All she ever wanted for herself was to be loved.
When her beloved aunt’s sudden illness sends Nai back to Chapel Cove to manage the town’s bookstore, her successful, independent, organized life in Texas seems a million miles away. Between a book-hoarding aunt, a leaky roof, unruly pets, wobbly faith, and flaky bookstore staff, the last thing she wants is to have to rely on local cop Mateo Rodriguez for help. Not when he’s the guy who broke her heart, convincing her to focus on her career, not romance.
Mateo, returned to the Cove to help his aging grandfather, never forgot his first love Nai or the one sweet kiss at sixteen that sent her running. Normally confident and capable, being around each other shoots them both back into their teenage shyness and insecurity.
They’ll need to overcome soul-deep hurts, lies they believe about themselves, learn to trust in God, and risk being vulnerable enough to accept their second chance at love at forty. Will a crisis bring them together — or tear them apart?
A sweet and quirky second-chances/ opposites attract / seasoned couple romance, with a plain heroine and a scarred hero.
I really enjoyed reading Cherish Me and visiting with the fascinating cast of characters in the Chapel Cove community. Nai is a single and successful career woman who only returns to her home town to assist her beloved Aunt Ivy. It’s Nai’s first visit to Chapel Cove since she left years earlier, vowing never to return. Nai’s orderly life is thrown into chaos by the craziness of running her aunt’s book store and cafe plus looking after two dogs, a cat, and a parrot. Nai has plans to return to Austin, Texas, when her Aunt Ivy’s health improves.
Mateo is Nai’s childhood sweetheart who’s now a policeman in Chapel Cove. He’s more than happy to help Nai when things go wrong – which happens a lot! Mateo has feelings for Nai, despite their many decades apart. They reconnect as friends, and a sweet romance unfolds that challenges their faith and life choices.
Mateo’s grand gesture doesn’t go according to plan, but Mateo and Nai do manage to negotiate the many obstacles, misbeliefs and past history that stands in the way of their happily-ever after. Highly recommended for contemporary romance readers who enjoy fun and lighthearted stories with quirky characters and adorable pets.