Darling VT #3
by Donna Alward
Published on April 4, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romance
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Veterinarian Rory Gallagher chose a different path from his brothers, both of whom became first responders in the lovely little town of Darling, Vermont. Rory's always had an affinity for animals--and the ladies. Known for his impressive track record in breaking hearts, Rory never meant to hurt anyone; he's just never been in a hurry to settle down. It's not as if he needs to pay a visit to the town's famed Kissing Bridge to magically find love. He'll know The One when he sees her. . .right?
Oaklee Ferguson is the kid sister of Rory's best friend--and, even now that she's all grown up, remains immune to the pet-doctor's charms. When she shows up at Rory's clinic late one night--devastated after hitting a stray dog with her car--Rory's so-called -bedroom eyes- are the last thing on her mind. Still, his care and kindness toward the dog, and his concern for her feelings, catches Oaklee by surprise. . .and soon the two (and rescued dog makes three!) begin to share a deep connection that neither could have ever imagined. Could it be that love has been waiting for them by the bridge all along?
The latest in the Darling, VT series, Somebody’s Baby was also probably my favorite of the three so far. In terms of the timeline, it starts around the middle of Someone to Love and does contain spoilers for the previous two books. This one follows Rory, the youngest of the Gallagher brothers, and Oaklee, the town’s social media extraordinaire, both appearing briefly in previous books so if you’ve read Somebody Like You or Someone to Love, you’ll probably recognize them.
Typically romances seem to end in marriage. It just seems to be the trend in the genre. And I think that’s why I liked this book because it didn’t. This is about two people who are attracted to each other but have that sort of history where you’ve known the other person since school and all those embarrassing moments leading to present day that go along with growing up. Neither is ready to settle down either and I like that they don’t have to. They can just be a couple and that’s enough.
There’s also the added bonus that Rory is a vet. A hot vet. Alward is speaking to my animal lover side here.
But honestly his character was real. He’s a neat freak. He’s had his heart broken but hides it for the sake of those around him (and himself). And he’s just someone you feel like you could go talk to. Oaklee was much the same in that she put on a face, appearing collected and organized to make a name for herself in the world so others take her seriously but she has her own personal struggles. I can’t count the number of times I’ve pretended to be more collected than I actually am.
Plus Somebody’s Baby includes a dog. I can’t pass up a story with a dog, especially one that finds its forever home.
Now while I found the romance believable between Oaklee and Rory, there wasn’t as much heat to it. This is definitely a slow burn which I enjoy, but usually when the story centers around more than just a romance like this one did. All that simmering chemistry didn’t amount to nearly as much as I was hoping for but that’s more of a personal preference than anything, I’d say.
I definitely enjoyed Somebody’s Baby and I think that both the main characters contributed to that, as well as the secondary ones. Especially the Gallagher family. This is the third member that has gotten some sort of happily ever after and now I’m interested to see if Alward gives the sisters theirs. Especially Hannah. She played a decently sized role in this one and I think she deserves a bit of page time in the next installment (if there will be more)!
If you haven’t, go check out the first two books in this series and I definitely recommend reading in order if you want to avoid spoilers! Plus, Laurel and Aiden in Somebody Like You are quite the pair, as are Ethan and Willow in Someone to Love. 😉