A new small-town romance series from Donna Alward is on the blog today, please read on for a review, an excerpt and be sure to enter the giveaway for one Paperback copy of the title. But first, let’s visit Darling, VT
Somebody Like You
Here we’ve got the ‘poster kids’ for Darling: caught in photograph on a picturesque bridge when they were very little: how could anyone resist the childish innocence of that kiss? But, as years passed and our little couple grew into teens, a bad choice turned the friendship now love match to dust.
Returning home to Darling after a very lascivious divorce, Laurel has hopes that her return will provide the respite she needs, and allow her business, The Ladybug Garden Center to thrive. Still reeling, and emotionally in the same place she was when first leaving, Laurel’s self-confidence and esteem have taken blows. The very LAST person she needs to see is Aiden, now the town’s police officer, and first man to break her heart.
Aiden has never really left town, and he’s never forgotten the HUGE mistake he made with Laurel when they were teens. Since she moved, he never had the chance to make the amends he knows are far overdue, and perhaps he can get her to forgive his stupidity, to even become friends again.
Oh but Laurel is so NOT ready or willing to forgive and forget: she’s put her prickles up, and is quick to take offence, believing that everyone is whispering about her lacking ‘something’, and she is still working through her own issues. She’s not interested in love or a relationship, and even Aiden has an uphill climb because they were the best of friends almost from toddler-hood, so his betrayal in high school was particularly wounding.
Yet Aiden is not willing to give up: he freely recognizes the attraction that sparks between them, but rather than want JUST that, he wants Laurel to have a safe space with someone who understands and empathizes with her hurt, not just whispers about it. And, he’s super guilty, wanting her to understand that the teen version of him was the idiot – not that she was, or ever could be, lacking in any way for him.
Told in dual POV, we see Laurel’s prickles and Aiden’s true remorse, and can recognize the overwhelming feeling of “more to come” long before Laurel sees it. She’s understandably guarded, perhaps moving to self-pity more than is good for her, but underneath it all, the return home is what she needed. Aiden’s struggle with relationships seem to be more based in the what if scenarios he’s had since hurting Laurel years ago, and while he’s been hurt, his real desire and intention to make things right are wonderful. Beautifully written, with descriptions that bring the town to life, secondary characters that add depth and a wonderful romance that develops gradually as the couple comes to see that sometimes what you need was at home all along.
Title: Somebody Like You
Author: Donna Alward
Series: Darling VT #1
Also in this series: Someone to Love
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Small Town
Published by: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Published on: 7 February 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
A kiss to last a lifetime
Aiden Gallagher was only five years old when he appeared in a photograph on the Kissing Bridge. The town of Darling, Vermont, has used Aiden’s image on the famed bridge—local legend has it that a kiss there results in everlasting love—as part of its tourism campaign. Now, twenty years later, Aiden is asked to recreate the moment with the woman he once kissed: Laurel Stone.
Recently divorced, there’s nothing Laurel wants less than to pretend happily-ever-after with Aiden. As teenagers, their romance was no fairy tale—and Laurel has never quite forgiven Aiden for breaking her heart. But now that she is back in her hometown, and keeps bumping into police officer Aiden, Laurel can’t deny that there’s still a strong flicker between her and her old flame. Could it be that the Kissing Bridge is working its magic on Laurel and Aiden—and that all true love ever needed was a second chance?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Read an Excerpt
Enter the Giveaway
If you’d like to read the prequel to the Darling, VT series, visit Donna’s Website, and sign up for her newsletter. A box will pop up when go visit the site inviting you sign up. The link to the download is in the confirmation e-mail you’ll receive when you sign up.