Someone to Loveby Donna Alward
Series: Darling VT #2
Published on March 7, 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book Depository / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
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?
Ack, these romances are killing me, they’re so fluffy and fun. Alward has really turned me around when it comes to contemporary romances. I can’t get enough of the small town life of Darling, VT!
Someone to Love is the second installment in this new series, following Somebody Like You and picking up not long after. For those wondering, I do recommend reading these books in order. While you can probably get away with not, you get so much more out of the story since they build on each other and feature crossover characters.
This time around features Willow, a cafe owner and someone many would call a hippie. In contrast, Ethan is a single dad and firefighter who craves structure and order. They’ve both had it rough even though Willow’s hardships might not appear on the surface. Where Willow has found a sort of peace in this “new” her, Ethan is stressed, bitter, and distant with everyone. It definitely made for some tension but also didn’t quite work for me as a reader.
With all the emotional baggage that each of them is coming in with, I had hoped to see them either overcome some of that or learn to deal with it in respect to the other person now in their life. Instead, it was a lot of back-and-forth with the romance, the chemistry even more sporadic, and all the happy ending rushed and, frankly, not as satisfying as I had hoped.
I think one of my issues also fell with Willow. I just…well I didn’t really like her character all that much. She appears in Somebody Like You as a secondary character and that was fine, but getting her own book made me realize that she annoyed me a bit. Her life was defined by her yoga, her work, and her interactions with Ethan (at least once the book started). She had a lot of backstory that comes out over time but only to the reader. If she had revealed it to Ethan sooner the whole ending would have likely been different.
Ethan, on the other hand, I felt for. He lost his wife and has to raise two boys on his own while working a job that could cause him serious harm at any time, which forces him to rely far more than he wants to on his family. This whole book is him healing and starting to get over his wife with Willow, who is the complete opposite of her, but I never felt the romance was really warranted between these two.
Wow, that’s it. Summary: I just didn’t like the romance. In a romance. That’s a bit of a problem.
But I liked the characters well enough on their own. I enjoyed the first book in the series and look forward to the next one, Somebody’s Baby. And I love the writing, the setting of the small town, and the general atmosphere of the story. The romance just lacked something for me but it was a light, easy read, and I’d still recommend this series to fans of the genre!