If I were told to describe this book using only one word, that would be tender. It only took me a day and a half to read this one, because I was enjoying it so much. I’ve read and very much enjoyed books where the hero is suffering from Asperger’s, a form of Autism with some OCD thrown in. All the those I’ve read are very intelligently written.
But in this book it is the heroine, Bronte Hollander, who has a form of it. In some ways she handles things very well; she rates on the genius scale, has her own place and a job she loves, and is in line for a very prestigious award. But when it comes to dealing with day-to-day life, she finds it very difficult. Change throws her off and she has difficulty interacting with new people.
At present she is helping her big sister in a family-run coffee shop. And when a certain attractive young man starts coming in daily, Bronte is really thrown. She can’t even talk to him, and when, with her sister’s encouragement, she finally does try to have a conversation, she breaks down and runs away.
Rhett, our hero, is very taken with Bronte, and, even though the coffee shop is on the other side of the city, he comes in daily just to see her. Bronte is finally braced to actually speak with Rhett and while he can tell right off the bat that she is ‘different,’ he finds her utterly charming. There is no subterfuge in her, she says what she thinks.
But when he sees Bronte in her natural environment, he is even more impressed. She’s a doctor and in her chosen field, she is confident and even up for a very prestigious award. She’s just been helping her sister on a temporary basis.
Rhett knows he wants to get to know her better and makes a deal with her. If she attends an outing that involves his work, he will go with her to her high school reunion. She was very much a bullied outcast in high school, and she finds this a very interesting offer, though she is not good meeting people.
Their romance grows, but Rhett has his own issues to deal with. He is a young widower and is still dealing with his wife’s death. He wants to move on and move on with Bronte, but it doesn’t help that his wife’s twin city is too enmeshed in his life and drags him back whenever he tries to move on.
Because of his conflicted feelings and loyalties, he manages to hurt Bronte quite badly, much to the anger of Bronte’s older protective sister. But he finally understands how important Bronte is to him.
As I said, tender is the first word that comes to mind with this book. Both Bronte and Rhett are flawed characters. The author does a wonderful job with her portrayal of Bronte, a strong young woman who, despite her struggles, manages to be very successful and well rounded. Her family wants to wrap her in cotton, but she fights to live her own life
Rhett makes for an intriguing hero. He’s damaged but very loyal, and I love how he sees the oddities that Bronte has as charming and that makes her even more attractive to him. His imperfections and his walk on the wild side make him even more captivating. He’s keeping a secret and when we finally find out what it is, we feel his pain and realize what a good and loyal man he is.
I’m trying to figure out what grade to give this one. I decided to give it a solid B+ bordering on an A. And looking at the grade, it does indeed get a good recommendation from me.
And the fact that I love the cover might have played a wee small part in giving this book a try.
One “special” girl plus one hot widower equals a love story to make you cry, scream, and shout for joy.
Rhett: My days are haunted by regrets and unpleasant memories until Bronte Hollander serves me coffee at the local java shop. I can hear her counting under her breath. I’m counting too—the minutes, the hours, the days—until I can see her again. I want to move past the tragedy of my previous marriage, but the thought of beginning again is terrifying. Bronte’s courage gives me hope for the future. Society says she’s flawed, imperfect, but I think she’s perfect for me.
Bronte: I’ve been ridiculed my entire life for being different. People call me “special”, but I’ve never believed in labels. Rhett Easton sees past my flaws, my thick thighs, my red hair, my need for order. He gets me like no one ever has. And he respects my love for numbers, my need for rituals. I want to trust him, but life has taught me that guys like Rhett don’t go for girls like me. I’m ready to prove life wrong.
This is the story of an obsessive-compulsive girl, a broken guy, and their improbable love for each other. Join them as they navigate through the difficulties of family relationships, past loves, high school bullies, and self-imposed limitations to find a love that transcends their broken hearts.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: