Publication Date: August 10, 2021
Genre: Holiday Contemporary Romance
A woman looking for a new lease on life moves to Arizona where she rents a guest house on a gorgeous property with a mysterious owner—a man who teaches her about resilience, courage, and ultimately true love, in this funny, bighearted novel about hope and healing from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay.
Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She’s not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal… from her ex-husband. When she’s offered her dream job as creative director at a cutting-edge graphic design studio in Phoenix, she jumps at the opportunity to start over.
When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle is instantly intrigued by her anonymous landlord. Based on the cranky, handwritten notes Nick Daire leaves her, she assumes he is an old, rich curmudgeon. Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets Nick and discovers that he’s her age and uses a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there’s no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home.
Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.
I loved this romance. A quick summer read that had it all for me. Annabelle was so easy to like, with her quirky attitude, and moxie. Surprisingly, Nick was also easy to like despite his grumpy reclusive behavior. Enough of his internal struggles were clear, that I couldn’t help but hope for him. (I love the notes!) They were a great couple, managing to help each other recognize issues from their pasts while giving hope for their futures.
The storyline around them was intriguing as well. I enjoyed watching Annabelle maneuver around the jealous misogynistic jerk in the office with nothing more than her professionalism and talent. Nick’s part of the tale was deeper and had many layers, mostly showing how he fought his deep desire for love and friendship. Thankfully the people around him did their best to yank him out of that abys with Annabelle’s help. I love when a story is full of friends, camaraderie, and banter. That always pulls me in when done well…and this was done well. The story dipped into some heavy issues that made me tear up a few times, but overall, it made me smile.
*Review copy provided by Penguin in exchange for an honest review.
Jenn is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romantic comedy series. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband’s guitars.
Visit her website at: www.jennmckinlay.com
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