Genre: contemporary romance
Welcome to the small rustic town of Snowberry Creek....
As Nick Jenkins travels from the war zones of Afghanistan to his comrade's hometown, the kinds of wounds he carries with him have little to do with the shrapnel damage to his arm. Burdened with the guilt of failing to save his friend Spence, Nick is nonetheless determined to find a home for the dog that had been Spence's constant companion.
Callie Redding, Spence's childhood best friend, was shocked to learn he left her his old Victorian home. She's even more surprised when one of his war buddies shows up with a dog at his side—and a heavy weight on his shoulders. As a tribute to their friend's life, Nick agrees to help Callie turn her inheritance into a welcoming bed-and-breakfast for the town of Snowberry Creek.
But as they work through their grief together, they also share something far more precious—the belief that love is worth fighting for....
Fighting in Afghanistan, Nick’s team was ambushed and cut of from the rest of the troops. When both his friends needed his help getting back to safety, he could safe only one. Spence was unconscious, but alive, and Leif needed a medic badly as he was bleeding severely from his foot. And so Nick carried Leif to safety, but before he and the rest of the team could go back for Spence, there was another explosion. The only thing they found, were his blood dogtags.
Months later, Nick is still guild ridden. Why couldn’t he safe both his friends? Living as a civilian while he waits for his arm to heal is not easy. Memories of Afghanistan are coming upon him at the slightest provocation. And so he decides to leave his well meaning parents´ home who just want their son back the way he was before he went to the war, and sets out on a road trip to Snowberry Creek. To bring Spence’s woman the dog they saved in Afghanistan.
Callie is still mourning her old friend Spence too, she still can´t believe he left her his house and everything. Of course, there was no love lost between Spence and his only living relative, his drunkard of an uncle and his worthless nephew. So now she is living in her parents´ house in Snowberry Creek, while they are on an extended stay in Florida, and trying to decide what to do with her life. She is tired of her job, living out of a suitcase, travelling all over the country. But she doesn't know if she is ready to settle down either. She could turn Spence’s big house into a bed and breakfast, the town is getting more tourists every month so it would be viable, but all the rules and regulations, and all the things that need to be done about the maintenance of the house, it is mind-boggling.
And now this stranger shows up, a stranger she knew out of Spence’s stories. He is clearly in need of a place to stay, and so she offers him Spence’s house to stay the night in. Nick doesn´t want to accept charity, especially not from Callie, and so he offers to work in the yard in exchange for room and board, and they struck a deal. A day quickly turns into a week, and Nick doesn´t want to leave. But this is Callie, Spence´s woman, and not meant for him…
But the attraction between them is sparking, and Callie gets real tired of Nick kissing her and then pushing her away again. He will have to make up his mind, just friends, or is there perhaps a future for them?
And why did he invite Leif to join him? Just to help him build a gazebo in Spence´s memory? Or to act as a chaperone?
I enjoyed this slow small town romance. Nick is a really wounded hero, in body and in his soul. He has it in his mind that Callie is Spence's woman, and not meant for him. I wanted to smack him for that, is Callie destined to stay alone forever, just because Spence wanted to build a life with her after his tour of duty has ended? He was strong though, and tried to explain to Callie when his memories overtook him. Like how he just had to walk the perimeter between their houses every night, make sure she was safe.
And he wanted to find out who was stealing out of Spence´s house… But Callie got really mad at him for keeping secrets from her. After all, it is her house. And it was not his job to do that, they had a very capable sheriff for that.
I enjoyed the humor that Leif brought to the story, but he also had the opinion that Nick should stay away from Callie. Men!
Callie did not accept much from Nick, she wanted the truth, about his thoughts and his feelings, or she would move on. She thought of Spence as her best friend, not a potential lover, they had known each other for ever.
I did like how they worked on the house and plans together, and how the romance builds with little things. Nick was accepted by the townspeople and the sheriff pretty quickly, and I do hope that Leif will fall for Collie’s friend, who runs the local bakery they get those fantastic pastries from each day.
A great start in a new series for Alexis Morgan. So far I have only read and loved her paranormal romances. A bit slow at times, and I really wanted to slap Nick a few times, but overall, an enjoyable read. With a realistic view (in my opinion) of the horrors the soldiers face in Afghanistan.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian