For as long as she can remember, Lucy Dolan has been jotting down her hopes on slips of paper and saving them in a pickle jar—her jar of dreams. It was the first thing she saved when the beloved family diner went up in flames, and it’s safely buckled in her beat-up minivan when she lands in Taft, Indiana, to start over. She rents a room and goes into business with her landlady, but then Gert’s nephew comes charging in to “rescue” his aunt.
Boone Brennan will be damned if he’ll let Lucy take advantage of Aunt Gert, who raised him and his sister. Believing that she’s just passing through, he’s deeply suspicious of her—despite the sparks that fly between them.
Just as Boone and Lucy are starting to open up to each other, a series of fires throws Lucy under suspicion. Boone wants to trust her and his feelings, but with the whole town against her, will he stay by her side? Or will Lucy move on and find another place to make her dreams come true?
This was a very well done story with a long build-up between the main pair and a definitely understandable hesitancy from both of them to jump in to any relationship. I’m looking forward to more from this author and hopefully see the other hinted at pairing find their own HEA.
Boone is still living in a world of regrets and what-ifs. He gets word from his sister that something hinky is going on with his aunt that raised him so goes to his old hometown to get to the bottom of things and put a stop to whatever it is that is going on. What he ends up finding is a new chance at life and a chance to get back almost everything that he has lost in the last few years. He is confronted by feelings for Lucy and also made to confront the ghosts of his past in the form of his former best friend. He learns a lot about himself and what is truly important during the course of this book and at times it made me sniffle but mainly it made me happy to see someone rejoin the true world of the living. He gains so much from this time in Taft and it isn’t just the new love he finds with Lucy. It is so much more than that which makes it so very heartwarming to read.
Lucy is a lost soul who ends up being rescued by her time in Taft. She finds a home and family she thought she would never find again but also finds redemption and release there. She had to watch her father slip away bit by bit to the horrible monster that is Alzheimers. I felt that the way the author handled telling us about her dad and the horrific way he died was beautifully done with the right amount of realism. She fights her growing feelings for Boone and doesn’t want to let herself fall for someone that isn’t going to be there long-term. She’s also tormented by his sister but as we work through the story things take a turn between the two of them and a friendship does develop. This is a woman who has not had a traditional family and seeing her soak up the love and attention from both Boone and Aunt Gert was fun to see. Her willingness to believe the worst of herself was hard to see but I understood why she believed what she did even though no-one else did. She stands up for herself and knows her weakness is she is a people-pleaser even to the detriment of her own self worth. She’s not stupid nor is she a pushover but you will want her to get all the happiness in the world.
This is a sweet story with a bit of heat although not much. I loved watching the gradual acceptance and love that builds between Boone and Lucy even with the immediate attraction. This is a believable love story that will have you cheering for both of them while also hoping we get a story of the sister and best friend…. Hint Hint.
Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.