Series: Summer Sisters (Book 2)
Hiring Patrick Shaughnessy to landscape her new inn was strictly a
business arrangement. Until April Ross got to know the war-scarred
single father...and his irrepressible little girl. Patrick made it clear
he wasn't looking for romance. Neither was April. But could she make
him see that some risks were worth taking?
The lively, widowed blonde might be the most tempting woman Patrick had
ever known, but the returning vet knew a happy ending wasn't in the
cards. Still, that was before April started working her magic on his
daughter...and on him. Maybe this Christmas was a time for new
beginnings-if Patrick had the courage to go with the powerful feelings
April had awakened in him....
Fantastic book, definitely my favorite of the three. April is just about ready to open the inn, but it desperately needs to be landscaped first. Patrick's family business is recommended to her as being the best. She is startled at first by his scars, but immediately apologizes for her reaction. There is an immediate connection between the two, but both have things they need to overcome before they can reach their happy ending.
I really liked both April and Patrick. April had had a challenging childhood with parents who were always reaching for the next big thing. As a result she found herself working as a teenager and young adult to help the family. The best part of her childhood were her summers with her cousins at her grandmother's house. The three of them inherited the house when their grandmother died. April decided to buy the others out and turn the house back into an inn, with her cousins helping out. With the death of her husband, April has plenty of capital to make her dream come true. Her strong reaction to Patrick is unexpected, but once they over come their initial meeting both admit the connection. She's not looking for anything permanent right now but is interested in pursuing what they feel. I loved April's open giving nature. She sees past Patrick's scars to the man beneath, who is trying to be the father his daughter needs. There are some fun parts as April works with her cousins and gets to know Patrick's family. There are some incredibly emotional parts where she shares her secrets with her cousins and with Patrick. I loved seeing the way she has gotten to the point where she isn't afraid to go after what she wants, but is also willing to give it up if she thinks it's best for the other person.
Patrick was dealing with a lot in his life. He had been badly wounded overseas, with months of physical and emotional rehab after that. The love of his family and his daughter is what kept him going. After his wife left them because she was unable to deal with it he had pretty well accepted that it would be just him and Lili. He was surprised by his attraction to April, but had no intention of getting involved. His wife's desertion had done a real number on their daughter and he wasn't going to allow anyone to get close enough to do it again. However, the attraction between them was too strong and April was too determined, so they started spending what time they could together. But Patrick insisted on keeping Lili out of it. This caused a deepening stress in their relationship until April finally called a halt, seeing what Patrick couldn't - that his fears were making things worse. I loved the way that everyone tried to explain things to him, but that it was Lili that finally broke through his walls.
There was so much love apparent in this book as well as the ways it was shown. There was the support that April and her cousins gave each other and the ways they cut through the crap to make their points. There was the love that Patrick's family had for each other and the way they all pulled together to help him. The love that Patrick and April had for each other that made it possible for them to provide the healing that the other needed was incredibly emotional.
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