There are the Capulets and the Montagues, and there are the Hanes and the Millers.
The Hanes and the Millers are next-door neighbors. They used to be the best of friends. The fathers were even partners in a business venture, until a disgruntled customer made trouble in an unrelated business to Mr. Miller. A fraud investigation followed, involving the FBI. Because the business venture, the Hanes were investigated as well. Both families ended up losing pretty much everything. And the Hanes blamed the Millers for the financial losses as well as their children’s plans for college and beyond.
They don’t talk. Mrs. Hanes planted a hedge to shield the view from the Millers. They sit on separate sides of church.
Julie Hanes, a senior in college, is home for Thanksgiving. Drew Miller, some four years older, is home for the holiday as well. They meet in a park, neither recognizing the other. Even when they discover they’re on different sides of the feud, circumstances keep throwing them together. And the inevitable happens: A Hanes and a Miller fall in love.
With a nod to William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, author Annette Larsen has penned All That Stands Between Us, a contemporary version of the story that leaves out the deaths and suicides and provides an often-comic tale. It’s a story of how friends can nurse grudges, and how grudges can carry over to and afflict the next generation.
Larsen is the author of nine romance novels. A native of Utah, she has also lived in Arizona, Virginia, and Missouri before settling in Idaho with her family. She also blogs about romance and fiction at her blog.
Just when you think the story has gone too far with the grudge business, you stop and think about how families can often behave. And you realize All That Stands Between Us is entirely plausible and a surprisingly fun read.