on March 7th 2017
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SOME WISHES DO COME TRUE
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?
For my latest series, I built a whole new town in Vermont. I wrote western romance for a long time, and I enjoyed them. I grew up on a farm, and then lived in Alberta for over a decade, and the setting just seemed to fit. Plus, I loved both the prairie and the Rockies, which were never really too far away from my settings (and home!) But after a while, I wanted to do something fresh and new. I actually grew up on Canada’s East Coast, and moved back here in 2008, so when I started writing bigger contemporary romances, I went to the water. The one thing I missed when I was out west was the ocean, so my first series with St. Martin’s Press was set in my fictional town of Jewell Cove.
For the next series, I chose to go inland. There’s still water – lakes and rivers instead of the ocean – and that small-town, close-knit feel that I love.
I think for most writers, each of their towns has something that’s central to its identity. In Jewell Cove, it’s the wharf and waterfront. In Darling, it’s the Kissing Bridge. Quite often this central thing will be a unifying element in some way, and so each of the characters has some experience with the Kissing Bridge. Here’s what I initially put in my proposal to my editor, nearly two years ago when we were coming up with the concept:
Local legend has it that when a couple professes their love and seals it with a kiss on the bridge, their love will last forever. There are several versions of the origins of the legend, and everyone seems to have their favorite – the different versions just add to the romance and mystery of it all. But no matter the source, the town has capitalized on this sweet but simple concept, and couples from all over New England and even the world come to stand on the stone bridge and pledge their love to each other.
Laurel and Aiden, the main characters in Somebody Like You (February), had their picture taken on the bridge when they were five, and the town has used that photo for tourism purposes ever since. Now Laurel is back home after her divorce, and Aiden – who broke her heart in high school – is as sexy as ever. The town wants them to recreate the photo for a new campaign, but Laurel’s response is a big hell no…until she and Aiden discover they still have feelings for each other…
In Someone to Love, (March) Ethan no longer believes in the magic of the Kissing Bridge. He kissed his wife there, and instead of a love that lasted forever, she died, leaving him with two small sons to raise.
And in Somebody’s Baby (April), neither Oaklee or Rory really believe in love… until they’re in it. And the legend is just silliness and a tourism ploy – something Oaklee deals with in her job as social media manager for the Town. Or is it? There’s a scene near the end of the book that might just be a little magical after all.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Someone to Love is the second book in the Darling, VT series by Donna Alward. I had the pleasure of reading the first book, but you don’t have to have read it in order to fully enjoy this book.
Willow is the owner of the local health food cafe in Darling. Although she has had a tough life she has learned to love herself and be a more centred person thanks to her love of yoga and treating her body correctly, eating healthy food etc. She’s been hurt by men, and by her mother and she’s learned to not trust in love because it can only bring you pain. She’s content with her life as it is, with her job, and with the friends she has. One of those friends is the sister of Ethan Gallagher. Another is his sister in law. Willow gets her first proper introduction to him when she is invited by them to one of the Gallagher family gettogethers.
Ethan is a firefighter. He’s a single dad of two young boys, and he is still in the grieving process after losing his wife. He knows it’s time he moved on, but he still hurts so much. He spends his time keeping busy with his job and his children. He is lucky to have a supportive family who help with childcare, though he does feel guilty at how often he has to rely on them.
When Ethan and Willow sit next to each other at the family gathering, despite acknowledging, if only to themselves, that there is an attraction between them, they don’t get on. Ethan is a grump, and seems to run down Willow’s lifestyle. Whereas she is all that is sweet and light and hates knowing that Ethan seems to look down on her. It’s definitely not a good start to any sort of friendship with her.
But as time goes on, through various occasions when they are brought together, they both start to learn more about each other, and the attraction grows. The problem is that both of them are scared to let themselves feel again, they don’t want to trust, they don’t want to love and lose somebody. They both have a lot of baggage. Can they learn to share the load, learn that it’s OK to have feelings for another person, to learn to trust again?
This was such an emotional, passionately written story. Learning what Willow and Ethan have been through, especially Willow’s past, brought a tear to my eyes. Of course there were plenty of light hearted moments, and some romantic moments too, this book definitely wasn’t a depressing one. It was just very deep in places. I absolutely adored the relationship that formed between Willow and Ethan’s sons, a lot of sweet moments there. Then there was the knowledge the author shared of all the wonderful sounding healthy foods at the cafe, and the various yoga moves, and deep breathing practising that Willow does. It kind of got me wanting to look into yoga by the time I was finished the book.
I loved the first book in the series, and I equally enjoyed this one. It’s a book that makes you think, is informative, and makes you run the whole gamut of emotions. I cannot wait for the next book in the series if the first two are any indication of what it will be like.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers’ Copy of this book.