on Feb. 7, 2017
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A kiss to last a lifetime
Aiden Gallagher was only five years old when he appeared in a photograph on the Kissing Bridge. The town of Darling, Vermont, has used Aiden’s image on the famed bridge—local legend has it that a kiss there results in everlasting love—as part of its tourism campaign. Now, twenty years later, Aiden is asked to recreate the moment with the woman he once kissed: Laurel Stone.
Recently divorced, there’s nothing Laurel wants less than to pretend happily-ever-after with Aiden. As teenagers, their romance was no fairy tale—and Laurel has never quite forgiven Aiden for breaking her heart. But now that she is back in her hometown, and keeps bumping into police officer Aiden, Laurel can’t deny that there’s still a strong flicker between her and her old flame. Could it be that the Kissing Bridge is working its magic on Laurel and Aiden—and that all true love ever needed was a second chance?
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
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Somebody Like You is a cute, light, second-chance romance, a good choice for me during an emotionally difficult week. I really enjoyed Laurel and Aiden’s relationship. They make a great couple, and it was delightful to watch him figure out how to court her — and see him slowly realize that he is courting her rather than just looking for a quick fling. I absolutely loved his grand romantic gesture toward the end — Wow!
From the beginning, Laurel is reluctant to get involved for several reasons: she’s recently been through a divorce, and she and Aiden have an uncomfortable history. No, not that kiss when they were five, but a hurtful incident in high school. Alward tries to show that they both bear some responsibility for that, but I must admit, my sympathies were primarily with Lauren. However, Aiden has grown into an upstanding man, a dedicated police officer… which is what brings him to Lauren’s door, after vandals trash her new garden shop and steal some money from her. Lauren is easy to like and sympathize with, and so is Aiden.
Alward does a nice job with Laurel and Aiden’s relationship, and with their families and friendships — particularly Aiden’s family, a homeless man whom both Aiden and Laurel befriend, and Laurel’s perceptive friend Willow. We’ll see more of Willow in book 2, paired with Aiden’s brother Ethan. I can’t wait to see that relationship play out!
The series’ setting, the fictional town of Darling, Vermont, is charming, even if it’s more of a (stereo)typical small town than a specific place with its own individual character. (Well, other than the Kissing Bridge, anyway — that’s unique!) I didn’t get a strong sense of it as a Vermont town, as opposed to any small town anywhere, but Alward has a good grasp on what we all dream about when we think “small town.” (And speaking as a resident of a smallish town in a semi-rural county, she’s pretty accurate on most counts.) I’m hoping that the sense of place evolves to become more specific as the series continues, since that’s one of the things that interested me in reading it in the first place. [ETA: I’m in the middle of the second book now, and there’s a stronger sense of place already.]
The mix of humor and heartwarming moments also makes Somebody Like You a pleasure to read. I particularly liked the developing friendship between Laurel and George, the homeless vet to whom she offers a job. I hope we see more of George in the next book, too, and find out a little more of his backstory.
I’m glad to have been introduced to Alward’s books; this kind of light, small-town romance is one of my go-to genres when I’ve been having a rough week. I’m looking forward to the second book, Someone to Love, which comes out in March. And I’ve just discovered that book 3, Somebody’s Baby, which focuses on another Gallagher brother, is due out in April. I sure do appreciate it when series books come out in quick succession!
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Thanks to the publisher, I have a paperback copy of Somebody Like You to give away — just scroll down to the giveaway. If you’d like to read the prequel to the Darling, VT series, visit the author’s website and sign up for her newsletter. A box will pop up when go visit the site inviting you sign up. The link to the download is in the confirmation e-mail you’ll receive when you sign up. And if you like playlists, here’s a link to the series playlist on YouTube.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Blackout (2016-17)