This is a 2006 SSE that was included in the 16 free downloads from Harlequin last month. Maggie Cruz and Jake Dalton have known each other since childhood. He's the town doctor, and she's a nurse who is also a BTK amputee, suffered while serving as a reservist in the war. She's come home to lick her wounds. She holds a serious grudge against Jake's family, believing them to be responsible for her father's death.
SSE is one of the lines that I still really love to read. I loved Jake, and I liked Maggie - a lot. She had a chip on her shoulder, but who could blame her, really? Thayne wrote the characters with a lot of introspective dialogue, and while there was some extraneous storyline, it never took the focus off of the two main characters and their journey toward their HEA. They share a long history together, and Thayne tied that in to how Jake fell in love with Maggie really beautifully.
I also like that Maggie seemed to come to terms with her amputation and her new limitations honestly - determined to overcome the physical while denying the emotional. Seemed a very honest response to me - not always likeable, but very honest.
I enjoyed the glimpses into their families as well. Although I haven't read any of the rest of the series (I'm not even sure how many others there are), I was easily able to understand their stories and fit the history in. I wouldn't mind looking for the brothers' books on PBS or at a UBS.
Jake was a great hero, Maggie a good heroine, despite her bristliness. All in all, a good read, and I'm glad that Harlequin included it in their freebies this month.