Lainey Adams rescues four year old Abbie Mitchell from a kidnapping attempt. As a reward, Abbie’s wealthy grandfather, Alfred Mitchell, wants to make Lainey’s dream of a large day care center come true. Abbie’s father, sexy single-dad Derek Mitchell, has learned the hard way to never trust a beautiful woman. Derek is a smart businessman who has become a workaholic and Alfred throws Lainey right in his path, hoping to teach Derek what is most important in his life.
Ms. Fasano has a talent for telling stories, and I swear she uses magic. This story hits the ground running with a kidnapping attempt on the beach of a four year-old girl who has gotten away from her grandfather. This author has a way to capture her characters and make them real people and puts them into situations they must work through, and she does it in a totally believable way. Lainey is a smart woman and stays true to her character no matter what it costs. Regardless of what happens, she keeps her integrity.
Derek is taken with Lainey, but because of his pride he has some issues to work through. He has a hard edge because of his history with Abbie’s mother, and the tension was almost unbearable for me. He is a smart man and has a big heart, but I was afraid the odds were too big to get past all of his issues. I was on an emotional rollercoaster. Perhaps I am just a little emotionally vulnerable right now, but I was so afraid I was not going to get my Happily Ever After in this story.
One huge risk the author took in this story was Victor. He was a peripheral character that played a big part and all we know about him is what is conveyed to Lainey through another character. Although that other character has a shady history, Lainey trusted her and I think this is where my anxiety was the worst. I don’t think it would have lessened my anxiety of the situation if Victor had been more fully developed though.
One of the delights in this story are the kids, Lainey’s son, Brian, and Derek’s daughter, Abbie, were perfectly written. I love the way they interacted with the adults in this story. How the author conveys the interactions of her characters through their actions and dialogue is plain magic. Donna Fasano has yet to disappoint me; this is an intelligent heartwarming story.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **