From the publisher:
A woman looking for a new lease on life moves to Arizona where she rents a guest house on a gorgeous property with a mysterious owner—a man who teaches her about resilience, courage, and ultimately true love, in this funny, bighearted novel about hope and healing from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay.
Stuck in a dreary Boston winter, Annabelle Martin would like nothing more than to run away from her current life. She’s not even thirty years old, twice-divorced, and has just dodged a marriage proposal… from her ex-husband. When she’s offered her dream job as creative director at a cutting-edge graphic design studio in Phoenix, she jumps at the opportunity to start over.
When she arrives in the Valley of the Sun, Annabelle is instantly intrigued by her anonymous landlord. Based on the cranky, handwritten notes Nick Daire leaves her, she assumes he is an old, rich curmudgeon. Annabelle is shocked when she finally meets Nick and discovers that he’s her age and uses a wheelchair. Nick suffered from a stroke a year ago, and while there’s no physical reason for him not to recover, he is struggling to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept him a prisoner in his own home.
Despite her promise to herself not to get involved, Annabelle finds herself irresistibly drawn to Nick. And soon she wonders if she and Nick might help each other find the courage to embrace life, happiness, and true love.
This author was new to me, and I really liked this book. So yay, she has a ton of books for me to find.
Annabelle is a graphic designer who works freelance. She’s pretty successful in her professional life, but her personal life is a mess. She lost her mom when she was in high school, and married the first guy who asked. They were both really young and no big surprise, it didn’t work out. But then she married the next guy who asked, and that marriage was even worse. Her best friend lives in Phoenix with her husband, and they are partners in an up and coming marketing firm. They want Annabelle to come be their creative director, but she’s pretty happy in Boston, despite the cold.
Annabelle and the first husband are still friends. In fact, they “celebrate” the date of their divorce with dinner every year. But this year, Annabelle realizes things are different. Her ex seems like he is going full proposal at dinner, and she panics, downs her champagne and ends up choking then swallowing the ring. Then before he can ask, she announces she is taking the job and moving to Phoenix.
Her friends arrange for her to rent a guest house on an estate that is walking distance to her new job. She is told to avoid going to the big house on the property, and not to bother the landlord who lives there. Annabelle assumes the landlord is some rich old guy who apparently is quite the curmudgeon. She receives a ten page list of rules to live by, and she is not happy because the pool is marked off limits. But there is no mention of the hot tub, so she decides to give it a go. Then she receives another note stating the hot tub is also off limits.
Annabelle is a real people person, and she thinks if she meets the landlord, then she can charm him into giving her pool rights. But he is not interested in meeting her. Until she throws a Friday night happy hour, replete with her work friends using the hot tub, lots of loud laughter and music, and enough rule breaking to get the landlord to meet her.
Turns out Nick is not old, just cranky. He is a 35-year-old man who had a stroke. Luckily, it didn’t affect his speech or his brain really, just his body. It’s been almost a year and he still has issues with the left side of his body suddenly going numb, including his leg which means he tends to topple over unexpectedly. He has become a recluse, with his hired physical therapist, groundskeeper and housekeeper all living with him and taking care of him.
Meanwhile, Annabelle is having some trouble at her new job. Her friend’s husband had hired a college fraternity brother when they first started the business, and he was expecting the promotion that they gave to Annabelle. He is not nice, to say the least, but Annabelle is very friendly with some of the staff and is determined to do a good job, despite him.
When Annabelle finally meets Nick, there is a lot of chemistry but he is still determined to keep away from her. But he can’t. Their worlds are colliding and it is for the best, even if he doesn’t realize it.
This was a really good story with characters I got to know well. There were a lot of serious issues but it is a romance so happily ever after is achieved. Reviews have been good all around, so don’t miss it! I also found her last book, Paris is Always a Good Idea, on my Kindle so I will be reading that next!
8/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
WAIT FOR IT by Jenn McKinlay. Berkley (August 10, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593101377. 352 pages.