FIRST COMES LOVE – Heather Heyford
A Willamette Valley Romance – Book 2
Willamette Valley, Oregon – The Present
At age forty, Alex Walker left his position on the Portland Police Department and moved to the small community of Newberry in the wine country of Willamette Valley. In this peaceful community he has joined the local police force. In his job, he doesn't see the regular violence of his former position, plus he has time to work on his wine blog and watch the birds in his back yard; it's a peaceful place. What he didn't expect was to see Kerry O'Hearn, the defense attorney who had won a case against his evidence in a trial in Portland. She is on the local television station while he sits in the Turning Pointy Tavern. Shortly, she is sitting at the bar, but he doesn't think she recognizes him.
Kerry O'Hearn recently returned to Newberry to practice law because that's where her family lives. Her father is a retired judge, and her brothers are either lawyers or vintners. At the bar something familiar about the stranger intrigues her, but she recognizes him as a cop. She's already had two failed romances with cops. In the first she got pregnant and he left her with her daughter Shay. The second cop she married and has her daughters Cholé and Ella, but he left, too. She has sworn off cops, has worked hard to support her girls, and is proud that she never asked anyone for help. Being a mother is the most meaningful thing in her life.
Alex has never felt like he belonged, not with his self-oriented parents or his brief marriage. He thinks of himself as beyond fatherhood, but two neglected boys remind him of his own unwanted status in his family, which ignites a protective instinct for the boys. Between her work and taking care of her daughters, independent Kerry has no time for romance, especially with a cop. However, as part of his job, Alex has to perform a public service, which in his case is helping teach local kids boxing. One of them is Shay, who feels friendless, shy, and powerless in her new school. Shay draws Alex into her family in unexpected ways with the help of Cholé and Ella. While there is sex in the story, it is about finding the right, irresistible person and family even if the odds are against a forever after.