Lawyer Emma Tupper has her life firmly on track; she's in line to become the next partner of the law firm where she works along with a decent if undemanding personal life. That carefully constructed life quickly falls apart after her mother succumbs to a long illness and leaves Emma an open-ended ticket to Africa. Emma's mom always wanted to visit Africa and the trip would allow a way of staying connected to her. Although the trip means a month off from work and will delay becoming a partner for an entire year, Emma sets off for Africa. While on tour, Emma takes ill and is left in a remote village to heal. Despite assurances that someone would be back to pick Emma up, a massive earthquake rips the country apart and a month long trip turned into six months.
While Emma was waiting for the infrastructure to rebuild enough for plane service, a court ruling declared her dead and everyone back home has moved on. Emma returns to discover Dominique, a sexy if emotionally damaged man moving into her apartment, her car, belongings and bank account has been disposed of, and her job and friends have continued without her. Although well meaning people continue insisting that this is the perfect time to remake her life, Emma was happy with things the way they were…or is she.
This fast, heartwarmingly funny piece of chic-lit features an ingenious plot point in the form of a huge earthquake in an exotic setting. Although Emma flashes back to her African experiences, they don't play a key role in the story beyond introducing a lovely, selfless couple who figure prominently throughout. Watching Emma attempt to reconstruct her life raises interesting questions about starting over. The off and on love interest between Dominique and Emma as well as her former lover and his new squeeze add just the right amount of romance to this smooth, sweet story.