ANGEL'S REST – Emily March
An Eternity Springs Novel , Book 1
ISBN: 978-0-345-51834-7
February 2011
Contemporary Romance

Eternity Springs, Colorado – Present Day

An isolated small town in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Eternity Springs is the place Gabe Callahan came to hide away. He'd rather be left alone while he works on remodeling the home of his friend, Jack Davenport. Gabe is still grieving from the loss of his beloved wife and son from an auto accident, and as ANGEL'S REST opens, he's contemplating suicide to join them. But out of nowhere a dog jumps him and, in a twist of fate, prevents Gabe's final, desperate act to end his life. The boxer dog is injured, so he takes it to the town's veterinarian, Dr. Nicole Sullivan. She's efficient, smart…and attractive. While Gabe just knows he can't ever love again, a slow bond begins to build between them. But Gabe is an emotionally wounded man who isn't fit for any woman.

Nic came back to Eternity Springs after the breakup of her marriage, which left her distrustful of whether she could ever fall in love again. Slowly she's built a practice from the ground up and enjoys life in this small town, where her single mom sister, Sarah, still resides. Encountering Gabe with a dog who isn't his has Nic curious about the man and why he prefers his solitude. Gabe is definitely a man of few words and isn't easy to know. The stray dog seems to attach himself to both Nic and Gabe, yet neither wants the emotional attachment and connection it brings to them. Slowly they get to know each other, and an uneasy friendship develops. But one Christmas Eve night, a distraught Gabe turns to Nic in a way older than time. In the ensuing aftermath, their lives are about to change. But is Gabe too emotionally shattered to have any kind of future with Nic?

This is a poignant journey of a couple who are not looking for love but are drawn to each other by the bond that ties them together—the dog—and the fact they're soul mates even though they don't realize it…yet. Gabe is in deep mourning, miserable, and running away from dealing with life. Even though he really had nothing to do with the death of his wife and son, he blames himself. Guilt is a big load to bear when you're the only one left alive in a family. Whether the dog (who is given many different names in ANGEL'S REST) is responsible for preventing Gabe from killing himself, we can only assume there is some spiritual intervention involved. Nic isn't as distraught as Gabe, but her wounds are there after walking away from her adulterous ex. She thinks she's content with life, but the entrance of Gabe into her life has captured her attention, and she's soon falling for him. Yet he continues to push her away. The connection between them will bring them together, and it's a long uphill journey before Gabe can find peace for himself and allow himself to care for—and fall in love with—Nic.

ANGEL'S REST is the first one in the Eternity Springs series, and we are introduced to several minor characters who help provide insight and fullness to this book. There is Nic's sister Sarah, who's facing the troubling realization that her only child, Lori, is about to become a senior in high school and soon will be leaving the nest. Now Sarah wants to find Mr. Right and hopes he can fill the void of her impending solitary life. Sage Anderson is new to town and appears to have some mysterious secrets. Why is Sage not telling the whole truth, and will they soon be revealed? Retired teacher Celeste Blessing is also new to town and is remodeling the old Cavanaugh House. Celeste has big plans, though Nic worries about her mental state with her visions and chatter about angels coming to save the town. All of these characters provide a rich, colorful background to the teetering friendship and romance of Nic and Gabe.

A warm and engaging tale of a couple rebuilding their lives, both in the real sense and in the emotional sense, ANGEL'S REST will have you on the edge of your chair as Gabe and Nic maneuver their way to each other. If you're looking for a read to leave you feeling warm and gooey inside, then you'll find ANGEL'S REST to be the perfect recipe.

Patti Fischer