by Donna Alward
Anna Morelli’s life looked picture perfect—until her husband had an affair with the nanny. She’s ready to file for divorce when a freak accident claims his life, and she’s forced to act the grieving widow. Trouble is, she’s not much of an actress. She has to get away—somewhere her meddling family won’t think to find her. That place is Two Willows Winery, the new home of her former best friend and ex-lover, Jace, and prays their childhood friendship is strong enough that he won’t turn her away.
Jace never expected to see Anna at his door. He’d been the son of the help; she was the Morelli princess, and their affair was doomed from the start. He’s never forgiven her for breaking his heart—or marrying someone else. But he can’t turn her away. Not when she needs a roof over her children’s heads, and some peace of mind. He knows firsthand how strong her father’s influence can be, and her need to break away.
But their painful history isn’t forgotten, and as old secrets are finally revealed, their love is rekindled. Can Jace let go of his grudge and forgive her? Can she trust him again? Or are their wounds too deep to ever truly heal?
In so many ways, her life had been waiting for her. Like a bottle of Two Willows Syrah, all the flavors and notes and tones locked inside until Jace had uncorked it. With Jace she had the freedom to breathe, and with that freedom came unexpected richness, full and satisfying.
Breathe was a quick yet somewhat heavy read, as the story was laden with angst, regrets, grief, sorrow, and wasted years based on misconceptions. I had a difficult time warming up to Anna, she had always been wealthy and privileged and was often rude, thoughtless, snide, and a drama llama. She had made so many poor choices, and even though she was aware of her mistakes, she was a prickly pear about them and repeatedly hurled insults at poor Jace rather than own up to her miscues. However, as her story slowly unfolded – I grudgingly soften towards her. The storyline was heart-squeezing and fraught with tension, regret, and poor communication – which, due to my personal distaste for angst, left me unsettled yet also intrigued. Despite my discomfort, I wanted to know their secrets as well as their full history and how the story would unfold and resolve. Kudos to Ms. Alward for holding my attention and keeping me engaged despite my aversion and rewarding me with a sweet HEA.
Since all four books are second-chance-at-love stories, they have been branded a Second Chances series and the first one, ALMOST A FAMILY is currently ***FREE*** and the other three full-length novels are priced at $3.99.
You can find buy links, read blurbs and first chapters by going to the Second Chances Series page on the author’s website.
DONNA ALWARD BIO: While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!
Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.