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Publisher Description

"The latest offering in the Darling, Vermont series is an emotionally poignant, can’t-put-it-down, opposites-attract tearjerker. A true treasure from page one to the beautiful, touching ending. Alward’s witty dialogue drives this powerful tale, but it’s her little boy costars and her paradoxical, damaged hero and heroine that make hearts sing and rule every page of this sweet and steamy love story." - RT Bookreviews Top Pick! on Someone to Love


Ethan Gallagher is a firefighter in Darling, Vermont, who followed tradition and pledged his love on the Kissing Bridge to ensure lifelong happiness. A few years later, he’s a widower with two rambunctious boys who no longer believes in magic. But even he has to admit that free-spirited Willow Dunaway fills him with wonder…and an attraction he cannot deny.

Willow’s come back to Darling a different girl than the one who left after high school. Overcoming her past and owning her own business has made her into a strong, independent woman. Single dad Ethan appeals to her in a way she didn’t expect, even though settling down is the last thing on her mind. But after fire destroys the local food bank, the town rallies, and a fling between Ethan and Willow leads to unintended consequences. Can they find a way out of their heartbreak to make a home in each other’s hearts?

March 7
St. Martin's Press

Customer Reviews

glhince ,

Well worth the time to read, this book fits perfectly into the feel and underlying storyline

Willow grew up in Darling, and left as soon as she could. Now grown and a far different and stronger person than she was, she’s grabbed for the life she wants, and experiences it on her terms, always. With her shock of colorful hair, her own business and a carefree tackle it when they come attitude toward problems and opportunities. She’s still reeling with her own disappointments, unloved by her mother and betrayed by her first love, she’s just moving forward: responsible for just herself with no one allowed the opportunity to hurt her again.

Ethan never expected to have his life changed, after planning for a happy family and a career he loves as a firefighter. Even with the crazy hours, he was happy until his wife died, leaving him broken and alone to manage his two young and rambunctious sons, Connor and Ronan. Everyone in this little trio is hurting, and while the boys tend to grab for female companions and the softer touch, Ethan is closed off. Understandably, he’s still grieving but his grief tends to push forward in his gruff and often rude behavior. And right there at the bottom of his list is Willow: too bright, too cheerful and the boys like her just a bit too much, and she seems to return the affection.

Alward manages to twist readers in all directions: Ethan and Willow alternate between being sympathetic to frustrating in equal measures, they both show an enormous ability to put their own animosity aside to focus on the boys, and making them smile. Slowly as their time together increases largely because of the boys, they start to let their own guards down, and form a tentative friendship, and soon they cross that line to more. And then the twists start.

I loved the chances that were taken here; taking a story that started with a familiar trajectory into something wholly different, enriching the story with the grief from both Willow and Ethan, and using the boys, secondary characters and the familiar sense that we all have of being home in a known place to bring he story to a wonderful ending. Both have plenty of growing and healing to do, and overcoming the grief and trust issues that they’ve gripped tightly isn’t easy, and we see some of that back and forth as we wind to the end. Well worth the time to read, this book fits perfectly into the feel and underlying storyline of coming home to heal that threads through the small town of Darling.

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

bh313@hotmail ,

Loved it

I loved this one!! It has everything I love in a romance. Small town, close friends and family, lots of emotion, interesting H/h with a slow build romance between the two. Ethan and Willow seem to be the most unlikely people to find love in each other but they turn out to be just what the other needs. Ethan is grumpy and gruff, dealing with the loss of his wife and struggling with raising his two young sons he feels he has little to be happy about. Willow has dealt with her own sorrows in life but has chosen to find a way to bring peace, serenity and happiness to her life. Their story is full of bumps and twists and turns but in the end the road to their HEA seems clear. Definitely a recommended read.

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