AUTHOR Nicholas Sparks is the king of slushy modern romance, tugging heartstrings with his emotionally- wrought tales of love lost and found.
His books are a perfect fit for Hollywood and thus far, seven of his heart-tugging tomes have been adapted for the big screen, beginning in 1999 with Message In A Bottle starring Kevin Costner and Robin Wright.
Safe Haven adds a touch of suspense to the usual gooey mix, opening with a distraught wife, Erin Tierney (Julianne Hough), fleeing the scene of a crime – perhaps murder, perhaps self-defence.
The terrified spouse seeks refuge with neighbour Mrs Feldman (Irene Ziegler).
She helps Erin to change her hair colour before the wife heads to the bus station with detective Kevin Tierney (David Lyons) in hot pursuit.
In one of the film's best scenes, Erin boards a bus bounds for Atlanta and narrowly avoids capture.
She travels far from her troubled past and hopes to throw the cops off her scent by settling in quaint fishing community Southport, North Carolina.
In this picture-postcard idyll, Erin re-christens herself Katie Feldman and lands a job as a waitress.
She also secures lodgings in a remote cabin in the woods, and enjoys a flirtation with hunky widower Alex Wheatley (Josh Duhamel), who is raising two demanding children, Josh (Noah Lomax) and Lexi (Mimi Kirkland).
Unfortunately, Tierney won't rest until he has found Erin.