When her great-aunt dies and unexpectedly leaves her everything, Grace flies to Dublin to sort out the estate and sell her aunt’s flower shop. Alone because her bestie cancelled last minute, she intended to get the shop sold and everything sorted as quickly as possible, fit in a small amount of sight seeing, and be back at work in a week. Work is her life and this trip is just an annoyance she can’t avoid.
Stepping off the pavement to take a photo, forgetting the cars are on the other side of the road, Grace causes a fiery redhead to drive into a bollard, and so set the scene for a less than friendly relationship with her realtor, Kerry. There is clearly more to the tension that a buckled bumper though, and as the story unfolds Grace gets to see how much the flower shop means to the local community. While she feels some guilt about the lost jobs and impact on Kerry’s family, ultimately Grace has every intention of cutting and running – just as soon as she has kissed an Irish girl.
This is a light and fun romance. The characters are endearing; Kerry’s family and the locals take Grace to their hearts in the way of welcoming small villages, especially as they loved her aunt. Grace is the archetypal workaholic who comes to realise some things are just more important. And along the way we learn a little of her great-aunt’s life and the impact the young Grace had on her when they met years earlier.
We get a great insight into the workings of a small Irish village, different in feel from so many American ‘Small Town’ tales, and the author clearly loved both the atmosphere, the community and the countryside, as it is drawn with loving care. The village and surrounds play an important part in the story, grounding and solidifying the characters and sense of belonging, Kerry is very much a part of her landscape.
Ultimately of course the story is one of girl meets girl, resists because it’s only a week, gives in and then we suffer the angst of whether they can make it work, how it will resolve. It’s a very traditional tale, but with enough of a spin to make it feel original and engaging. The angst is real enough, without being too overdone, the attraction is palpable and there is a lot of very hot sex… after all it can only ever be a week long fling.
Kris Bryant always seems to find something new to say and a new way to say it, taking a very simple story and making it original and engaging. Definitely an enjoyable summer read.
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(publisher review copy received)
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