From two-time RITA Award–winning author Carla Laureano comes a story of romance, transformation, and the beauty of belonging.
Los Angeles interior designer and former foster kid Kendall Green is in high demand, both for her impeccable eye and for her uncanny ability to uncover the provenance of any piece. But for all her success, skyrocketing costs have put her California home and her business in jeopardy. Then an unexpected inheritance provides a timely solution: a grandmother she never knew has left her a group of historic properties in a tiny Colorado town on the edge of ruin.
To young, untried mayor Gabriel Brandt, Jasper Lake is more than another small town—it’s the place that saved his life. Now, seeing the town slowly wither and die, he’s desperate to restore it to its former glory. Unfortunately, his vision is at odds with a local developer who wants to see the town razed and rebuilt as a summer resort. He’s sure that he can enlist the granddaughter of one of its most prominent former citizens to his cause—until he meets Kendall and realizes that not only does she know nothing of her own history, she has no interest in reviving a place that once abandoned her.
In order to save his beloved town, Gabe must first help Kendall unravel the truth of her own provenance—and Kendall must learn that in order to embrace the future, sometimes you have to start with the past.
Laureano (The Saturday Night Supper Club) explores the trauma of parental abandonment in her gratifying latest. Interior designer Kendall Green, who grew up in foster care after her mother abandoned her when she was five, has always kept a distance from others. When Kendall inherits land from a grandmother she never knew in tiny Jasper Lake, Colo., she moves there and meets handsome town mayor Gabriel Brandt. Gabriel, who also grew up feeling abandoned by a father who spent more time with his second wife and other children, is trying to prevent a real estate developer from gobbling up Jasper Lake properties and changing the face of the town. The pair work together to thwart the developer, as well as to resolve their issues with childhood trauma and faith, eventually building trust in one another through a deepening relationship with God. As a romance develops, Laureano goes deep on the architecture, renovation, design, and preservation of the historic town. Filled with colorful characters and glowing descriptions of the landscape, Laureano's slow-burning romance has atmosphere to burn. Fans of Rachel Hauck should take a look.