Abigail Pressman would never have guessed that love notes penned on paper hearts by an anonymous couple could restore her belief in love. As a business owner in a quaint town at the base of the Rockies, she’s poured everything into dreams of expansion . . . and resisting the matchmaking efforts of the Valentine Volunteers, who gather in her store to continue Loves Park’s tradition of stamping mail with the city’s romantic postmark.
When Abigail is unwillingly drafted into the Volunteers, she encounters the paper hearts, a distraction that couldn’t come at a worse time. A hard-to-read doctor has become Abigail’s new landlord, and he’s threatening to end her lease to expand his practice.
As she fights a growing attraction to this handsome man crushing her dreams, Abigail is inspired to string the hearts in her store, sparking a citywide infatuation with the artsy trend. But when a new batch of hearts reaches the Volunteers, it appears something tragic has happened to the couple. Will uncovering their story confirm Abigail’s doubts about love, or could it rescue her dreams . . . and her heart?
Abigail Pressman is more than the owner of the Book Nook in Loves Park, Colo.; she's a descendent of the city's founders. To her mother's chagrin, Abigail is also one of the few single women in a town dedicated to romance, in keeping with its name. When Jacob Willoughby buys her building, Abigail faces eviction if she can't convince the handsome doctor that the Book Nook needs to stay. As Abigail and Jacob waffle between disdain and affection for each other, Abigail discovers the paper hearts contained in a love letter. Sent to Loves Park to obtain the town's romantic postmark anonymously each Valentine's Day, the letters (and accompanying hearts) reveal a couple's intimate love story, and Abigail's frosty stance toward romance begins to thaw. When she decides to share the decorative paper hearts, and the story behind them, with her customers, the result is a boom in business that may just stay her eviction. Walsh (A Sweethaven Summer) pens a quaint, smalltown love story, complete with an overbearing mother, an unscrupulous business partner, and a group of busybodies whose hearts are in the right place even if their actions are questionable. While certain elements are predictable, Walsh develops enough plot twists to make this enjoyable to the end.
Easy and engaging
a happy smile sort of read.
I was expecting something sweet and engaging, and that is exactly what this story delivered. Perfect timing for renewing and encouraging a belief in love, Courtney Walsh has brought us Abigail: a bit career-obsessed, skeptical about love and romance, and believing herself fully grounded in the ‘reality’ of the world. But, an anonymous couple is leaving paper hearts which carry love notes all over town, the Valentine Volunteers are out in full matchmaking force and Love’s Park is inundated with mail to be stamped with their postmark and sent on for Valentine’s Day. Just how long can Abigail resist the flavor of love in the air?
With just enough angst to keep Abigail interesting, her reluctance to all things romance over her concerns about her book shop: both expanding and a potential battle over her lease, the last thing she wants or needs is to be shanghaied into the Valentine Volunteers: but she realizes the importance of participation. With the paper hearts appearing all over town, the anonymous couple is rekindling thoughts of love for everyone – and surprisingly (to us and her) Abigail is not immune.
The conflict is mostly centered in Abigail: first with Jacob, a handsome doctor, new to town, and new owner of the building that houses her store. His plans to make a new start for himself and his daughter by using the new building for his medical practice instantly puts him at odds with Abigail. But, she isn’t 100% certain she’ll stay: her book shop is a way to hold on to and possibly thumb her nose at, her father that abandoned the family years ago. Couple that with the ‘love in the air’ theme, and the building attraction for Jacob and you have a series of issue ripe for sorting out.
Descriptions and dialogue are wonderful, and while the characters are quite ‘back and forth’ in their behaviors causing me to have moments of truly disliking their attitudes and behavior, the story held a sweet overlay that dances between saccharine and sentimental. And neither of these are bad things, sometimes you just want that candy floss everything sorts out in the end with a happy smile sort of read. Courtney Walsh delivers just that with a solid sense of Love’s Park, the mystery surrounding the ‘love note couple’ and the twists that finally bring all of the characters a new perspective on the importance of love.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.