Someone to Love Book Review *Donna Alward*
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?
I really wished I could say I enjoyed Someone to Love (Darling, VT #2) by Donna Alward. This book has everything I like in a Contemporary romance from a small town, a quirky, independent loveable heroine, and a cast of friends and family members who help the hero and the heroine fall in love. The big problem with Someone to Love is that the hero is definitely not someone to love, including the heroine who should have walked away from him (and kept on walking) the moment he was standoffish and rude to her because he doesn’t like how she dresses or her free spirit attitude, including owning a business that sells healthy and vegan type food. The hero continues his disdain and nose in the air, I’m better than you attitude even though the heroine is great with his two younger sons, who still miss their dead mother, and a father who is working all the time that he uses his family to watch his sons constantly. For some reason he’s very suspicious of the heroine’s sunny demeanor and her love of healthy snacks and yoga. Because the hero is a class A jerk, the chemistry falls way flat for him and the heroine, meaning I didn’t believe their HEA, which then means this romance fails.
Willow lives in the small town of Darling, and owns and operates a unique bakery/café that sells organic and health type foods. Even though she works herself to the bone, she has a very positive outlook on life, although her past was full of darkness. Willow may or may have not tried to commit suicide, but it’s vague, which may leave it up to the reader to decide if Willow did try, or just thought about it. Ethan is a single dad with two sons under the age of five. Ever since he’s wife died, he’s in a bad place emotionally. But he has a lot of support from his big family and parents. He and Willow cross paths at the park, and when they meet he is not the friendliest person to her. This continues many more times when they see one another, which for Ethan becomes worse when he realizes he’s attracted to Willow who is the total opposite of his dead wife.
Willow tries to befriend Ethan and his sons, even going out of her way to babysit the boys and play with them. Even though Willow does this and establishes a big trust with Ethan’s sons, Ethan is still not that welcoming. But then when Willow tells him about her past and how darkness almost ended her life, he changes his mind about her. You can guess where this relationship is headed.
I really liked Willow because she had a unique personality, but I just couldn’t get behind her attraction to Ethan who is better off alone, taking care of his sons and trying to heal over the loss of his wife. The romance between these two is simply not there. The attraction is forced and uncomfortable to read because of Ethan. Willow deserves someone better than Ethan, who I can see getting into major arguments or fights with Willow in the future just because he didn’t get his way.
Someone to Love is a pass because of the unbelievable HEA between a couple that are better off alone or finding love with someone else. (St. Martin’s Press)
Final Grade: C-