Wild Iris Ridge
Harlequin HQN, Jun 24 2014, $7.99
After years away, recently unemployed Lucy Drake returns to Hope’s Crossing where she inherited her late Great-Aunt Annabelle’s Victorian mansion. As she muses no longer working eighteen hour days, Lucy considers converting her home into a B&B, which she thinks means 24 hour days. Lucy also reflects back to why she left town years ago; when she fell in love with Brendan Caine, but he fell in love with her BFF cousin Jess.
Fire chief Brendan hopes Lucy leaves town as his memory of her is unfavorable. A widower single dad for two years, Brendan raises five year old Carter and nine year old Faith; and believes he has enough on his plate rather than have to deal with cold Lucy. She prefers to avoid him as she cannot handle a second rejection from him. When they meet each feels a deep attraction that neither desire.
The latest Hope’s Crossing contemporary (see Willowleaf Lane, Blackberry Summer and Woodrose Mountain) is a warm second chance at love family drama. The changing relationship between the lead adults cleverly goes through Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ phases: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Though the acceptance phase seems too abrupt fans will enjoy this warm tale.