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?
Series: Darling, VT #2 | Publisher: St. Martin's | Genre: Contemporary Romance| Source: Publisher| Rating: 1 Cups
Normally, I’m a fan of Donna Alward. Her books have small town charm and quirky characters and I normally gobble them up. So, when I spotted this one, I was excited. Sadly, it left me growly.
Here’s what’s going on. Ethan’s a widower raising two adorable little boys. He’s also a firefighter. He’s given up on happily ever afters and he’s also a bit grumpy. Willow’s a free spirit. She runs a café, is into yoga and meditation, and the total opposite of Ethan. Much to each other’s surprise, they find themselves falling for each other but one-night changes everything and now they need to figure out if they can work through their past hurts.
Okay, so I really enjoyed the start. Ethan and Willow totally had the whole opposites attract things going on. He’s surly and she’s like a ray of sunshine so I was having so much watching the two of them together and I was really rooting for them. Then I learned about the secret that Willow was keeping and nearly put down the book. Although Ethan kept me reading and more was revealed about Willow’s secret and, while I couldn’t get behind it, it made me understand her a bit better. Then Ethan decided to say/demand something and I lost all respect for him.
Honestly, I should have just put the book down then and there and walked away but I kept going hoping that he would redeem himself. Yeah, that never happened. I just can’t get behind Willow’s choice or what Ethan wanted.
What I did like about this book was the sense of family. I really enjoyed the Gallagher family and I’m actually eager to pick up the first book in this series just to see what happened with Aiden and Laurel.
Overall, I liked the beginning but it went downhill from there and given the way Ethan and Willow behaved, I just can’t believe their HEA was actually real.
Darling, VT Series
#1 Somebody Like You
#2 Someone to Love
#3 Somebody’s Baby (coming April, 2017)