I can't stop myself from requesting all the small town romances on NetGalley. It's like I'm not even aware I'm doing it, and yet, there's another one on my Kindle! Heartsong Cottage is by a new-to-me author, though from reading the book it is apparent that she is far from a debut author. This is a well established series.
Here's your summary, from Amazon.com:
Two weary strangers are about to rest their burdens in Eternity Springs, where there's hope for every broken heart.
Haunted by the loss of his wife and son, Daniel Garrett left the police force to devote his life to finding missing children. But he still hasn't found a way to mend the wounds of his past-until he attends a wedding in the small mountain town of Eternity Springs...and meets a beautiful, intriguing woman who offers a glimpse of something Daniel thought he'd never have again.
Sometimes life gives us
a second chance at love.
Shannon O'Toole isn't looking for romance. Ever since her fiancé's death, she created a quiet life for herself restoring Victorian cottages. Still, she can't deny her attraction to the handsome, broad-shouldered stranger. Daniel makes her feel things she's hasn't felt in years-including the desire to share her secrets. But can Shannon trust a detective when doing so could bring danger to her cottage door? In Eternity Springs, anything-and everything-is possible...
Ok, so this summary, while not misleading, is far from complete. I don't mean that in a bad way, just that there is a lot more going on here than you'd think from the summary! The story starts in an unusual place for a romance novel, with Daniel and his first wife. The writing also has a certain stilted quality to it that made me question how much I was going to enjoy the novel, but either it goes away after the first couple chapters or I got used to it. It's clearly part of an established series- Amazon tells me it's the 9th book- and frankly there are a lot (A LOT) of side characters, but I found that if you just didn't care who they were it didn't really effect the story. Additionally, there's a contrast between how early we learn Daniel's horribly tragic backstory, and how slowly Shannon's past and present secrets are revealed.
I really hesitate to say anything else about the plot, as I saw a particular spoiler when I was about half done, and while it didn't ultimately ruin the book for me, it did make me hesitate to pick it back up for a few days. I'm rarely affected by spoilers (I knew the Gone Girl twist going in, for example) but this one I found personally distasteful. In the end, I think the was mostly resolved in a way I was ok with it, but I wish I hadn't known. (Hi TRISH!) Would I read more from this author? Yes, I would. Would I recommend this particular book? I'm not sure. There is an element of the book that may be off-putting for some romance readers. I am, however, happy to broaden my circle of small towns and will certainly watch for the next book.