I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Someone to Love (Darling, VT #2) by Donna Alward
Series: Darling, VT #2
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on March 7th 2017
FINAL DECISION: The story of two damaged people who are survivors of some of life’s tragedies, this book dwells not on the sadness of their lives but how they can move forward to find joy in one another.
THE STORY: Ethan Gallagher is a widower with two young boys. Having met, married and lost the love of his life, Ethan is dwelling in his grief and has no intention of falling in love again. When he meets his sister-in-law’s best friend, the two rub each other the wrong way. Willow Dunaway is too much of free spirit according to Ethan. From her dyed hair to her tattoo, Willow is not serious according to Ethan. When his sons take to Willow, however, Ethan finds himself spending more time for Willow and finding out that that former high achieving high schooler has rebuilt herself after her life was shattered. Willow is herself afraid of falling in love, but this firefighter and his two adorable children call to her heart.
OPINION: Can I admit to really liking stories where the main characters get each other completely wrong in in the beginning? And boy do Ethan and Willow see one another in a warped way in the beginning. Assumptions, stereotypes and just plain misunderstandings abound in the beginning. The two end up fighting and arguing and just purely want to dislike one another. Because, of course, they are perfect for one another but neither wants that to be true.
Ethan is a good and honest man who loved his deceased wife tremendously. The two made promises on the infamous kissing bridge (which promises love for life), but the lifetime the two expected ended far too soon. Buried in grief since her death, Ethan finds himself being pulled, unwillingly, into life again. Willow touches something in Ethan that he believed broken and he finds himself resenting it. He doesn’t want to feel again and he certainly doesn’t want to love. But despite himself, he begins to fall for Willow.
Willow, herself, is closed off to the possibility of love. A youthful mistake almost destroyed her and caused her to reinvent herself. Her safe and comfortable self discounts the possibility of truly opening herself up to weakness and love. It is much easier for her to keep her relationships constrained and herself in control. Quirky and unique, Willow demonstrates the dangers of assuming you know someone’s story based on appearances or superficial knowledge. As Ethan (and we the readers) learn, Willow has deep reasons for being who she appears to be on the outside. Ethan and his sons begin to break down the protective walls that Willow has built and he thus challenges her control.
The romance between Willow and Ethan is so powerful because these two seem to have no chance as the book begins. They learn that they are more similar than they expected and liking one another turns to a powerful sexual attraction and eventually they have to make the leap of faith to trust love. Even if there are no guarantees.
WORTH MENTIONING: For fans of the first book SOMEONE LIKE YOU, there is a little special surprise for you too!
CONNECTED BOOKS: SOMEONE TO LOVE is the second book in the Darling, VT series. The romance in this book is independent of the other book in the series, but the main characters of this book do appear in the prior book. This book can be read as a standalone.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.