Genre: Small Town Romance, Contemporary
Veterinarian Rory Gallagher chose a different path from his brothers, both of whom became first responders in the lovely little town of Darling, Vermont. Rory’s always had an affinity for animals—and the ladies. Known for his impressive track record in breaking hearts, Rory never meant to hurt anyone; he’s just never been in a hurry to settle down. It’s not as if he needs to pay a visit to the town’s famed Kissing Bridge to magically find love. He’ll know The One when he sees her. . .right?Oaklee Ferguson is the kid sister of Rory’s best friend—and, even now that she’s all grown up, remains immune to the pet-doctor’s charms. When she shows up at Rory’s clinic late one night—devastated after hitting a stray dog with her car—Rory’s so-called “bedroom eyes” are the last thing on her mind. Still, his care and kindness toward the dog, and his concern for her feelings, catches Oaklee by surprise. . .and soon the two (and rescued dog makes three!) begin to share a deep connection that neither could have ever imagined. Could it be that love has been waiting for them by the bridge all along?
I have been reading Donna Alward’s Darling, Vt. and really enjoying it but I have to say this book may have been my favourite. Oaklee and Rory’s story was one I could relate to. These two couldn’t deny their chemistry and their connection but they had both been burned and were scared to put their heart’s at risk again. I mean, I enjoyed the past two books but this one really got to me and I loved it. It may have helped there was a dog involved as well. Everyone loves a dog.
Like I said, this book is about two people scared to risk themselves for love. Oaklee was Rory’s best friend’s sister growing up so she was off limits. Years later, they definitely have chemistry and they are both interested, but they don’t want to risk their friendship or themselves. We can all relate to that. Add into the fact that they’ve both experience some pretty brutal heartbreak and you can see why they’re both hesitant to start something up.
I think this book worked because of the hesitancy of both characters. Too often in romance you have two characters getting involved with one another when they have baggage they need to sort and they end up hurting the other because of it. This time you have Rory and Oaklee both trying to give the other distance to not risk a friendship and to avoid causing the other pain. Sure, that approach also had flaws but it’s nice to see folks giving a little consideration to one another before venturing into a relationship they are definitely not ready for.
Basically, I liked the fact that the characters felt real. Oaklee is a woman who has pushed many a person away after her heartbreak at college and is now trying to exude a confidence and togetherness she doesn’t really possess as she tries to stay in control of her career. Rory, on the other hand, has been burned by love so goes on numerous dates which never really get past date two to try and make it seem like he doesn’t care about settling down. They are both people keeping up appearances so it was nice to see them allow a bit of chaos into their lives in the pursuit of love. Add in a poor dog that needs a home to recuperate in and I was totally sold on this romance.
Do you find yourself being drawn to calmer romances that are more like real life at times? Or do you prefer the escapism of the crazy sauce romances out there?