Ronna Gage's Paradise Mine is a second chance love story with the secret baby/interfering family/can-we-ever-find-true-love-again theme. Rae Anne Jamison has loved Landy Laurent for years. They fell in love in high school and planned on being married. Landy joined the Marines soon after graduating high school and was subsequently sent overseas for active fighting. Rae Anne pines for him and doesn't cope well. Soon she discovers that she is pregnant with Landy's baby. Finding a new inner strength, she struggles on until Landy comes back. Only he doesn't come back. She receives notice from her father, a Senator, that Landy is missing in action and presumed to be dead. Landy's Humvee was hit by a suicide bomber and he was severely injured. While recovering, he receives a package from an unknown source containing pictures of Rae Anne with various men. Along with the pictures is a note, stating that Rae Anne has had no problems moving on.
Rae Anne, oblivious to all these machinations, does her part to try to find Landy. When she receives the letter stating that he has, in fact, died, she is absolutely devastated. Fast forward several years and one amicablely isolated marriage later, Rae Anne decides that she needs a sabbatical and charters a yacht to sail freely for six months. Her captain? None other than one Landy Laurent. She is at turns thrilled and frightened that Landy is back. Thrilled for the obvious reasons, but terrified something will happen to him and she knows she can't handle losing him again. When they get hit by a storm and the yacht is run aground, Landy and Rae Anne must find a way to work together and put the past back where it needs to be.
This story was okay. I thought Landy gave up without a fight and Rae Anne should have washed her hands of both her father and Landy. Landy blew hot and cold and his constant mood changes really got old. It was understandable that Rae Anne should want to keep her distance- Landy knew she was alive; why didn't he come to find her in all these years? He copped out. He let her think he was dead. Yeah, he got the letter, but not once did he think "hmm. this is odd, I should look into this." I'm sorry, but if I were to receive a letter like that, I'm on the next phone call, email, carrier pigeon, train, whatever, but I want answers. Landy took the evidence as "gospel" and punished both Rae Ann and himself.
Rae Anne Jamison and Landy Laurent have the kind of love most people envy--that is, except for Rae Anne's father, a high-powered political figure in Texas. But she and Landy ignore her father’s complaints and focus on their upcoming wedding, planning it for when Landy returns from the newly declared Operation Desert Shield.
Lonely and depressed without him, Rae Anne clings to a preplanned vacation in tropical paradise with him in a year, but when she receives word that he is missing in action and presumed dead, all hope is shattered.
After a few years, she gives up on finding an everlasting love and the life she had planned, and retreats to the open sea. On her sabbatical, she comes face to face with the love of her heart, who returns with less than a little happiness to see her. His eyes shine with anger, and the evidence of a festering wound he's desperately trying to hide is covered by the walls around his heart. If love endures all things, will time really heal all their wounds?