In a trade-off she's lived to regret, Emily Castle left home years ago to become an interior designer. The youngest of three sisters, Emily desperately wanted to prove herself. Success, though, came at the cost of leaving behind the man she loved.
For Boone Dorsett, losing Emily left his heart shattered, but another woman was waiting in the wings. Now a widower with a young son, Boone has a second chance with Emily when a storm brings her home. But with his former in-laws threatening a custody suit, the stakes of loving her are higher than ever.
Will fate once again separate them—or is the time finally right for these two star-crossed lovers?
Bestseller Woods (the Sweet Magnolias series) launches a series about sisters juggling love and career with this bland contemporary. Emily Castle leaves her interior decorating business in Los Angeles to help her grandmother, whose North Carolina restaurant has been damaged by a hurricane. She encounters Boone Dorsett, whom she left 10 years before to pursue her career. Boone married another, but, conveniently, his wife died a year ago, leaving him with a guilty conscience and eight-year-old B.J., who strikes up an implausibly swift friendship with Emily. Boone is concerned about the effect a new relationship will have on his son, but he and Emily explore the possibility of starting over. This results in endless backing and forthing, as Emily juggles clients, career, and her relationship with Boone, while they discuss at length whether it s the right thing for all involved. The only real obstruction is the hollow threat of a custody battle from Boone s resentful mother-in-law; the conclusion is predictable and slightly cloying.