Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
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 was emailed about this book and participating in a blog tour a few weeks ago. I have never been one for blog tours before and suddenly I have an influx of people emailing me about them. I only participate really if I get to feature a book in a unique way, or if I simply have to review it (like I planned to anyway). This is one I was intrigued by, I’d first heard of Donna Alward when I read a short story of hers in the It Must Be Christmas bundle which featured a story I love by Jennifer Crusie. Alward’s story was my second favourite I’d thought to read more by her at a future date so to get ahead of the game with a new series of hers was ideal.
Somebody Like You is the first in a new series by her, Darling, VT and I am so glad I read it. It’s a contemporary romance which features a second chance romance, something which is becoming a bit of a favourite of mine. She manages to tick all the romance boxes on this one, for me. It’s such a great contemporary romance which is actually a bit tamer than some when it comes to the sex side. I love a steamy romance as much as the next girl, but I do appreciate having a bit of a tamer read from time to time and this one definitely follows the path of having a bit more story.
I will begin by saying I was nervous I wouldn’t like it because Laurel was a bit more closed off than I liked. She had reason to dislike Aiden and men in general, but her excuses for being single and not getting into anything serious wore thin for me. Luckily, Alward is excellent at developing characters and convinced me that Laurel was justified in her reservations. She has been burned by Aiden before. He betrayed her trust when she believed them to be friends and she is determined to stay as far away from him as possible. Obviously, this being a romance, that doesn’t happen. Instead, they are continually thrust together with break-ins to her shop leading him to be the officer to write it up, to the re-enactment of that dreaded bridge kiss from their childhood. Each time they are together you can see the chemistry between them. Laurel and every other character close to him judge Aiden far too harshly. He is not the foolish teenager he once was and few seem to realise it. I really enjoyed Aiden growing into himself and the man he is. It was great seeing people take him seriously for once.
I have to say, the highlight of this book wasn’t the romance, though. I adored the character of George, the homeless man who is around town who Aiden is determined to help. He was a character that a real backstory I want to know more of. I just hope we get to see more of him in future books because he is someone I want to know about. Whilst we find out bits this time around, there is certainly a lot more to come for him (I hope there is, anyway).
In the end, this was an unexpectedly enjoyable romance read for me. I know I would like it, it’s a romance after all, but I hadn’t known how much. I think it’s because I was surprised by the depth of the characters and the secondary characters. I also got a story I wasn’t expecting with a second chance romance which takes a path I didn’t expect. I recommend it to anyone who wants a bit more story in their romance. It’s not got too much story, but it’s definitely a bit opposite to another romance I’ve read lately. It’s an easy going read that isn’t all drama, it’s relatable and I liked that.
About The Author
While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.
What was the last enjoyable romance you read? And do you like being surprised in a romance and finding secondary characters to love?