Ah, the sweet longing, the angst, the melancholy heartache of a tale of unrequited love! Whenever I catch scent of such a story, I go a little weak at the knees, but having one of my favourite authors writing one was downright impossible to resist. We return to Lark Cove with the heartwarming tale of a timid young woman who has spent her entire adult life secretly crushing on a man who’s never even noticed her, and when he finally does, he doesn’t remember it the next day. Set against the romantic backdrop of small-town Montana, this tender romance left me with the proverbial hearts in my eyes, knowing I’d be missing these characters once their story was over. If you want slow burn romance, if you want flawless writing, if you want a shy girl falling for the local playboy, but then watch him chase her, pick up this book without delay.
“Sorry,” he whispered, not letting go of my face. “I didn’t mean—”
“Don’t,” I breathed. “Don’t be sorry.”
Because I’d never be sorry for that kiss. My first kiss.
There has only ever been one man who’s made Willa Doon’s heart race and cheeks flush since she was a teenager, and even though he has spent the past decade calling her the wrong name and never giving her a second glance, her schoolgirl crush on him endured it all. Born and raised in Lark Cove, to parents who loved her unconditionally and only ever encouraged her dreams, Willa grew up always knowing the true meaning of family. Throughout her young life, she watched her parents dote on one another and support each other through thick and thin, all the while, learning what true love looked like, and dreaming of finding such a love for herself one day. So when, after years of pining for an unattainable man, he suddenly not only notices her, but also steals her first kiss, Willa lets her romantic heart run wild with hope. Only to discover the very next day that he has no memory of it whatsoever.
He’d forgotten the best night of my life. The best first kiss in the history of first kisses. He’d forgotten me.
Jackson Page has never had an emotional anchor in his life. Abandoned by his mother as a kid and then bouncing from one foster home to another throughout his childhood, he grew up never having a place to truly call home. Now in his early thirties, he’s found contentment in living a simple, drama-free life in the quiet, lakeside town of Lark Cove, doing a job he loves and keeping his inner circle as small as possible. His traumatic past conditioned him never to see himself as a husband or a father one day, preferring strings-free hookups over love and commitment, and rarely taking the same woman to bed twice. His ladies’ man ways come to a screeching halt when a beautiful blonde suddenly invades his every thought, first as a dreamlike memory, and then as an unexpected, wild infatuation.
I’d known Willa for years. I’d seen her face. Yet still, I’d missed her. How had I missed her?
But by the time Jackson finally takes notice of Willa, her heart has grown weary of one too many crushed hopes, and has finally decided to let him go.
“You missed your chance,” I whispered. “I have to let you go.”
A delightful case of ‘unrequited love switcheroo’ ensues, where Jackson begins to pursue the woman who’s been trying to get his attention for nearly a decade, and every second of it is absolutely delicious. We watch him court her, seduce her, claim her in every possible way, and somewhere along the way, a young man who never believed he was anything special, or that he could ever make someone’s dreams come true, begins to hope.
Jackson didn’t have a constant. He didn’t have a person dedicated to always being by his side, someone who would choose him first. He didn’t have a champion. Until now.
Told in Devney Perry’s beautiful, vibrant prose, this is a story about family bonds, true love, and knowing when to let go and when to hang on as tight as you can. It shows that some families are bonded by love, not blood, and Perry excels at crafting characters whose own emotional growth brings the reader to the heart of that message. A truly wonderful read through and through.
“You deserve more than me.”
“There is no more than you.”