When she hears that the small town of Heritage, Michigan, is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a storage closet stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.
All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished so he can do right by the family business and then extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town’s new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints–and possibly even his heart?
Novelist Tari Faris invites you back to the small town with a big heart in this second book in the Restoring Heritage series.
I enjoyed reading Until I Met You (Restoring Heritage, Book 2) and visiting with the characters in Heritage from book 1, You Belong With Me. Libby is looking for a new start and moves to Heritage to be closer to her brother, Luke. Her new librarian job in Heritage is not what she expected. She’s staying in Luke and Hannah’s home, and they unexpectedly need to go away due to Hannah’s hospitalisation for her high risk pregnancy.
Libby struggles with trust issues and anxiety from her past, and as a result she questions her ability to accurately discern the true character of the people she meets including Austin, her new next door neighbor. Libby’s dog escapes from the backyard, befriends Austin’s dog, and disrupts Austin’s plans to earn money from breeding his female pedigree dog.
Austin has moved to Heritage to complete the landscaping project of the town square, and use the funds to save the family business. His father has moved to a care facility, and it was his dad’s declining mental health issues that contributed to the family business experiencing financial stress. Austin feels like he’s second best and lives in the shadow of his brother. Nate is the beloved pastor in Heritage and the prodigal son who their father forgave and welcomed home. Austin knows the real Nate, and the secrets from Nate’s past, and their sibling relationship is difficult because Austin believes Nate is unreliable and can’t be trusted to be there for him. They present a united front and portray a good relationship for the media who are following the town square project.
Libby has to work with Austin to create a solution for the location of the town’s new library, and they both struggle with how to manage their growing attraction due to being hurt by past romantic relationships. Olivia is Libby’s new friend who wants to find a paid journalism job. She picks up freelance article work that leads her into hilarious situations in the name of research.
The romantic subplot with Nate and Olivia is a fun addition to the story. They have been friends for years, but Olivia can’t convince Nate to act on his feelings. Nate has his secrets, and he’s aware that his congregation doesn’t know the sordid details from his younger years.
I recommend Until I Met You and the Restoring Heritage series to contemporary romance readers who like friends-to-more romances with a strong faith element that deals with real-to-life issues. The story can be read as a stand-alone, but I do think I enjoyed it more because I’d already read You Belong With Me.