Falling for a Stranger

Originally Published: 10-08-2020

Falling for a Stranger is the 3rd book in the Callaways Series by Barbara Freethy.

Remember that this series is about the Callaway family, all 8 kids!!

Book Details

Falling for a Stranger is actually a little different than the first two books.

This one is much more of a mystery (a romantic suspense) while still having romance in it.

So it’s classified as both a contemporary romance and a romantic suspense.

Yes, the romance between Drew Callaway and Ria Hastings is fast and intense.  I would even call it a love at first sight romance!

I found that there’s a couple of other book covers for this book, both for Kindle and ebook editions.

You’ll find that there are details in the love scenes.

This book is considered a full length novel.  There’s no cliff hanger to annoy us or lead us to another story.

There’re however, several story loops that show us what’s been happening with the previous characters as well as some that are going to come in play!!

These clues are given in scenes that are about the others instead of just about these main characters.

This story is entertaining and heartwarming.  A very much a love-at-first-sight story about how Drew meets Ria, spends one night with her and then thinks that she’s dead.

Book Summary

This is Drew’s story.  He’s a navel pilot coming home after serving for several years.  He has issues and haunts that make him more wary about life, more willing to be still to not only enjoy the moment.

On an island, he meets Ria.  And he’s captivated.

He propositions her.  And she accepts.  Together they have an incredible night that leaves an indelible impression on each other.

And then she dies.  In an explosion.  Leaving Drew with nightmares and haunted dreams.

Or at least he think she’s dead.  And then the story jumps ahead almost 2yrs.

He thinks he sees her and once again she’s haunting his dreams and every thought.

When he realizes that she’s not a figment of his imagination, he comes to realize that there’s so much more to her story then he first realized.

He does find her, but she’s basically on the run and hiding from someone as she’s taken a different name and refuses to see him.

But that doesn’t deter Drew.  She was everything he didn’t know he needed and everything he’s ever wanted.

And how that he knows she’s alive, he’s not going to let her go.

What follows then is a discovery type of story.  He won’t leave her be, he forces her to spend time with him and he convinces her to tell him her story.

She does so reluctantly, not wanting him to be in danger too.

And then in the end, she shares everything and he finds out so much more.  And then in a funky twist of fate, the bad guys find them again.

And then Ria not only saves herself, but she also saves her niece, whom she was protecting all along.

And then yes, the story does have a happy ending.  

We do see how many of the characters are doing, old ones and new ones.  And the story leads us to who will be next in line.

The next book in line is book 4, Between Now and Forever, where we find out what’s been happening with Nicole and her estranged husband Ryan.


I found Falling for a Stranger to be a much more interesting story.  It didn’t feel like it followed the norm for romance books but was much more exciting and compelling.

Love at first sight books are usually intense right from the beginning and this one was like that.  The characters were well matched and battled where they needed to be and worked where they also needed to be.

I did find the ending to be a bit unrealistic in that Ria was the one to shoot the man that was her enemy.  

What I did like what that there was a “what happened after” kind of thing.  We saw how Max and Emma were doing and how Aidan and Sara were unexpectedly expecting.  And how Nicole and her son, Brandon, who’s autistic, were doing.

It’s always fun to catch up with characters that we love and adore.

Check out the other books in the Callaways Series: 

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