By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
My favorite among Nora Roberts' very uneven Chesapeake Bay "trilogy." (I liked book 1, Sea Swept, but not as well as this; I did not like book 3, Inner Harbor, much at all, and I really hated book 4, Chesapeake Blue.) This book focuses on Ethan, the second adopted Quinn brother and the one with the most tortured past. He has been in love with Grace Monroe since they were children, but because of his tortured past, he feels tainted and believes she deserves better. (The pining-for-years-in-secret trope is one of my favorites: it's so emotionally satisfying when all that frustrated yearning explodes into passion.)