Pekkanen, having written a number of popular, character-driven novels, returns to comfortable terrain by focusing on two couples running a Vermont bed-and-breakfast.
When Rand and Alyssa offer to share their new B&B business with Peter and Kira, it seems an unlikely venture. Brothers Rand and Peter have an icy relationship, and Kira wants to make partner at her Miami law firm, not eggs Benedict for skiers. Rand and Alyssa, spontaneous, world-traveling bohemians, are just as improbable candidates for running an inn, but soon, the four find themselves together, fixing the old place up. Their first guests give them more than they bargained for—newly engaged Scott and Jessica decide to have their large winter wedding at the B&B. Though a boon for business, the timing couldn't be worse: Rand and Alyssa are going to China to adopt a baby. Though Alyssa is thrilled, Rand isn't sure about parenthood, and Peter starts pressuring skittish Kira to start their own family. Alyssa then discovers she's pregnant and needs complete bed rest. Thankfully, Dawn arrives on the scene; she reveals little about herself, but the reader has been privy to her sad tale since the novel's opening. An unassuming assistant at a New York investment firm, Dawn is thrilled (and surprised) when dashing Tucker falls for her. He says he's the CEO's son but changed his name and is starting in the mail room to prove himself; now if only Dawn could help him cook the books so he can make an "investment." Before she knows it, Dawn is on the run with $100,000 in her handbag, Tucker and the police chasing her. Although this novel shares some of the same qualities as Pekkanen's other successes, Dawn's subplot feels like a strained jolt of danger into an otherwise cohesive, if thinly plotted, family drama.
A likable, if lesser, effort from Pekkanen.