Is love in the signs for a Capricorn former SEAL and the impulsive Aries out to capture his heart?
Capricorn Slate Claybourne, an ex-Seal and former sniper who has seen and done things in country that no man should endure, returns to his bucolic hometown on Pieberry Island, desperate for the mundane, everyday routines he once wanted to escape.
A broken, soul-dead man unable to be around people, his body still a lethal weapon when his night terrors wake him from sleep, Slate’s failed to keep the promise he made to the commander who died in his arms: to look after the older man’s baby girl.
But animated Aries Holly Harper is not the pigtailed tot Slate expected her to be, when she lands on the island to take over the decrepit Pieberry House, determined to turn it into an inn for summer tourists, and even more determined to yank Slate back into the land of the living.
First she crashes into him at the island’s holiday Winter Festival, dumping a towering stack of pies at his feet, then she drags him off to a fortune teller against his better judgment. Except for the sizzling attraction smoldering between them, they’re incompatible in every way.
But when a furious December nor’easter traps them together at Pieberry House, will Slate and Holly overcome their pasts and discover they are two halves of a whole?
She has an affinity for broken things, but it’s going to take more than industrial strength glue to put him back together.
I love a good hometown hero story and can’t pass up the chance to read a happily ever after for one of our bravest. Slate being a sniper immediately put me in mind of Chris Kyle. His story is so fantastic and tragic at the same time, I was happy to read, even as fiction, a story where the good guy gets the girl and the ever after.
The author is very descriptive in the opening with a small glimpse of what Slate has to deal with as his tour is coming to a close. The premise of the story isn’t new but it’s effective in drawing interest. It’s a small town, or island, story and the descriptions Ms. Kincaid gave, didn’t just put me on the island, I felt like a native.
I liked Holly Harper immediately and it wasn’t just because she’s a Monty Python fan, though that helped. She’s had loss and is still grieving for her father but she also recognizes the pain Slate has bottled up and she doesn’t run away. That made her honorable in my eyes. The chemistry between them is good and I love how tenacious Holly is when Slate is determined to deny his feelings.
There’s a lot of humor in Ms. Kincaid’s writing as well. The subject matter is serious but she doesn’t let the reader get all bogged down in the negative feels and quite frankly once Slate meets Holly, she (Holly) does her best to not let him waller, either. She’s good for him.
This short story has the right amount of heart and heat. It’s the perfect for a chilly winter night when a reader is looking for something to warm their heart and satisfy their need for a hot love story.