SOME WISHES DO COME TRUE 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?
Her voice kept on, soft and sure. “This is one of my favorite poses. I feel rooted and strong through my feet, but my chest and arms are open. My heart is open, too.” She met his gaze, her eyes soft and a slight smile on her lips. “I knew I was on my way to recovery when I did this in class one day, and I shifted my palms so that they faced neither up nor down, but out. I felt like I wanted to hug the whole world. And I started to heal.”
His throat tightened. She said it so calmly, so easily, but it was a very personal admission.
“I want to hug you right now,” he admitted.
“Then do it.”
Ethan hadn’t tried to be quiet as he’d climbed the stairs, but when he re-entered Willow’s apartment, the sight that greeted him stole his breath.
Willow and Ronan were in her swinging chair, and they were sound asleep.
He took the moment to study her. The pink streak was nearly invisible in her hair, tucked back into a ponytail somewhere on the back of her head. The simple style kept the hair off her face and highlighted her delicate cheekbones and the sandy color of her lashes. Her lips were full, too, not too much, but soft-looking; the kind of lips a man wouldn’t mind kissing now and again. He’d nearly done that earlier this afternoon. There was no sense in pretending otherwise. They’d been alone in that stock room and she’d looked up at him and boom. There was no other way to describe the feeling than attraction. Normal red-blooded attraction, the type any sane man would feel when faced with someone as pretty and vibrant as Willow, right?
Now she was cuddled up with his youngest son, and the sight did something to his heart. There was no denying the vision of the two of them sleeping was precious and made him sentimental. But it also highlighted the fact that Ronan didn’t have a mother to hold him close after a boo-boo and reassure him he was all right. He had aunts and grandparents, but it wasn’t the same. Nothing and no one could take the place of a mother.
RT Book Reviews TOP PICK: “The latest offering the Darling Vermont series is an emotionally poignant, can’t-put-it-down, opposites-attract tearjerker. A true treasure from page one to the beautiful, touching ending. Alward’s witty dialogue drives this powerful tale, but it’s her little boy costars and her paradoxical, damaged hero and heroine that make hearts sing and rule every page of this sweet and steamy love story.”
Publisher’s Weekly: “Alward’s charming and down-to-earth second Kissing Bridge contemporary will have readers wishing they could book a weekend getaway to picturesque and romantic Darling, Vt.”