Gayle Fortman has built a good life for herself and her three sons as an innkeeper in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. She has even maintained a cordial relationship with her ex, charismatic broadcast journalist Eric Fortman, covering with the boys for his absences and broken promises. Luckily Travis Allen, her closest neighbor, has been a loving surrogate father to the boys and her own best friend. Then, on the eve of oldest son Jared's graduation, Eric returns, having nearly lost his life in Afghanistan. Worse, he has lost his way and his courage, and needs a place to recover. Gayle realizes this might be the last chance for her sons to establish a real bond with their father, and offers him a summer at the inn and a chance to put things right. Gayle and Eric are all too aware that their onetime love and attraction are still there. But can the pieces of their broken lives be mended, or are they better laid to rest?
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The story moves along quietly, for the most part. No great peaks but also no lows. It's a nice read but nothing spectacular. Personally, I could have done without the 19th century parallel story - I get its purpose but it still bored me.