Desert Isle Keeper
A Marriage to Fight For
A Marriage to Fight For was first released in the UK (where I live) in 2001 and was, for me, one of the best books I read last year. This superb book, which is an example of series romance at its absolute best, moved me greatly. It is the story of a family in crisis where each member is a strong personality and where, ultimately, love helps each of them to overcome some incredible difficulties.
Maggie, who grew up as a foster child, married her boyhood sweetheart, Garrett Hughes. Garrett entered the police academy and became a cop. They loved each other deeply and had a son, Rick. Garrett was a very committed cop and eventually switched to the DEA where he became involved in dangerous undercover work. It was because of his work that his marriage to Maggie eventually soured for she could not handle being married to a man who was in physical danger and, as a former foster child, she pushed him away rather than let him “leave” her before a fatal injury on the job. Rick was like many children caught up in this sort of situation, hurt and confused by his parents’ actions.
After a lengthy undercover job ended, Garrett decided that he wanted his family back and so he got on a plane to the west coast to try for a reconciliation. The plane he was on carried a bomb, and Garrett bravely helped to defuse it. But the plane crashed on landing, Garrett suffered severe and multiple injuries and wound up at the point of death. When Maggie found out about the crash, she rushed to his bedside. There are some interestingly portrayed near-death scenes which allow Garrett to hear Maggie pouring out her love, grief and frustrations to him, not knowing that he is aware of her presence.
Unfortunately, Garrett’s injuries are permanent and disabling for he has broken his back and becomes a paraplegic. A long period of readjustment and rehabilitation then begins and Maggie, as a physiotherapist, is actively involved. This is very well done and the author describes very accurately both the physical rehabilitation that must take place and also the grief, shock and mourning, disbelief, anger and feelings of inadequacy that Garrett must go through. She lets us into the thought processes of both Maggie and Garrett and we see their anger, passion, regret and intense physical desire.
The three members of the family (including Rick who learns that his parents aren’t perfect but nonetheless love him) must come to terms with life turned on its head. The issues of disability here cover the physical relationship between a husband and wife, the problems he faces when he goes back to work, the problems he faces with his rehabilitation and the tests that a family must endure to survive.
I commend the author for dealing with the issue of impotence in this book – something not often discussed in romantic novels but an important and realistic concern with a badly disabled hero. However, hope, trust, love, courage and understanding win the day and you just know that this family is stronger than anything life can throw at it.
review by Elaine S.