Chesapeake Shores #3
Kevin loses his wife in the war. He is still grieving 18 months later. He sold their home and moved back home to his father's place. He doesn't know what to do with his life.
Shanna is fresh from a divorce and has moved to Chesapeake Shores and opened a book and games store. She is trying to heal. She misses her ex-husband's little boy. She is only allowed to call Henry once in a while.
Kevin and Shanna meet and he helps her with her store. They are attracted to each other but are tentative because they are not willing to get hurt again. Shanna's best friend thinks Kevin and his son are replacements for her ex and his son. But he is not. Kevin's family is pushing Kevin and Shanna together. Will things work out?
I liked this story.
From the publisher:
Struggling in his role as a newly single father, former army medic Kevin O'Brien moves home to Chesapeake Shores. He wants a haven for himself and his toddler son, surrounded by the family he knows he can count on, and a future that's nothing like his past. But Kevin is suddenly facing a risk he hadn't anticipated, in the form of Main Street bookseller Shanna Carlyle.
Shanna immediately recognizes Kevin as a wounded soul—she's had way too much experience with the type. Still, this charming O'Brien man and his son are almost impossible to resist.
Then, just when the barriers are toppling, someone from Shanna's past appears. Confronted with a threat to their hard-won serenity, Kevin and Shanna face their toughest challenge—learning to trust again.
Kevin glanced out the window of his childhood bedroom. The yard that sloped down toward the Chesapeake Bay was decorated with balloons. Piles of presents sat on a picnic table next to a cake decorated with toy trucks, Davy's favorite things. All of the O'Briens had gathered to celebrate his son's second birthday, but Kevin could barely summon the energy to get out of bed. Despite his resolve to be strong for Davy, he'd pretty much been a wreck since Georgia's death, not able to get a fix on anything, unable to make even the most basic decisions about his life.
He had made three decisions, though. He'd quit his job as a paramedic, he'd sold the town house, which was filled with memories of his too-brief marriage, and he'd moved home. At least here, he knew there were plenty of people who would love and look out for his son while he figured out what came next. That was something he really needed to get to… one of these days.
Someone pounded on the door of his room—his younger brother from the sound of it.
"Get your butt downstairs!" Connor bellowed. "The party's about to start."
Given his choice, Kevin would have crawled back into bed and pulled the pillow over his head to block out the sound of laughter coming from outside. He wouldn't, though. For one thing, even if nothing else in his life made sense, his son was the most important person in it. Kevin wouldn't let him down. For another, either Gram or his dad would be up here next, and either one of them had the power to shame him into doing what was right for the occasion.
"On my way," he assured Connor.
He showered in record time, pulled on jeans and a T-shirt and slid his feet into an old pair of sneakers, then went downstairs. Only his youngest sister, Jess, was in the kitchen. She surveyed him, then shook her head.
"You're a mess," she declared.
"I showered. These clothes are clean," he protested.
"Did you lose your razor? And maybe your comb?"
"Who are you?" he grumbled. "The fashion patrol?"
"Just calling it like I see it, big brother. Everyone else spruced up for the party. Turning two is a big deal."
"Do you honestly think Davy's going to care if I shaved?" he asked as he rubbed his hand over his unshaven jaw. He had shaved yesterday—or was it the day before? He couldn't recall. Mostly the days slipped by in a blur.
"No, Davy won't care today, but you'll look like some derelict in the pictures. Is that the memory you want him to carry with him throughout his life? Last year on his first birthday it made sense that you looked ragged. It was only a few weeks after Georgia—"
"Don't mention her name," he snapped.
"Someone has to," she said, looking him directly in the eye without backing down. "You loved her, Kev. I get that. You're hurting and angry because she's gone, but you can't pretend she didn't exist. She was that little boy's mom. What are you planning to do, let him go through his entire life with the subject of his mother off-limits? What about his grandparents? Do you expect them never to mention their daughter's name?"
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