Soldier on Her Doorstep
From the back cover ~
One knock at her door will change her life forever...
Soldier Alex Dane promised his dying comrade he'd make sure his wife and daughter were okay, and so he finds himself on a doorstep with his heart in his mouth.
Lisa Kennedy loved her husband, but she must focus on her daughter, Lilly, who hasn't spoken since her daddy's death. Still, the least she can do is offer this battle-weary hero a place to rest.
When Lilly's little hand reaches for Alex's big, strong one, for the first time Lisa feels her buried emotions begin to stir...
When you have a heroine who was deeply in love with her husband and has been widowed for a matter of months, it can be tricky to have her fall in love again and make it believable. I did believe in Lisa's love for Alex by the end, and while she had her moments of missing William, the conflict she felt at falling in love with Alex felt very minimal. Which would have been fine but I couldn't help but think it had only been months since William died. Yes, he had been overseas for months prior to that but still...
Lisa Kennedy knew there could come a day when her husband William might not make it home. It still didn't make it any easier when she found out that William had been killed overseas while serving in the army. It's been months since his death and Lisa and her six year old daughter Lilly are trying to move on with their lives in Alaska. The way Lisa is portrayed you can tell she loved William very much and still does. But she understands that loving him doesn't mean she can't someday love another man. She's just not ready for it, instead concentrating on helping her daughter speak again. Lisa's reactions and thoughts were realistic for her situation but I was surprised at how quickly she fell for Alex. I did like that she's practical about it and I think that had to do with her being in love before and still believing in love. She could have become cynical and depressed but instead she continues to try to keep a positive outlook, if not for herself, then for Lilly.
Alex Dane is just passing through to fulfilling a promise. But instead of a quick stop, he ends up staying for a few weeks. Alex would be the last one to call himself a hero but that's what he becomes in the eyes of Lisa and Lilly. The way the relationship between Alex and Lilly developed was critical because there was no way Lisa would ever fall for a man that Lilly didn't trust or feel comfortable with. In creating that relationship Lane allows for Lisa to have a relationship with Alex. With both these relationships, Alex shows little bits and pieces of himself, letting Lisa, Lilly and the reader get to know this solitary man.
The romance is there but it takes a while to develop which makes sense since neither character is ready to jump in, feet first, to love. The problem is, for a short book (187 pages) it moved at nearly a snail's pace. I kept waiting for something, although I'm not sure what, to happen. There is some conflict from Lisa's family, specifically her sister, but it didn't play a large role in the story. Alex's feelings of guilt are lifted after a serious talk with Lisa and Alex finally has a home to call his own.
Soldier on Her Doorstep was a sweet, if a bit slow, romance. The writing is easy to read even with what I thought might be regional terms but now I'm thinking they might be due to the fact that the author is from New Zealand. Whatever is the case, I'm looking forward to reading more from Ms. Lane.