My rating 4 out of 5 stars
How the book came to me: purchased at the store
Synopsis from Amazon.com:
"Everyone in Ashley O'Ballivan's life is marrying and starting families—except her. But what date can compare to Jack McCall, the man who broke her heart years ago?
And now he's mysteriously back. But he isn't who she thinks he is.
After a dangerous mission working for the DEA, security expert Jack McCall rents a room in Ashley's bed-and-breakfast. For her sake, he must keep his distance. But his feelings for her are so powerful that only his heart remains off-limits. To protect her—from his enemies and himself—he has to leave…vowing to fight his way home to her and Stone Creek forever."
I enjoy how Linda Lael Miller creates families and then revisits them with new installments. You get a chance to catch up with familiar characters who already found their special someones and get to know some of the ones who are still waiting. While I have read two of the other books in this series they were published a while back and the characters were not all that fresh in my mind. Luckily Lael Miller included refreshers on who was who and what had happened in their pasts. This story is about Ashley O'Ballivan who has been in love with Jack McCall for years, but due to his job as a mercenary he frequently gets called away for prolonged periods of time. Each time he reappears she tries to stay away from him, but the attraction is just too strong and they get drawn back together again. This time Jack shows up at her Bed and Breakfast in an ambulance having been injected with a toxin while on an assignment to rescue a kidnapped seven-year-old from her drug dealing father. The toxin is not contagious but is slowly killing him and doctors don't know how to cure it. Ashley's family is leery of Jack and his tendency to hurt Ashley by disappearing without saying goodbye and the drug dealer is working to find both his daughter and Jack to exact his revenge. To complicate things Ashley's twin sister Melissa is thinking about leaving town after her romance with a local rancher ended, their sister Olivia is giving birth to twins, her brother Brad and his wife are also expecting a child, there are multiple blizzards and Jack has a family who believes he is dead. It was a nice quick read for a busy holiday time and there was plenty of fun in it. It features more passion than I usually look for in a novel, so if that isn't your thing this might not be the book for you.