Jake McKenna is Brook Hollow. He’s the resident good guy, he runs the Chamber of Commerce, town council, and he’s even a member of the school board. He’s next in line for the Mayor position. He has everything he wants - except for Kira. He’s been in love with her for as long as he can remember, but how do you tell your best friend that you love her without losing her?
Kira races back to Brook Hollow to be with Jake after his phone call to tell her that he’s dying. It isn’t until six hours later when she arrives at his house that she finds out that he doesn’t have a confirmed diagnosis yet. He had a mole that had begun to change removed and the doctor has sent it for biopsy and told Jake that he’s pretty sure it’s melanoma. He won’t get the diagnosis of the biopsy until the following day. Jake asks Kira if she’ll go with him when he goes for the diagnosis. Kira told Jake that she’ll do anything he needs, she has no way of knowing that what Jake needs - for her to love him the way he loves her. After commiserating with Jake and holding him while he cries, Jake and Kira end up making love, though Kira is confused and still trying desperately to convince herself that they are still only friends. When Jake finally gets the results of the biopsy and knows it’s not cancerous, he feels like he has a new lease on life. Mistakenly he tells Kira that he loves her, only for her to tell him that she loves him too . . . but not in that way. Six months later, Kira comes home for Christmas, Jake and her relationship has been nonexistent ever since June, now with Christmas and their families so close, they’ll be spending time together again. Jake, has convinced himself that he’s over Kira and has a new girlfriend. Kira, however, is seeing Jake in a whole new light and realizes the right man for her may have been the same one that’s been her best friend her entire life. Now, she may lose him, or is she woman enough to fight for Þher man”?
I loved losing myself in this book. Natalie J. Damschroder creates a fascinating plot by combining the small town atmosphere with the idea of lifelong friends with a cancer scare. While Jake always knew of his love for Kira, she was blissfully unaware of having anything besides brotherly feelings for Jake - until the phone call and then she couldn’t imagine her life without him in it, but is that love? It’s not until Jake’s new girlfriend, Darcy becomes a reality that Kira realizes that she feels more for Jake than just a friendship, proving the theory that you never know what you have until it’s gone. Both Jake and Kira are heart-touching to read about, and Darcy is one of those perfect Þbad guys” that you love to hate. While checking out Ms. Damschroder’s website I discovered that this first in a trilogy called BROOK HOLLOW. There’s no information on a release date but I’ll definitely be keeping a look out for it. Kira’s sisters were a lot of fun to read about in this story and I’m happy to see that it looks like they’ll each have their stories told in books of their own.