Series: Conard County: The Next Generation (Book 24)
A DEPUTY DADDY?
After her policeman husband died in the line of duty, Vicki Templeton swore off lawmen -- both for herself and her four-year-old daughter. Krystal can't afford to lose another father figure, and Vicki refuses to subject them both to such pain again. But when she moves from Texas to Conard County, Wyoming, Vicki's heart is on the line after she meets her handsome, helpful new neighbor.
A widower himself, sheriff's deputy Dan Casey knows a thing or two about loss. He tries to keep his distance from beautiful Vicki and her adorable child, but Vicki's sweet kid makes him long for the family he's always dreamed of. Can a determined little girl teach her mother and the cop next door a thing or two about love?
Very good story about love and loss. After her policeman husband was killed, Vicki was surrounded by the caring attitudes of his coworkers. But after a year went by, she started to feel smothered by the attention and unable to really move on from her loss. So she moved herself and her daughter in with her aunt in Conard County Wyoming, looking for a fresh start. The first person she meets is next door neighbor Dan who is handsome, helpful - and a cop. The last thing she wants to do is get involved with another man with a risky job. But Dan is sweet and kind and her daughter Krystal takes to him right away. Vicki is torn, because Krys needs someone like Dan in her life, but she's hesitant to risk the pain of loss again.
Dan understands what Vicki is going through. He lost his wife to cancer a few years earlier and he's still working his way through some of the grief. He can see that his job makes Vicki cautious about spending much time with him, but he can't stay away.
I loved the way the relationship developed between Dan and Vicki. He understands her fears and offers simple friendship at the beginning. He's attracted to her, but knows that she isn't ready for anything else. I loved seeing him take Krys under his wing and do things that would make her happy. It was obvious that he would make a fantastic father. As Vicki got more comfortable with him, his attraction to her grew. Vicki had felt the zing of attraction from the beginning, but fought it really hard. She couldn't resist his friendship, and his sensitivity to her fears made it pretty easy for her to hang out with him. I really liked the way that they talked about their feelings and fears like adults, instead of making a bunch of dramatic declarations. When Dan is there for her in a crisis, Vicki begins to realize that her feelings are deeper than she had expected. It's not long before she has to face her fears head on and decide if love can overcome them. I loved the scene with Krys after she came home from her sleepover and showed Vicki how to do it. The ending was sweet and emotional.
I really liked Vicki's daughter, Krys. She was an adorable kid, but the best part was the way her reactions felt so real. Though she was often a typical four year old, there were moments when her grief and fears appeared. I loved the way that Vicki and Dan dealt with them. Vicki's worries were logical and realistic. I also loved Krys's immediate connection with Dan. There were some really sweet moments between them.