When a Lost Child warning blasts over the mall’s PA system, toy store manager Carly Mason finds the little girl playing with a stuffed rabbit. Something about five-year-old Penny Tremaine is different. An ex-social worker, Carly recognizes that Penny suffers fetal alcohol effects, and a piece of Carly’s own past suddenly confronts her. Never again will Carly become involved with a client. The risks are far too great. But something about Penny–and Penny’s handsome father–tugs at Carly’s heart. Before she has time to think it through, she agrees to a much-needed job as a nanny. Dr. Ryan Tremaine knows he messed up his life. But this summer he will redeem himself. With his ex-wife remarried and on a trip far away, his two teenage sons and Penny are living under his roof full-time. Ryan is dedicated to his sink-or-swim list, a plan to reconnect with his children. The first step: recruiting Carly Mason to be Penny’s nanny.
Ryan never anticipated being so drawn to Carly, an attraction Carly seems to fight as much as he does. Could Carly be the missing piece that helps his family stay afloat, or will their blossoming romance only complicate things further? (From Goodreads.com)
Sissy: If you watch Hallmark movies (that wasn’t an invitation for you, Bubby, or anyone else to mock me) you’ll find the “nanny falls in love with the widowed/divorced dad whilst caring oh so capably for his children and saving his family” stories are a favorite topic. Yes, this is one of those. But that should not be taken in a negative light. While I was reading Together With You, I didn’t feel like it was a trite revisitation but rather found it full of depth and feeling. The issues surrounding the family are more difficult and dark than in the more fluffy versions of this theme and I think the issues are explored in a satisfying manner.
Bubby: I agree on the issues issue. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) I was initially put off by the fact that little Penny suffers from Fetal Alcohol Effects, a less damaging version of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS is a major topic in the story – a little bit too much in the forefront for my taste at first. But the way Penny’s character was drawn and the challenges that arose from having a special needs child really made Together With You more intriguing and thought-provoking.
Sissy: The fact is that every family has “stuff” to deal with, even Bubby’s seemingly perfect one.
Bubby: Yep. But I’ll take my family’s “stuff” over anyone else’s problems any day!
Sissy: The moral of the story is that having problems does not preclude the forming of beautiful relationships and great love stories. It happens all the time in real life and should be mirrored in fiction. Together With You by Victoria Bylin is a lovely tale that shows how reality can come with a happy ending.
Bubby: I enjoyed the pacing. Too often we have a hasty “love at first sight” type of relationship in these cozy romances that we love so much. This couple was given lots of time and room to grow. Very satisfying! And as a bonus, we get a snarky nemesis – that character everyone loves to hate – in the form of Penny’s well-meaning but hopelessly ignorant aunt. It may be a little early to put together your summer beach reads list, but that’s ok. Put Together With You on the list anyway!
Click HERE to buy Together With You by Victoria Bylin
We received a copy of this title from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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