her services. Outlaw Jackson Underhill is grimly determined that the doctor will save his childhood friend, but nothing about his difficult and dark past has prepared him for the changes the beautiful doctor will bring to his life. When Leah manages to disable his sailboat and force him to bring his "wife" to her boarding home to be cared for, Jackson has no option but to comply, setting forces in motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Dr. Leah Mundy is a strong but emotionally vulnerable woman who has struggled her entire life to win the approval of her difficult, indifferent father. Now that he is dead, she is determined to build a life on Puget Sound's beautiful Whidbey Island. Accused of committing a murder he can't deny, outlaw Jackson Underhill is a man on the run, committed to saving his childhood friend while eluding the law. Leah is a woman who cannot leave the island that has become her sanctuary and Jackson Underhill is a man who cannot stay. Reason and logic tell them that they should never have fallen in love, but their hearts ignore all warnings. Inexorably drawn together by circumstance and fate, what possible resolution can bring them happiness and not disaster? Thrown together by chance, they find a love that neither of them had ever dared hope for - but darker forces and old alliances threaten their chance at happiness. With crisp, clean writing, Ms. Wiggs deftly weaves a seamless tale set against the background of the sea and sky of the Pacific Northwest. The beauty of Puget Sound pulses from every page, elevating the land and elements of nature to the level of a living character that is essential to the healing of Jackson and Leah's inner scars. Emotionally intense and well-plotted, The Drifter has all the components of a great summer read and is a jewel of a novel.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:30 -0400)

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A woman doctor makes a drifting outlaw want to trust again, but his past would find him if he succumbed and stayed with her.

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