Just two hours before his wedding, Jack Summers realizes that he's about to make a huge mistake. An even bigger mistake is telling his fiance exactly that. Thinking that there must be another woman, she backs him into a corner and demands an answer. The truth seems to go in one ear and out the other. What is the man supposed to do? A little white lie won't hurt, right?
When her boss announced his upcoming nuptials, Melanie Marshall stepped in as manager of Greyfriar House Hotel
. Suddenly her boss is back sans wife in tow. As if she doesn't have enough to worry about, like losing her job, her life has just gotten more complicated. The scorned ex-fiance shows up and drops a bombshell. Melanie never saw that one coming.
Five years ago, Melanie Marshall's husband committed an unforgivable crime, leaving her and their son Ryan to deal with the aftermath. Shunned by the people in the village, as well as her own parents, she took her son and fled. She avoids dating at all costs. She finds men untrustworthy, but she also knows that any man would take off once they found out the secret she's been keeping. Now Jack is looking at her differently, as if seeing her for the first time. He comes to care for her and Ryan. As their relationship grows, she knows she owes him the whole truth, even if that means losing him. Jack only hopes that their connection is strong enough to keep her from running again.
This story was a surprising blend of charm, humor and angst. Melanie struggles with the demons of her past, and Jack has the patience of a saint where she is concerned, but he's not afraid of pointing out when her self preservation hurts his feelings. Her control starts to slip when Ryan becomes attached to Jack, and she realizes that he can connect with her son in a way she never can. Her fears are not completely unfounded. Reading about how judgment had been passed on her and seeing her as guilty by association was really sad. What made me angry was the fact that those grown ups didn't think about what their vitriol might do to an innocent little boy. Jack and Melanie's intimate relationship is hinted at, but this story didn't need anything graphic to convey their turn from friends to lovers. When Melanie has a setback, Jack's mother and sister ride in to the rescue. I think the moral(s) of the story would be not to pass judgment without thinking about the consequences, running from problems doesn't solve them, anything good is worth waiting for, and if you really love someone, you'd set them free if you had to.
3.5 Stars rounded up to 4.Thank you Carina Press via NetGalley for the ARC.Disclaimer: A review in exchange for the ARC was not promised. The views and opinions expressed in this review are my own, and in no way represent the views or opinions of the publisher/distributor.