Title: A Season of You
Author: Emma Douglas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: October 2017
Length: 293 pages
Series?: Cloud Bay #2
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
It’s Christmastime in the quaint island town of Cloud Bay, where love is always in season…
Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight since the day he first laid eyes on Mina Harper five years ago. There was only one problem: She was happily married. Then, when Mina’s husband was killed by a drunk driver, Will figured she’d want nothing to do with a guy who owns a whiskey distillery. So he’s kept his feelings locked away, knowing that not even a Christmas miracle would be enough to melt Mina’s heart. . . Mina believes her days of true love are behind her. Since losing her husband she’s kept to herself, content to do her own painting and stay out of the limelight that comes with her famous family. But when, after a freak accident, Will comes to her rescue, Mina can’t quite get him out of her mind. As curiosity turns into a fling during Cloud Bay’s first Christmas Festival, she finds it harder to convince herself that her feelings for Will are just mistletoe-inspired. Could Mina be ready to lay the past to rest and finally admit that what she really wants for Christmas–and forever–is Will?
Ever since seeing Mina Harper waiting for the ferry five years ago, Will Fraser has believed in love at first sight. Will’s dreams with his dream girl were dashed when he discovered Mina was happily married. He set Mina out of his sights, but she was never far from mind. He continues to build his whiskey distillery business with his brother, Stefan, on Lansing Island. The Salt Devil is waiting for its first barrels to ready, and run a bar to ensure continual capital in the meantime.
Fast forward five years and Mina has experienced more loss than someone her age should. She lost her infamous and legendary rock star father to cancer, and shortly after she lost her beloved husband to a drunk driver. A drunk driver leaving Will and Stefan’s bar. While Will is responsible for all the accounting of the distillery and bar, those numbers just don’t add up in his favor. He’d never even stand a chance of getting more than a perfunctory greeting in passing from Mina Harper.
With winter weather settling in, Mina is cursing her bad fortune with a flat tire late one night. With a mishap and misstep, Mina goes down hard. With Will’s late nights, he notices the car pulled to the side of the road and then the sudden wild wielding of a flashlight slicing through the dark and takes himself out to investigate. He discovers Mina lying on the ground with a gash on her head. Bundling her and her lab Stewie into his rebuilt Mustang, he takes her to the hospital. Being discharged, Will is tasked with taking care of Mina throughout the night.
Lansing Island is home to the Harper family and her father’s Blacklight bandmates. They basically have their own compounds on the island, monitored by high tech security and everything. Her older brother Zach is off touring and her older sister Faith is still on the island and newly married. Lou, her father’s second wife and Lou’s mother, is the self-proclaimed mother to all three of the Harper kids.
Like Rapunzel in her tower, Mina hardens her heart and locks herself in her lighthouse when the storms of life are too much. Trying just to cope and survive the day to day, for the last few years Mina has been serving as the night shift for the island’s search and rescue operations. While it is an unpaid, voluntary position, Mina doesn’t need the money after her inheritance. She does it to serve a purpose and to chase away her own demons. She enjoys the solitude of the night, it keeps her from fighting her PTSD and sleeping at night, and she can take her dog Stewie. Every morning she returns to the lighthouse on the Harper compound and spends the morning hours using the fabulous light to paint by. She has an upcoming art show in LA that she is furiously working to finish paintings for. It is the first thing she will do on her own – out from her father’s famous name. She is set to send 30 ocean seascapes to the gallery, but that night with Will has her doing nothing but thinking of drawing his face, his hands. Him. It is a distraction she can’t afford right now, and a risk she can’t take.
When Mina’s boss tasks her with attending and aiding in the annual Christmas Festival, Mina is in weekly contact with the mayor, Angie, and Will. The mayor has set her sights on belittling the Harper family after her father starts dating Lou, Mina’s step-mom. While I feel there is much more to Angie’s anger, I enjoyed Mina and Angie’s own father setting her straight from her witchy words.
But mistlefoes change sides when the mistletoe is hung, and soon Will finds himself getting the opening he’s always been hoping for. Mina sets the boundaries that this relationship is only temporary. Will bets on Mina letting her self-imposed parameters fall away as the days and nights go on. Will understands Mina’s insecurities and also respects her feelings, doing everything he can to help her. In their time together, Mina learns there is so much more to Will than whiskey. Despite living on the island, he has a terrible fear of the water. But it’s not the water that destroys his relationship with Mina. The differences in their lives – Will working for everything he has, putting everything into The Salt Devil and Mina having everything at her fingertip’s courtesy of her daddy’s millions – rend a tear in the fabric of what they were building together.
Before the books happened she did the usual things (was a band geek (and a geek generally), had crushes on rock stars and fictional characters, spent chunks of her summers on an island beach, got a degree in something sensible that doesn’t involve writing about kissing, became a black belt in internet procrastination, fell down the rabbit-hole of craft, traveled a bit, indulged her love of baked goods, got bossed around by cats, began a quest for the perfect margarita, and napped to recover from all of the above.
She still does most of that plus the writing thing from a tiny house which her feline overlords have kindly agreed to share with her.