A single mother builds a new life and finds new love.
Sara Kyle’s life shatters the day she watches her husband collapse and die from a brain aneurysm while playing with their two-year-old son. Not only does she lose the man she loved, but she is suddenly the single mother of not only one child, but also a second son born just weeks later. Despite such devastating loss, Sara keeps going for her children’s sake and leaves the Midwest for California for a new start. Falling back on her interior-design training and talent, she builds her own business, buying, renovating and renting properties. Like her career, her boys grow and thrive. Her love life, however, remains empty, though she has suffered through many setups instigated by her matchmaking friend Maggie. When she meets handsome pediatric surgeon Mark Raybourne, she is strongly attracted to him despite her hesitation about getting involved with someone. The infatuation is mutual, but their courtship almost gets derailed before it begins by an awkward turn in their initial conversation. But Mark perseveres in winning over this beautiful, strong, no-nonsense woman, and the two find themselves falling for each other. Just as their romance begins to take off, however, Mark’s ex-girlfriend makes it known that she is not willing to give him up so easily and throws a devastating wrench into things that threatens to split the new lovers apart for good–and tear apart Sara’s life once again. Russello’s well-crafted debut novel treads on fairly worn melodramatic territory, but her characters are so real and skillfully drawn that it hardly matters. The author draws readers in with engaging prose and a heart-wrenching narrative, despite the story’s predictable plot twists.
Love’s labors aren’t always lost.