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Healing Luke    by Beth Cornelison order for
Healing Luke
by Beth Cornelison
Order:  USA  Can
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

When Luke Morgan loses an eye and thumb during a boating accident his bitterness knows no bounds. Nothing his father or his devoted brother Aaron say or do salves Luke's resentment or his certainty that no woman will ever look at him again. Now he spends his days sitting at home brooding and refusing to attend his physical therapy sessions.

Occupational therapist Abby Stanford is eagerly anticipating her impending nuptials and Florida honeymoon - until she catches her fiancÚ in bed with another woman. Hurt and angry beyond measure, Abby cancels her wedding. Unwilling to give up her honeymoon she heads to Florida solo, more to re-evaluate her life than anything else. When she shows up on Luke's doorstep looking to book a day of snorkelling she finds herself standing face-to-face a man who takes the word rude to new heights.

However, once Abby learns about Luke's injuries she suggests various treatment options but Aaron and his father admit they'd rather she treat Luke. Abby agrees, but will stay on only long enough to help motivate him past his pain and anger. Within days, both Aaron and Luke are vying for Abby's affections. For Abby, there's only one man that she wants to permanently invite into her life. But if Luke refuses to accept his new limitations then there's no future for them.

Initially Cornelison does a commendable job showing Luke's pre-accident persona as well as his close and easy relationship with his brother and father. His behaviour after the accident is also believable as he resorts to anger and plenty of well-directed sarcasm to keep others off balance and at arm's length.

Unfortunately Luke's surliness, self-pity and temper tantrums go on for far too long. By the time he recognises his limitations and accepts the love and help of his family - and Abby - it's too late to muster much sympathy for him or buy into their romance. Even so, the overall theme does capture the raw emotions of a man who's forced to deal with sudden physical loss.

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