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Love is never the end of the story, only the begining.
Mack Hayden, volatile and dangerous, shows up, all smiles, on Sara's doorstep. Sara has been struggling to build a new life for herself and her ten-year-old brother Doug and teenage sisters Carrie and Abby, after she was forced to give up her dreams and come home to Chicago to take care of them.
Now Mack, the brother who had abandoned them three years earlier, is threatening to undercut everything she does. Swinging dangerously from kindness to mystery to cruelty, he begins to win over the children with expensive gifts and fascinating stories, challenging Sara's efforts to keep the family together.
With events at home and at work seeming out of control, Sara desperately needs an ally. She finds one in Reuben Lister, a transplanted New Yorker, lonely and guarding his own secrets. Dealing with both the past and the present, Reuben and Sara discover a closeness neither has known before, as they find for themselves what truly makes a family.