The Scent of Rainby Kristin Billerbeck
Could it be that the life Daphne's always wanted is right under her nose?
Daphne Sweeten left Paris—and a job she loved—to marry the man of her dreams in the U.S. But when he stands her up on their wedding day, she's left reeling and senseless. Literally. She's been trained as a perfume creator and now her sense of/p>/strong>
Could it be that the life Daphne's always wanted is right under her nose?
Daphne Sweeten left Paris—and a job she loved—to marry the man of her dreams in the U.S. But when he stands her up on their wedding day, she's left reeling and senseless. Literally. She's been trained as a perfume creator and now her sense of smell has disappeared along with her fiancé.
She has to figure out why her nose isn't working, fix it, and get back to Paris. Meanwhile, she'll rely on her chemistry skills and just hope her new boss at Gibraltar Products, Jesse, doesn't notice her failing senses. They'll be working together on household fragrances, not posh perfumes. How hard can it be?
As Daphne and Jesse work on a signature scent for their new line, she feels God at work as never before. And the promise of what's possible is as fresh as the scent of rain.
“Witty and upbeat” —Library Journal
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The Scent of Rain
By Kristin Billerbeck
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Kristin Billerbeck
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDaphne Sweeten's knees buckled beneath her, but Sophie, her maid of honor, kept her from reaching the marble floor. She straightened and stared into her best friend's eyes, which were softened in pity.
"He's not coming?" Daphne mouthed the words. As she searched the vast gothic church in front of her, the crowd stared back. The rows reserved for the groom's family were empty. "They knew," she murmured.
Sophie nodded and pulled the bouquet from Daphne's clenched hands. "Let's go." Sophie caught hold of her elbow, but Daphne couldn't take her eyes off the long aisle that she wouldn't be walking down. "Daphne, come on."
She should be fleeing in humiliation. All those faces, familiar and foreign, had her in their scope. But something kept her there. Her feet remained firmly planted as she registered the peppery scent of freesias and the slightly musty smell of the rental runway carpet. She turned to Sophie, ringed by the rest of her bridesmaids.
"Where's my father?"
At the distant opposite end of the white carpet, the reverend riley stood alone at the altar. He cleared his throat as though preparing to make some kind of announcement, and Daphne held her breath. If she allowed so much as a tiny sob to escape, she would echo like a Swiss yodeler in the cavernous cathedral. But what was the point of saving face now? She may as well take it all in or she might miss something, and then how would she ever fix it?
"Daphne, let's go," Sophie whispered as she tugged at her arm.
Resistance was futile. Daphne followed Sophie out of the great double doors, turning one last time to face the altar under its three grand stained-glass windows, littered with white rose petals and dotted with violets. The altar was like the end of a rainbow, a destination she'd never reach, and the petals were like the remnants of her heart. Mark wouldn't be back.
"That was my wedding day."
"You're scaring me. Let's get in the limo."
"Did you see his side of the church? No one was there. He knew he wasn't coming! Why did he bother to rehearse last night?"
"I don't know, Daphne."
She allowed herself to be led outside the church, which stood atop Nob Hill in San Francisco. It was an idyllic June day, no fog. Probably a bad omen. A light breeze and pure California sunshine marked the day, mocking her in its perfection. The steps between her and the limo appeared endless, and she wondered if her legs would carry her the distance.
"Why did you just stand there forever?"
Daphne looked down at her gown and shrugged. "I'm wearing Monique Lhuillier. Face it, if you're going down in a blaze of glory, this is how you want to be dressed."
Sophie laughed. "That's the first sign I've seen of the real you all day!"
"I had a feeling he wouldn't show," Daphne said. "He must have given me some sign that I didn't want to face. I figured all brides probably had that little inkling of fear, but now I wonder if I noticed something subconsciously."
Mia, her friend from high school, lifted the back of her skirt. "I'm sure you did. It's always been frightening, the details you notice. Sometimes it's like being friends with the Mayan calendar."
"Did you notice anything?" Daphne asked.
Mia shook her head.
"Keri?" She looked at her coworker, who also shook her head.
Daphne and her four attendants huddled in a circle on the steps of the church. "We look so good," she said, making light of the situation. "What a waste."
"You don't have to be brave for us," Marguerite said. "Go ahead and cry if you want to."
Daphne's blood ran cold as awareness settled in her veins. "I missed it. I missed something."
"Did you?" Sophie raised an eyebrow. "What did I wear the first day of kindergarten?"
"A purple dress with heinous flowers on the skirt," Daphne replied automatically.
"There. rest assured: your obsessive nature is still well intact. Sometimes it's just easier not to see certain things." Sophie skipped down the long set of stairs toward the limousine, and Daphne followed.
"What are you trying to say, Sophie?"
Sophie's flawless skin looked nearly plastic in the bright sunlight of the afternoon. Her strawberry-blond hair was wrapped in an elegant updo, and the simple strand of pearls around her neck was the perfect complement to the dark sapphire gown they'd selected. One thing was certain: Daphne hadn't missed a detail in coordinating the look of her wedding.
"I'm saying ..." Sophie twisted around so quickly, Daphne nearly crashed into her. "Maybe there weren't any signs. Maybe things were too perfect."
"Too perfect?" Daphne blinked mechanically. "Is that possible?"
"What was wrong with Mark? I mean, name his imperfections. Just a short list."
Daphne turned to make certain the others weren't in hearing range. "Lots of things."
"He couldn't get a job in Paris, for one. I had to give up mine to get married."
Sophie continued down a few more steps, and Daphne called after her, "Just because you spend all day dealing with psychological problems does not mean Mark has one."
"Then where is he?"
She hated it when Sophie got like that, so certain in her assessment of another person. "I'm sure he has a perfectly good excuse. Maybe he never wanted to get married at all. Maybe I pushed him into it."
"So it's your fault again. Like the excuse he had for not being employable in Paris. He left you out like yesterday's trash, and you're standing here making excuses for him."
"You never did like him," Daphne accused. Did Sophie really think she needed any reminders of her fiancé's faults at this moment? She was standing alone in a trumpet gown, tailored beautifully, with detailed Chantilly lace on the bodice. every detail was perfect save one. The absence of a groom. "Maybe that's why he ran! Maybe together we scared Mark off."
As they spoke, random tourists applauded from the sidewalk below, where the limo waited. rather than point out the obvious, Daphne just waved. They probably thought she and Sophie had just gotten married anyway.
"Call Arnaud and ask for your job back," Sophie said.
"Not an option. Arnaud said if I left the perfumery, he wouldn't save a spot for me. He was so mad at me." She looked across the park at the Fairmont Hotel. "Look, there's another bride. Her groom showed up."
"Daphne!" Sophie's expression lightened and she looked back up toward the church. "Oh, there's your dad."
Daphne turned to see her father standing on the church steps, blinking wildly, cupping a hand over his eyes and searching for her. A dark shame washed over her, and she ran back up the steps to be swallowed up in his embrace. "I'm sorry, Daddy."
He patted the back of her head. "It's not important now. I want you to take the car and go home and get your things. You'll just start your job in Dayton early. Your mother and I will clean up this mess. Leave it to us."
Her head spun. "But I want to go back to Paris. Sophie thinks I should ask Arnaud—"
Her father released her. "You'll go to your new job in Dayton. That will prove to your boss in Paris that you can follow through on something. In the meantime, I will sue that kid for everything he owns."
"Daddy, don't." She backed away, still wanting to defend Mark and find a reasonable explanation for his absence. "He doesn't own anything anyway."
Her father lifted something from his tuxedo pocket, and it glistened in the sunlight. A key chain. She waited for an explanation.
"The keys to your new house."
"My new house?"
"In Dayton. It was to be your wedding present. Mark went to Dayton two weeks ago to finalize the details. He gave me the keys so I could present them to you at the reception." He raked his stubby fingers through his gray hair—a monument to his long work hours. He looked as if he'd aged a year in the past day.
Daphne watched the keys jangle but made no effort to reach for them. She didn't want a house in Dayton, Ohio. She didn't want anything in Dayton, Ohio. She wanted Paris. Perfumery. Mark. In that order? She wasn't sure.
"I want to go back to Paris," she repeated. "I want to be a professional 'nose' again. I only took the formulation job to be with Mark." She looked at her feet. She just admitted she'd been pathetic enough to take a job she didn't want for a man. A man who cared so little about her he didn't even give her a reason for leaving. Talk about casting pearls before swine.
Still, she wanted to cling to the idea that he was the man she loved. Mark was the one thing that would finally have been hers alone. She'd counted on him to take the sting out of her lonely childhood. With hindsight, that felt like the dumbest belief system she'd ever embraced. But when she thought of Mark's eyes and the way they looked at her, she knew she'd do it all over again.
"You're not going back to Paris," her father said. "Take them!" He shook the keys. "You have a job in Dayton, and you need a place to live. Now stop living in your dream world and get out of here. The guests will be out soon." He jutted his chin toward the limo.
A fresh wave of shame washed over her. It was a natural response. She'd never measure up. Maybe Mark's behavior only confirmed what her father had thought all along—that something just wasn't quite right about Daphne.
"No offense, Mr. Sweeten, but Daphne will live where she wants to live." Sophie snatched the keys from his outstretched hand, placed her other hand in the small of Daphne's back, and guided her firmly down the steps toward the limousine.
"Sophie, isn't part of being a therapist letting people take responsibility for their own lives?"
"Just get in the car, Daphne."
"I'm only doing what's best," her father called after them.
Daphne did as she was told and climbed into the car with her fluted gown shoved from behind by Sophie, who then ran around the other side and climbed in beside her. From behind the darkened windows of the limo, Daphne felt detached from the scene playing out above her. The people filing out of the church with shock and awe on their faces. The other bridesmaids milling about on the steps. On some level she was enjoying the spectacle. Like a guest at her own funeral.
"Other people just get married. Nothing happens. Their daddies walk them down the aisle and send them off in majestic triumph." She smelled the soiled leather of the aged limousine and knew the latest scent of failure.
The driver didn't ask her where they wanted to go; he just headed toward the bay. Sophie rapped on the window that separated them from him, and it slowly came down. "Where exactly are we going, Mr. Driver?"
"Tony," the man said, his brown eyes twinkling in the rearview mirror. "My name is Tony. I'm going to the embarcadero. I thought you'd enjoy the fresh air."
Daphne looked at Sophie. "He knows I've been dumped."
"Of course he does. You're in the limo with your maid of honor and no groom. There's no shame in this, Daphne."
The driver kept talking. "First I thought about the Palace of Fine Arts, but there will be too many tourists there on a Saturday. I think what our bride needs is peace."
"I'm not a bride," Daphne said. "I just play one on random Saturdays in June." She looked at Sophie. "If I ever choose to be humiliated again, remind me to pick a weekday. Fewer crowds."
"You should powder your nose. It's red."
Daphne shrugged. "I'm a bride without a groom; do you think anyone is going to look at my nose?"
"Looking good is the best revenge, and that gown is sheer perfection. You have a reputation to uphold for the designer."
"I don't want revenge," Daphne said. "I just want to know what happened. Maybe Mark is lying in a coma somewhere and can't get to me."
"Oh, Mark is brain-dead all right, but I can assure you, he's perfectly alive somewhere. Otherwise, his family would have been at the church."
Daphne pouted. She crossed her arms and touched the soft silk of the embroidered flowers on her bodice. "If I want to live in a fairy tale today, I think I should be allowed."
"I agree," Sophie said.
At the edge of the embarcadero, a quiet portion of San Francisco's bay front, Tony pulled into a parking lot and turned toward them. "You both look beautiful. Go out and enjoy the day." He turned around, draping his arm over the front seat. "You're not the first bride I've seen left at the altar, and you won't be the last. But you are the prettiest, so go out and revel in your future without this guy. He'll never do better."
The stranger's words made her smile, but suddenly she shook her head and grabbed Sophie's leg. "We have to go to the reception. The cologne I made for wedding favors for the guys. I need the bottles back to send to Arnaud so he'll remember that I'm worthy of the position he offered me once."
She didn't dare say the real reason. She was afraid Mark would get his hands on the bottles and claim he'd created the scent. If they were both going to be in Dayton working at the same company, that would be awkward enough. But if he tried to take credit for her work, her grace would officially run out for Mark Goodsmith.
"Your parents will grab them," Sophie said. "Let's go get some air."
Daphne tried to feel Sophie's sense of calm, but Mark was a chemist and had most of her formula. "What if—" But she didn't want Sophie to know it was even a fear.
"What if, what?"
Tony opened their door, and Daphne felt the rush of wind off the bay hit her with its murky, foul scent. She searched for motivation to get out of the car. When she failed to move, Sophie opened her own door and tugged at her arm. "Let's go. Air, remember?"
"I'd rather have chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate, and I wouldn't even care if it left little dark spots all over my dress."
"Yes, you would. We're selling that baby on PreOwned WeddingDresses.com, and it's going to buy me a trip to Dayton." Sophie hesitated. "If you go there, I mean. Come on, we're getting air." She breathed in deeply. "Ah, that is so refreshing!"
Sophie was the epitome of sweetness and light, with a side of control issues. Something like this could never happen to her, because the singing birds that flew around her head like a happy halo would never allow it. Her warm and compassionate disposition drew people to her like fresh honey, but cross one of her friends and you would rue the day. That was the side dish of control that apparently came with her degree in psychology.
Sophie was engaged. Her fiancé loved her unconditionally. At least it seemed that way from the outside, and even though Mark asked Daphne to marry him before Gary asked Sophie, it felt as though Gary and Sophie had been first. Daphne could just smell things. Her lost relationship was just one more way the friends were traveling in disparate directions.
"What if you catch whatever bad-luck disease I have? Do you ever worry about that, hanging out with me?"
"What?" Sophie yelled over the wind off the bay.
"Nothing." What did it matter? everyone would avoid contamination soon enough when she was quarantined to Dayton, Ohio.
They stood under the grand silver structure of the Bay Bridge. Daphne worried that a turbulent wind might catch her gown and cause her to take flight over the concrete barrier, tossing her into the choppy surf. The sight of the immense silver structure and the historic yellow streetcar on its rails, along with the embrace of the gusting wind, lifted her spirits. She was good at being alone in the world. Maybe she was meant to be alone.
"It's beautiful here." Sophie came up beside her and leaned over the concrete wall to see the surf slapping into the barrier below. "You forget, when you live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. You take it for granted."
"I don't," Daphne said. "I was thankful for every day in France and Switzerland. I'm thankful for every day here. But what if I can't feel that way in Dayton? Is that why God is sending me there?"
"He's not sending you there. You don't have to go."
"I have nowhere else to go."
"Stay here. Open up your own perfumery."
"I love how you believe I can do anything I set my mind to."
"Because you can."
"I can't stay here. I've brought shame on my parents. My mother will never let me hear the end of it, and my father will remind me daily what it cost him. Dayton will be fine until I can get back to Europe."
Excerpted from The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck Copyright © 2012 by Kristin Billerbeck. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Kristin Billerbeck is the author of numerous Christian novels, hitting the CBA bestseller list and winning the coveted ACFW Book of the Year in 2004 for What a Girl Wants and again in 2006 for With this Ring, I’m Confused. She has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, World Magazine, the Atlanta Journal Constitition and been seen on the "Today Show" for her pioneering role in Christian Chick Lit. She has a bachelor’s degree in advertising from San Jose State University.
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I loved this book! I’ve been a fan of Kristen Billerbeck for a while and have read most of her books, but I was unprepared for how this book progressed. While most other novels in this genre are predictable and seem to be the same story just in different settings, The Scent of Rain really kept me on my toes and guessing about the outcome all the way through the epilogue. Aside from the standard love story this novel had an air of mystery and suspense that kept me wondering what in the world was really going on. I really liked the characters in this book and hope to see them again in one of Billerbeck’s books. Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.
I have read most of Kristin Billerbeck's books and she is one of my favorite authors for Christian Chick Lit. This book was good with unexpected twists that kept me guessing until the end.
Author: Kristin Billerbeck Published By: Thomas Nelson, Inc. Age Recommended: Adult Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Blog For: GMTA Rating: 4 Review: "The Scent of Rain" by Kristin Billerbeck was indeed a enjoyable read .... the storyline was definitely unique...of one losing their ability to smell...being left at the altar...what had happened to the missing groom? ... meeting someone due to a new job location (Jesse)...and most of all I really enjoyed the christian element that was there throughout this wonderful read. The characters were all very believable from Daphne Sweeten to the very last one. "The Scent of Rain" brought will some laughter that you will only get from reading this novel and to have a best friend like Daphne had...(Sophie) was really off the chart. If you are in for some mystery, little suspense, romance, Christian values and realistic characters... you have come to the right place and I would recommend "The Scent of Rain" to you as a good read.
The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck was a fun story with a unique plot. Daphne is a “Nose”. Her job is to sniff and create product based on her sense of smell. At the beginning of the story, Daphne is about to be married to the man of her dreams. However, when she is ready to walk down the aisle, the groom is nowhere to be found, and there are no guests on the groom’s side of the church. Daphne is devastated and with that devastation she loses her sense of smell. She isn’t ready to move on, but she must. She has quit her dream job in Paris because she and her fiancé were going to work together in Dayton, Ohio, so this is where she heads, even though she doesn’t have a sense of smell in order to do her job, create household products that smell good. Daphne meets her boss Jessie who instantly has an attraction, and being one who enjoys reading girlie books, I knew something would develop here. Daphne soon realized that she was not going to get her sense of smell back any time soon and simply had to face the idea of moving on with life, leaving the past behind her. When she determined to do this, she found that God’s mercies are new every morning, a theme in the book. I really enjoyed reading this story, compliments from Booksneeze.
What do you do when your fiance dumps you at the alter, you end up working in a Podunk down town where you took a job because of your fiance, then you loose your sense of smell, which is quite important if you are a top perfumer? Well, you try to make the best of a bad situation. Daphne Sweeten left her fabulous Paris job to marry a man she thought was the man of her dreams. Turns out, he is kind of a swine, leaving her at the alter with not so much as even an explanation. Then off to a small Ohio town where she was supposed to take a job at a household products plant where she will create new scents. Only, she has suddenly lost her sense of smell. Now she only has to figure out how to either tell her new boss, Jesse, or hope and pray that she get's her nose back. As Daphne and Jesse work together to create new scents and make a go of her situation, they connect in unique ways. The Scent of Rain is a Christian inspirational story, and while I was quite excited to read this, I was highly disappointed at the whole plot. I was left reeling in spots where I did not understand dialogue, nor the situation. How is it a supposedly worldly woman who has lived in Paris for years working at a top perfumery not know what sangria is, and act like she doesn't have a brain in her head when it comes to life? I am surprised Daphne can even make it down the street. I also found Jesse, the boss and also hero, to be a bit of the non take charge kind of guy. Why would you tell the girl of your dreams that you wanted to marry her the minute you first saw her, but denied it the whole time? That makes absolutely no sense. Well, I just chalk it up to another christian book that turns me off from reading them in the first place. While some people may find the book fun, I found it tedious and I was left dragging my heels to finish it. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Daphne has been stood up. Not stood up on a date, she has been stood up at the alter. The groom nor his family ever showed up at the church. The only thing she feels right now is humiliated. It is as is she is in a daze unable to move. So many things are racing through her mind. Had she not seen this coming? He was so attentive and told her he loved her. Her father bought them a house and they were suppose to move into it after the honeymoon. What about the new job they were suppose to start? They were to be working for same company. She left her dream job as a nose, scent specialist, in Paris, France in order to marry him and live in the States. She needed to stop and pray for God to give her peace! As the day comes close to an end she realizes she can't smell anything. It must be from all the stress. Great now she would be stressed that her smell would not come back before she starts her new job. She was hired for her nose surely she would have her smell back once to started the new job. She decided she was not going to sit around feeling sorry for herself. She was going to start her new job. But she would not move into the house right away she would get a hotel room instead. When she gets into town she would go straight to her new workplace. What a shock her new boss is handsome. So far so good! She does not understand how she could feel attracted to this man when she was just dumped. She better concentrate on concealing the fact that she still could not smell anything. She also wanted to find out if her ex-fiance showed up for his new job. This was definitely going to be awkward. This book was suspenseful and kept me trying to solve the mystery of the absence of the almost groom. There surely was more to the story than a missing groom . The author did a great job in the creation of the main characters They showed their Christianity right from the beginning. They had so much faith in God. They believed he was leading them to this town and community. God had a plan for their lives and they had to learn to be at peace with His plan. They sought out this peace in prayer and through the comfort of their fellow Christians. I recommend this book. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze/Thomas Nelson for review. I was not compensated in any way for this review. It is my own opinion.
The Scent of Rain by Kristin Billerbeck is about Daphne Sweeten, a scent designer, who finds herself stood up for her wedding and losing her sense of smell. Her dream job was also no longer possible as her ex-fiancée took her dream job in Paris. She decides to move to Ohio, where she had a job waiting, which would have her developing scents for household products. When Daphne enters into this new job, a relationship begins with Jesse, the new boss of the company. The premise of a formally trained "nose" losing her sense of smell is new and interesting. The book is an easy read and keeps your interest throughout with a few twists and turns you may not expect. The heroine was very childlike and insecure and hard to believe she was a Scientist. Although the premise of the story was curious and the relationship dynamics were certainly interesting, I couldn't help but feel that it lacked some vital spark that could make it a wonderful book. Daphne is not a sympathetic heroine. I found it very hard to sympathize with her. She's a bit out of touch with reality and shallow, childish, self-centered and she made terrible choices that are obviously bad and seems too naive to be real. Her conversations with the other characters reflect her confusion and poor judgment. The conclusion of the book seemed both rushed and contrived. I received copy of eBook for review
Daphne was set to marry her dream man, after leaving a job in Paris she couldn't wait to start her life with him. When she was standing at the alter, she realized he and his family were not coming to the wedding. What was supposed to be the most happiest day of her life, turned into the biggest disaster and disappointment. Immediately she wanted to return to Paris, go back to the perfumery and not even wanting to go to Ohio where her new job and house are. Upon moving to Ohio, Daphne works at Gilbralater products trying to work on household fragrances, but she just wants to return to Paris. She finds herself losing her scent and questioning what kind of job she would be able to do if she was unable to smell anymore. She recieved a letter from Mark apologizing for leaving her, but Daphane was more upset. She learned that he was in Paris. This book has some interesting twists and turns. I have read other books by Kristin Billerbeck and this isn't my favorite. It's an enjoyable read, not my favorite, but good. I give this a 4/5 stars! Thank you Booksneeze for allowing me to review this book. I was not compensated for a positive review.
I thought it was interesting that the author chose to write about a "nose," someone who has an amazing sense of smell and interned at a perfumery in Paris. But, unfortunately, the story built around the Daphne (the nose) left me wanting. Left at the altar during what was supposed to be her San Francisco-based wedding, Daphne moves to Dayton, Ohio, where she had accepted a position working for Gibraltar in the household products division - big change from Paris. There she meets Jesse, a widower and father of a 4-year-old struggling to survive in the poorly managed company. I had a difficult time connecting with the characters because Daphne seemed too ridiculously naive and Jesse seemed too aloof. Some of the scenes, while ultimately explained, just don't make sense as they are unfolding. While the writing itself was decent, I was left wanting with "The Scent of Rain." Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson.
Daphne Sweeten lost everything in one moment: her wedding day. She gave her dream job working with perfume in Paris to marry the man she loves, who stands her up at the altar and takes her job. As if it couldn’t get any worse, she loses her sense of smell the same day. Forced to move to Dayton, Ohio, where she and her fiancé had planned to live, Daphne will have to figure out a way to work without her sense of smell. Kristin Billerbeck is the queen of Christian chick lit, and this one won’t disappoint fans or be their favorite. Daphne is a little weaker than most of Billerbeck’s heroines, but the girl has had a lot of major drama piled on at one time, so I have to give her a break there. I like who she becomes though by the end of the novel as she finds her niche. But, she’s not a standout character by any means. Jesse, the hero, is wonderful. He is still grieving the loss of his wife. I love that he struggles between being a dad and doing well at his job. I think most men do struggle with long work hours and not enough quality time with their kids even when they have a wife, but in most books with a single dad, the father seems to juggle the job and kids perfectly. Kudos to Billerbeck for addressing it. The minor characters are fabulous. I love the annoying Kensie and the sweet Anne. In fact, I would love for Kensie to have her own book as she still has a lot of story to tell. Overall, I enjoyed the book. Because Daphne seemed a little bland for a chick lit novel, I can’t say this is a book I will reread. But, it’s a good lazy summer day read. I was given this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.