When a surly paramedic finds Kara Larsen‘s lost toddler, only to berate her for failing to mind her child, Kara is embarrassed and relieved she’ll never have to deal with that jerk again. Doesn’t he know being a single mom is a lot harder than it looks?! But when baby Nadia has trouble breathing one night, Kara’s frantic 911 call brings that same jerk right to her door…
NYFD paramedic Reid Bennett has a compulsion to help frantic parents. But after the way he over-reacted to the beautiful woman in the department store that day, she wants nothing to do with him. But it’s not his fault he keeps running into her all over the city…
When Kara bumps into Reid for the third time in a week, she can’t help but wonder if the mom she lost in 2001 is playing matchmaker. As Kara and Reid form a cautious friendship, he quickly becomes baby Nadia’s favorite person. But Reid has no interest in long-term commitment, or so he thought. So when Nadia’s father calls out of the blue and Kara agrees to see him, Reid realizes he has some triage to do if he hopes to keep his girls…
Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
This is a lovely, short, feel-good read about lost loved ones, present struggles and seeing signs. I remember Kara from the Christmas in New York series, about four close friends all finding love. Kara was the sister of one of those friends and had been alone and pregnant. Now it’s eighteen months on and her little girl, Nadia, is bouncing and full of life, while Kara is as busy as ever. In fact she’s struggling to balance her busy working life with being a good mother and also living up to the memories of her own mom (who tragically died in 9/11). This tricky balancing act isn’t helped when she keeps bumping into a surly paramedic, Reid, who seems to be judging her at every turn.
Reid is judging her, but he doesn’t mean to. He’s just a man who knows exactly how bad things can go if a parent isn’t watching their child. He knows this truth all too well, following the awful death of his young daughter, Erin. He’s not trying to make Kara feel bad, but he finds it hard to rein in his temper when the delightful little Nadia keeps planting herself in his path every way he turns – be it appearing in the middle of a CPR class, wandering loose in a shop, running into him in the park, etc. Yet as much as Nadia makes Reid’s heart hurt for Erin, he can’t help being drawn to her – and her beautiful mother.
This is a sweet tale with a lot of underlying sadness. Reid is a mess, but he does try to change and to give Kara a chance. He is a good man underneath all his guilt and I loved the scenes between him and Nadia. I liked Kara too, even if she is trying to live up to impossible standards – at least she’s doing it to give Nadia the best life possible.
Okay, if I’m honest, I think the Reid’s sudden capitulation to their chemistry was a bit out of the blue, and there were times when the signs thing bordered on too much, but overall this is sweet and lovely with real heart and some heart-twisting moments – the Velveteen Rabbit bit is a real tear-jerker.
Dealing with grief and loss, and the unrealistic expectations of memory, this romance is touching and lovely. The characters all have depth and flaws, while little Nadia is a real cutie. I can’t wait to see what else this summer in New York will have to offer.
His Touch is Out Now!
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