Grady Shields is a former FBI agent who comes to the small town of St. Dennis to attend his sister’s wedding. When his wife was murdered, he retreated to a solitary life in Montana and never looked back. He never pictured being in a relationship but he can’t ignore his attraction to the groom’s sister Vanessa. Vanessa has had a hard life but has found a home in the small bay town. Getting to know her brother and opening a business, building a life has kept her busy with no plans to get involved with any man. She is surprised to find herself attracted to Grady. As they spend time together, the attraction deepens. When someone breaks into her store and vandalizes the place it brings her past front and center. Grady is committed to protecting Vanessa and stays in town to make sure she is safe. Will they both be able to put the past where it belongs and move into the future together?
This book is part of the movement in contemporary romance of series that take place in small towns. All the quirkiness and hominess you could want with a semi-large cast of characters that we can follow. The town of St. Dennis seems to have all of the requisite parts but didn’t come alive for me. Vanessa is a woman that I wanted to have sympathy for. The poor woman was in two bad marriages with the last one being abusive. But I couldn’t quite warm up to her. Grady seemed like a nice guy but I didn’t feel like I knew anything about him. When they meet I didn’t feel any real connection between them beyond desire due to physical characteristics. Ms. Stewart has written romantic suspense in the past and she couldn’t quite leave it behind. I thought it was an interesting little mystery; who was behind the break in and vandalism. It seemed, however, to jump pretty dramatically from mild crime to one with guns and holding people hostage with a threat of murder. There is a sweet hopeful feel to the book as you watch two people find love again. I just wish I had taken to it better. All in all this is a nice little romance/women’s fiction book that I am sure many will appreciate.