Ever After, book 3 - Prince Charming Can Wait
By Dottie
Nov 22, 2013 - 12:19:53 PM

Harlan Shea and his coworker Blue Carboni are private hires, mercenaries who work for no government. For families with nowhere else to turn, they are the last hope. Harlan grew up with a bullying father and a mother who abandoned him. So he doesn’t really know much about family life, although he cares deeply for his sister, Astrid, who came into his life years after his mother left him. When Harlan gets shot during his latest mission and is left wounded miles away from the rendezvous point, he believes he is going to die. Thinking about finding his father, who had lain several days with a broken leg before succumbing to death, he realizes he doesn’t want to die like that. But then no one had cared enough to look for his father or even want to find him. The private firm that Harlan works for does not have a next of kin on file for him. As he lies there after being shot, he decides to not be a repeat of his father. He is going to make it home and let Astrid know just what he does for a living. Someone has to notice when he dies.

Although Emma Watson had been married to a monster, there is no joy in the fact that her marriage is over, only a feeling of loss. Fortunately, her friends, Astrid, Clare and even the well-meaning town gossip Eppie, are there for her. Still she cannot help envying them. Both Astrid and Clare are happily married to good men and deep down this is what she wants. But emotionally scarred and afraid to trust, Emma feels that single life seems safer, so she has given up on dating. Working as a curator at a museum, Emma’s first love is painting. She even teaches an art class at the local youth center as a volunteer. That is where she met and fell in love with five-year-old Mattie Williams.  When Mattie fails to show up for a class, Emma discovers that she is in a foster home. Mattie’s aunt and uncle, who took care of her after her mother’s death, are no longer able to provide for her. More than anything Emma wants to adopt Mattie and give her a stable home, but being alone and single counts against her.

Arriving back in Birch Crossing with only forty-eight hours before his next mission, Harlan sees his sister in the midst of her domestic bliss and decides not to bring her into his mess. His emotional scars have left him feeling like a monster. Running into Emma, the woman he has desired since they first met, his feelings for her overcome him and they share a heated kiss. Then he realizes that if anything happens to him, he wants Emma to be the one to be notified.

Emma has craved Harlan since she first met him, but he is out of town more than he is in it. Although she recognizes the monstrous side of Harlan that much of the world notices, she also sees the gentle man. The night before Harlan is due to leave on his next mission, he and Emma meet again. That night they strike upon the perfect solution to both of their situations and make a secret pact. Are they setting themselves up for more heartache, or have they finally found what they have been longing for? Will he return from his latest mission? Will they both get what they want?

A touching tale, PRINCE CHARMING CAN WAIT, the third book in award winning author Stephanie Rowe’s EVER AFTER series, is a poignant, sensual contemporary romance that will steal your heart. Both Harlan and Emma are vulnerable people, damaged by their pasts and neither one feels that they fit in with their friends and families’ lives. Together they may just find what they have been missing, but can they make it work?

Angst, abuse, divorce, neglect, heartache, secret missions, healing, forgiveness, romance, love and second chances intertwine in this wonderful story that will bring readers through a range of emotions, from tears to laughter and back again. I enjoyed this story immensely and cannot wait to see what Ms. Rowe comes up with next. If you are looking for a great story with plenty of heart, humor and honest emotion, this book is the one for you. Fans will love this story and if you’re not a fan yet, I highly recommend that you try this series!

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