I was lucky to receive a book from the author of this book for review a little while back because it put me onto a good author that I might not have found on my own. In the meantime, I’ve picked up a couple more of her books including this one because the blurbs sounded so good. I couldn’t resist the idea of a story about a marine who lost his sight in the line of duty falling in love with a single mom and her daughter who happens to have Down’s Syndrome. It was such a special heartwarming story that just reaffirmed what I love about reading romances.
It has been four years and several procedures later with the latest one coming up empty. Dan is done and chooses to end all the attempts to restore his sight. He’ll just have to cope with what is left of his life. In this embittered state, he overhears a strung out mother trying to jockey a payment plan for the heart procedure her daughter just had to go through. The conversation leaves him sympathetic to the woman’s plight, but it is what his working senses like sound when it came to her voice and smell when it came to her scent that grab his attention and attract him. It was just a passing moment- or so he thinks until little Bella finds her way down onto his beach property where he is sitting strumming his guitar. The little girl winds her fingers around his hand and in the process she winds herself around his heart.
Trish is at wits end. She’s broke and wonders how she’ll pay for Bella’s last procedure, her Gran has just died and left her with an old B&B that requires some work, her Gran’s things need to be packed up and Trish can’t seem to get enough time to work on her paintings that she hopes to sell. And where did Bella wonder off to she wonders when she suddenly realizes she is missing.
Trish finds Bella down on the beach with a stranger who seems to have become fast friends with her daughter. The first few encounters for Dan and Trish are awkward because Trish is less than friendly and it takes all Dan’s patience and friendship to win over the hurting woman. He can’t blame her when he learns her story of her ex abandoning her and Bella because Bella has Down’s Syndrome. It is when Bella’s dad sends his lawyer after Trish making noises about getting custody that Trish and Dan both learn to rely on each other and to realize their own individual strengths instead of pushing each other away because they both know Trish doesn’t plan to stick around.
The plot was a gentle romantic tale about two lost and hurting souls who are brought together by a little girl. I really found the slow building pace that had its moments of intensity particularly near the end something enjoyable. There are mild religious overtones. The romance is definitely on the sweet side with nothing beyond sexual tension present in the story.
The characters were well drawn even down to the sympathetic way a child with disabilities like Bella or a man with blindness like Dan were so much more than the things that held them back. Trish is actually the one who has just as much to work through as Dan because of the emotional abuse her ex piled on her and she had never dealt with. Oh, and the ex-husband was definitely a guy I loathed with a passion by the time all was said and done.
In the end, I sighed happily and gladly reached for the sequel wanting to enjoy more of this storyline. Those who enjoy sweet contemporary romance that has a military vet hero and an emotionally-scarred heroine should definitely give this one a try.