Hard experience has taught Rose MacKenzie Kenneally that men can’t be trusted. But when gorgeous high school English teacher Jesse Lindstrom sweeps her off her feet at her brother’s wedding, Rose temporarily forgets that she’s given up on men forever. Eight weeks later, the unthinkable happens when this thirty-six-year-old divorced mother of two teenagers realizes she’s pregnant by a man she barely knows.
When Jesse proposes marriage, Rose digs in her heels. She cherishes her hard-won freedom, and no man, no matter how infuriatingly sexy or nice, is going to take that away from her. But her teenagers are running wild in the city. Her ex, Eddie the snake, is too busy with his new trophy wife to be bothered with something as trivial as fatherhood. Luke and Devon need the stabilizing influence of a man like Jesse Lindstrom. So she accepts Jesse’s proposal with a few conditions of her own.
Jesse wants a real marriage, but Rose is determined to resist his charm. The harder she resists, the harder he pushes, and indifference becomes increasingly difficult. But Rose carries a dark secret, one she’s kept hidden for twenty years, a secret that could destroy their shaky marriage. When Jesse faces a serious accusation, Rose is forced to confront her demons head-on. Is Jesse Lindstrom the one man she can trust? Or will she discover that she’s sleeping with the enemy?
Ms. Breton is a new-to-me author, who has a lot of potential. She established the characters particularly well, and the story surged along seamlessly. This couple had insurmountable obstacles to overcome, with three teenagers among the two households; I couldn’t imagine this happening as well as it actually did. I figured it would take longer than it did. The truth of the matter is the kids dealt with it a lot better than the adults. Devon surprised me in the way that only teenage daughters can, standing up for her mother even as she gives her hell.
Both Rose and Jesse have been put through the ringer when it comes to love. Neither is willing to count on the other or willing to give their all to the marriage and they sense the other one doing the same to them. The fact that they still fall in love with each other is amazing, especially considering the fact that they withheld so much of themselves from each other. I will definitely be reading more about Jackson Falls.