Lana Biel and Eli Ward have been best friends for years though their interests and appearance wouldn’t lead you to believe so. Lana is a beautiful tall blonde who loves wild flowers. Eli’s love is finding meteorites and he looks like the typical geek. Yet, they are always there for each other and have been since college.
Given their closeness, it was not that unusual that Eli would return home from a trip early to surprise Lana for her birthday. Even falling asleep on her sofa wasn’t that unusual. When he wakes up though to wish Lana a happy birthday, he is surprised with the fact that she has company staying over. At that point, Eli releases that their relationship cannot continue the way it has.
That particular night has more repercussions than Eli coming to acknowledge that something has to change. Both Eli and Lana have to grow in ways they never expected to and deal with issues that are equally unexpected. Decisions have to be made that will change more lives than just Eli and Lana’s and have consequences that will last a lifetime.
This book is written almost as a dairy. Each chapter is a month and you are given glimpses on what happened that month by seeing the events of a couple of days. Sometimes it’s several days in a row while others it’s spread out over the month. Regardless, it feels as if you are getting all the important stuff without being bogged down by the everyday details.
The characters are wonderful. They are extremely well rounded and deal with lots of issues in realistic ways. As Lana’s sister Karin and her husband deal with Karin not getting pregnant, their marriage becomes strained which flows into Karin’s relationship with Lana. Issues from the past become problems of the present when Calvert, Lana and Karin’s father moves to the small town where they live in Vermont. The interaction between these characters gives their family life. Scenes of Eli teaching or out in the field give him more than just a friend status, it gives him something apart from Lana that he can share with her but it’s not part of her.
At several points, Ms. Dale could have taken an easy way and taken this book in a totally different direction. Instead, she took the harder way making emotions come to the surface and her characters needing to grow to deal with them. As things progress, I became wrapped up in this story and couldn’t wait to see where it was going. I became to care for each character and wanted everyone to have a happily ever after ending. Then, as it ends I see a beautiful spring day and a family that looks very much different than what was dreamed of at the beginning of this heartwarming story.
The charm of Vermont comes across in each page as does the charm of the story. I can't say how much I enjoyed it and I definitely look forward to reading more of Ms. Dale's work.
Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it.
Lana Biel has always wanted to shake the dust of Vermont off her feet and see the world, one exotic country after another. But when a lighthearted spring fling changes her life forever, she turns to the one man whose strong shoulders can lighten any burden: her best friend, Eli Ward.
Eli has always been there for Lana--after all, that's what best friends do. But Lana isn't the only one hiding something. Eli is keeping secrets of his own that threaten their relationship. Yet as summer turns to fall, new desires awaken between them, even as old fears tear them apart. Then, when another Vermont winter fills the valleys with snow, Eli and Lana are given the chance for an adventure greater than they ever dreamed possible...and a love that will last for all time.