The New York Times bestselling author returns to Mystic Creek, Oregon, with a story about finding an unforgettable love just around the corner. . . .
When a favorite customer on his delivery route needs a favor, Tanner Richards agrees to help without a second thought. The last thing he expects is to face off against the man’s spitfire granddaughter.
Crystal Malloy is near her breaking point. Her beloved grandfather constantly skirts the rules at the retirement center where he’s recovering from surgery. She’s caring for his escape artist dog, even if it means abandoning her salon customers, and she has no time for a romantic attraction to the handsome new stranger.
After Tanner’s reassigned to Mystic Creek, Crystal can no longer ignore how much she misjudged the man’s good intentions. She has known too much sorrow to easily open her heart, but she can’t deny that Tanner and his children could gift her with a happiness beyond compare—if only she can forgive herself for the past and accept that she’s deserving of such a love.
Anderson's fourth Mystic Creek contemporary makes good use of its lengthy word count as it explores the familial connection and separate love lives of Crystal Malloy and her grandfather, Tuck Malloy. Tuck's friend Tanner Richards, a handsome single father, sneaks beer and tobacco into Tuck's assisted living community at Tuck's request, but the cantankerous administrator catches him and threatens to kick Tuck out. Under duress, Crystal reluctantly files a complaint against Tanner with the courier company he works for, but he quickly forgives the apologetic Crystal after she stands up for Tuck at the center. Tuck, who's only at the facility while he recovers from an injury, is eager to break free of the "prison," with its bad food and nosy staff, but when he meets regal, down-to-earth, and beautiful Essie Childers, a fellow resident, his opinion of the place changes. Crystal believes she's unworthy of love, but Tanner fights for a future with her. Meanwhile, Essie's greedy son threatens her newfound happiness with Tuck, but Essie's a formidable opponent to his schemes. Delightful characters (including Tuck's intelligent dog, Rip) and amusing dialogue will make readers anxious to revisit charming Mystic Creek, Ore.
Emotional and endearing
This wonderful addition to the Mystic Creek, Oregon series can definitely be read as a stand alone. It is warm, exciting, emotional, fun, and very thoughtful. I took my time reading it, as I love the manner in which this author writes. Even though many things are happening, it flows without getting confusing or overburdensome. This is Crystal and Tanner’s story, but other characters play important roles as well. The energetic, sneaky, snarky, terror of a blue heeler dog, appropriately named Rip, turns out to be a very protective and loyal blessing to those he loves and trusts. Crystal is determined not to trust herself ever again to any kind of everlasting relationship for reasons that go back to when she was 11. Tanner is a widower with two children, Michael (11 years old) and Tori (8 years old). He has been a true friend of Crystal’s grandfather, Tuck, both having lived in Crystal Falls until Tuck had to move to Mystic Creek. Tuck is a loving grandfather to Crystal who is full of wisdom from life lessons learned, even though he finds himself disobeying the rules from time to time. When Tanner enables his friend into even more trouble at the assisted living center where Tuck lives, all havoc breaks out due to the controlling, intolerant, antics of Patricia, the administrator of the facility. Essie is a strong, willful, powerful, yet open-minded lady who won’t take anything from anyone. All, excluding Patricia, are heroes to me. I felt warm inside after reading this heartfelt book and, as always, I look forward to the next book Catherine writes.