Sunday, October 18, 2015

Heartsong Cottage (Eternity Springs #10), by Emily March

St. Martin's Press, ISBN 9781250072962, November 2015

Shannon O'Toole is living in Eternity Springs, Colorado, running Murphy's Pub, and renovating a cottage for resale. Oh, and she's also teaching yoga classes. She's pretty busy, but she needs to have a good nestegg on hand, so that she can move quickly anytime she needs to.

Shannon has a dangerous stalker, and Shannon O'Toole isn't the name she was born with.

But this time she really doesn't want to move on. She's enjoying owning and running Murphy's Pub, and she's made friends here. She's in danger of putting down roots.

Daniel Garrett is an ex-cop, now a private investigator, who specializes in lost/kidnapped children. This is the aftermath of his own young son was kidnapped and murdered ten years ago, when he was a police detective in the Greater Boston area. A few months after that tragedy, his wife committed suicide. Eternity Springs is the home of one of his successes, a little girl he brought home safely to her mother. There have been too many cases, though, where he has only found a body, and answers, and he is starting to think he can't do it anymore.

The friendships Daniel has built with the family and friends of this particular success bring him back to Eternity Springs regularly, and on this trip he meets Shannon.

March does a wonderful job of making these two characters with their very painful pasts and, in Shannon's case, current secrets, human and relatable and basically sensible people. When they don't tell each other important information that would make a difference, it's for a real reason. Shannon is smart and resourceful and tough, not a quivering damsel in distress. Daniel is strong, smart, and brave, but also not afraid to show emotion.

Oh, and they both love dogs, which is always a win for me.

Unlike many other romances out at this time of year, this one isn't Christmas-centered. If you're looking for a good romance to read, but are getting stressed by all the Christmas stuff out well before Halloween, this is a good bet.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.