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cover71554-mediumThe Comfort of Favorite Things

A Hope Springs Novel

by Alison Kent

When Dakota and Thea reunite in Hope Springs after a decade apart, their love might pass the test of time…

No matter how many years Dakota Keller has spent trying, he can’t outrun his past, so when a private investigator tells him his sister needs him, he travels to the small Texas town of Hope Springs to start a new life with the support of his siblings. When he arrives to do a routine construction job at the town’s new espresso bar, he’s shocked to discover that the owner is Thea Clark—the girl he couldn’t resist in high school and whose memory kept him sane in prison.

Recovering from an abusive relationship, Thea decides that her past is off-limits for discussion, even with Dakota. After all, it feels like a lifetime since she last saw him. But when Dakota’s brother’s firm is tapped to renovate the women’s shelter Thea runs out of her home, old feelings quickly reignite. Could a casual affair from high school turn out to be the one connection neither of them can live without?

I haven’t read the other Hope Springs stories and while I think that this one could MOSTLY stand on its own, it might be easier to understand some of the issues if you’d read at least the two stories about Dakota’s siblings.  I get the idea that a lot of the issues for Dakota were fleshed out in those earlier stories and here we pick up a year after the private investigator finds him & he comes to live with his siblings.  We get the basics of what sent him to prison and why he’s been away for so long, but I definitely wonder how much more I would have understood with the background of those other stories.

Having said that, I really liked this story.  It isn’t really so much a romance (although the connection between Dakota and Thea is so very sweet) but more of a women’s fiction piece because it is a lot about letting go of the past to embrace the future.  Both Dakota and Thea, and Thea’s friends, have things they’ve done or have had done to them that they are carrying around.  These things are influencing their actions now, causing them to not be able to really live and relate to the world around them.  We get involved as they try to find out if they can let that go and really move on.  It’s tragic and emotional and heartwarming and while you probably don’t have the same kind of past you might learn a thing or two yourself 🙂

Available on Amazon – http://amzn.to/1gvzIBR

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