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Angel’s Rest

December 29th, 2016
Author: Emily March    Series: Eternity Springs #1

Welcome to Eternity Springs, a little piece of heaven in the Colorado Rockies.

Gabriel Callahan has lost everything that mattered. All he wants is solitude on an isolated mountain estate. Instead, he gets a neighbor. Vibrant, no-nonsense Nic Sullivan is Eternity Springs’ veterinarian, and she has an uncanny plan to lure this talented architect back to the world of the living. First with a dog, next with a renovation project, and, finally, with a night of passion that ends with a surprise.

Now a man still raw from tragedy must face the biggest struggle of his heart. Can he forgive himself and believe in the power of second chances? Dare he trust in the promise of a future and a brand-new family here in Eternity Springs?

This book may contain explicit intimate scenes, so if you are not 18+ then I probably wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.
My Review

I borrowed this from my library on a whim waiting for one of my other books on hold to come in just to pass my time by. I will say it was alright, I didn’t love it, but nor did I hate it either. I felt at times it was a bit bland in certain areas due to the fact that I felt like nothing exciting or interesting happened other than the heroine – Nic – surprised unplanned pregnancy with the hero – Gabriel.

“Would you like to dance?” She smiled at him. “Look at the gym floor, Gabe. This is a father-daughter dance.” “Yeah. Well, so what? Consider this my first dance with my daughter.” At that, Nic went all gooey and some of her lingering doubts eased. Gabe Callahan was a good man. She tilted her head at him and asked, “What if she’s a he?” “Well, I grew up going to dance halls in Texas, and believe me, it’s never too early for a guy to learn to two-step.”
“When I came to Eternity Springs, I’d lost my ability to believe in anything but pain. This place healed me. You healed me. Your love healed me.” Her lips pouted, and with a touch of petulance in her voice she replied, “I never told you I loved you.” Not gonna make it easy for me, are you? But he had won. He could see it in her eyes, the subtle softening of her body. He kissed her hands, gently nipped her skin, and said, “Then tell me now.” She wrinkled her nose and kept her mouth stubbornly silent. “I love you, Nicole,” he repeated. “You are my heart, my soul, my world. You and Eternity Springs have taught me an invaluable lesson. Even if tragedy strikes my life again and God takes you away from me, as horrible as that would be, I know that I’d survive it. Love can hurt, but if you’ll let it, love also can heal. It truly is a miraculous medicine. You believe that, too, don’t you?” When she nodded, her eyes now swimming in tears, he said, “That’s why I know that eventually you’ll forgive me. Love heals. Now, my love, you say it. Tell me you love me.” She reached out, grasped the silver medal that hung around his neck, and rubbed her thumb over the angel’s wings. Then she released the medal and tenderly touched his cheek. “I do love you, John Gabriel Callahan. I forgive you. Just don’t do anything so stupid again, okay?”
Nic walked to the end of the hallway and opened the door that led to the unfinished attic. She flipped on the light switch and gasped aloud. The attic wasn’t merely finished. It had been transformed. He’d chosen a mountain wildlife theme for the nursery that suited the space to a T, and he’d included two sets of everything—two cribs, two dressers, two changing tables, and even two full-size rocking chairs. Both rockers sported cushions that had been embroidered with two words: Mama Bear on one, Papa Bear on the other. “Oh, Gabe,” she said with a sigh. She sat in the Mama Bear rocker, rubbed her belly, and that’s when she saw the mural on the wall. Papa Bear, Mama Bear, two Baby Bears, and a crooked-tailed boxer sprawled at their feet. Papa Bear held a T-square. Mama Bear had a stethoscope draped around her neck. In the sky to the right, a happy-faced sun shined down upon them. In the sky to the left, two silhouettes with angel wings sat perched at the apex of a rainbow.

Not long ago, he lost his wife and son in a car accident which sends him into a depressed stupor, so much so that he teeters on the edge of not wanting to live anymore, so image how he feels when Nic springs that little juicy bit of news on him. Let’s say he isn’t jumping for joy, but he does offer marriage and to help with financial needs for the baby. Through the book Gabe struggles with the idea of becoming a father again, so much so that it drives Nic away, making her leave him as she can’t handle it anymore. At this point he realizes he does love Nic and he wants to fix this mess he’s made and wants one more chance to be a father to their babies (yes twins, what a coinkydink huh?).

“I’m fine. How are you, Nic? How are the babies?” “Why aren’t you in town?” she asked with an edge in her voice. “Why are you holed up at Eagle’s Way?” “I miss you.” “Answer my question.” “I just did. I miss you, Nic. Town is lonely without you. It’s crowded with tourists, too, and for some reason that only makes me miss you more.” After a long pause, she said, “Your sister-in-law told Celeste that you almost killed yourself last fall. There’s some concern you’ve, um, relapsed. Everyone is very worried about you.” “Everyone?” He waited a long pause, but when she failed to respond, he added, “No one needs to worry. I’m not depressed and I’m certainly not suicidal. I don’t want you to be concerned about my mental health. Except for missing you, I’m fine, I promise. In fact, Celeste came by a little while ago. You can talk to her. She’ll back me up. Now, since I have you on the phone, can I ask how you’re doing? How the babies are doing? I think about you every day and—” “Stop it, Gabe,” she interrupted. “I’m not ready for this. The only reason I called was because I can’t say no to Lori.” “Then I guess that attending childbirth classes with you is out of the question?” “Doing what?” “I assume you’re signed up for childbirth classes and I was hoping you’d let me go with you. Otherwise I’m going to go to the classes at the hospital over in Gunnison.” “Wait. Hold on. I don’t get it.” “I want to be part of their lives, Nicole. I’m not going to push you, but I want you to know that I’m committed. I will be there for them, and for you, to whatever extent you’ll allow. I know you have good reason not to believe me, so I’m not going to ask that of you. I’ll let my actions prove my words.” He held his breath waiting for her response. For a long moment she said nothing. When she finally did speak, she broke his heart. “You hurt me, Gabe.” “I know.” He swallowed hard, and in that moment he truly despised himself. “I’m so, so sorry.”
“And once she has the babies? What then?” “Then I figure out a way to fix it. Fix us. I’m going to fight for her, Celeste.” “And you intend to do that how?” “That, I’m not so sure about. I have to convince her that I’m here for the duration. That I’m committed. That I’m not like her father or her ex or even the man I was that stormy night in June. I will not fail her again. I have to find a way to convince her that she can trust me.” He paused and gave Celeste a sidelong look. “Any suggestions on how I can pull off that miracle?” “I have a particular interest in miracles,” she replied, offering a beatific smile. “Tell you what, Gabriel. Try to convince me that Nic’s heart is safe with you, and I’ll see what miraculous advice I have to offer. How are you a different man from the one who abandoned her at the hospital?” Gabe took a few moments to organize his thoughts before he shrugged and said, “Maybe it’s not that I’m a different man, but that I’ve managed to put the pieces of myself back together again. It’s been a slow, steady process that occurred beneath my own personal radar, not as some great moment of revelation. Nic’s leaving me was a kick to the gut that opened my eyes. I knew I had dealt with my past because I cared about the future. I’m whole again. Well, except for the fact that the person who completes me is living in Denver at the moment.” “What does your being whole have to do with the safety of Nicole’s heart?” “Everything.” Gabe splashed the water gently with his heel and watched the ripples radiate outward. “I’m strong again, Celeste. When I first came to Eternity Springs, I was so weak that a snowflake could have knocked me down. Actually, a snowflake did knock me down. This town and these people helped me climb back onto my feet. I know that if we were to rerun that drive to the hospital right now, I’d still be afraid of losing the babies, of losing Nic, but I wouldn’t run. I will be there for her from here on out. Every single time. I can’t prove it. I have no big, splashy sign to show her. I just know it in my bones. So tell me, Celeste, how can I convince Nic of something so intangible? How can I convince her to trust me again?” “Your instincts are good. You are smart to be patient. All her energies and concerns right now are focused on the babies. When the time does come that she is willing to revisit your relationship, Nic needs to know that she can depend on you. I suspect you’ll have to win her back one small act at a time.” “I’m willing to do that. I just need her to give me the opportunity to prove myself.” He lifted his gaze to where an eagle soared against the cerulean sky. “I love her, Celeste. I didn’t think it could happen again, but it has. I love her.”
“Why did you do this?” “Is it okay? Do you like it?” “I asked first.” “Okay.” He shoved his hands in his back pockets and paced the length of the room. “I won’t try to make any more excuses for my behavior, Nic. You have every right to hate me for leaving you that day. I know I can’t make up for the hurt I caused you, but I wanted to do more than just apologize. Words are important, but they’re not everything. Like the saying goes, actions speak louder. I looked for a way to prove to you that I won’t let you and the babies down again.” “So you sent the cradles.” “Yes.” “You went to childbirth classes by yourself.” “I did.” Her gaze broke away from his and he watched her as she studied the walls. “You’re an excellent artist.” “Architects learn how to draw. I considered asking Sage to paint the murals, but …” He shrugged. “I wanted to do them.” “Why?” Gabe’s heart began to pound. It was one thing to admit it to himself or to Celeste, but something else entirely to say it to Nic. To commit to Nic. Last chance, Callahan. If you have any doubts at all, you need to keep your lips zipped. He waited a beat, searched within himself, then smiled. “Why?” he repeated. “Because it was a labor of love.” He walked over to her, went down on one knee, took her hand, and kissed it. “I’m not afraid to love those babies anymore. I love them. I want to be there when they’re born. I want to help you raise them. I want to be their dad.” Tears swam in her eyes and she swallowed hard. Gabe went down on both knees and claimed both her hands. Held them tight. “I said this before, but my timing stank, so maybe you’ll get the message better now. Nic, I’m not afraid to love you anymore, either. I love you. I am in love with you. Please, give me another chance. Give us another chance. I won’t let you down again. You have my word. My oath.” He kissed one hand and then the other. “Nic, you have my heart. Please, be my home.”

Two other things I thought odd was the finding of a century plus old skeleton in a wedding gown hidden in a wall in Celeste’s (a secondary character) home and the mention of Gabe’s past with foreign counties or some government – oh heck I can’t fully remember – which I thought why throw that in? It just felt out of place to me. However it didn’t mention at the end of the book what the gender of their babies were since Nic hadn’t went into labor yet, so I snooped in the second book for that tid bit to satisfy my curiosity. But in the end, I wouldn’t read it again as it was definitely a ‘read only once and done’ type of book. I probably won’t even attempt at reading the rest of this series due to the face it didn’t really hold my interest very well unfortunately.

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