After the death of her husband, Dylan Lake’s trust is shattered. She is working hard to make ends meet, living with her mother and caring for her seven-year-old daughter, Emma. With the bills piling up, there’s no time for Dylan to even consider a relationship, romantic or otherwise. But fate has other ideas.
Kat has spent the last year trying to get her new business off the ground, moving to Garriety, and build a relationship with her sister, Briley. It’s been tough, rewarding, but one thing has been missing among the changes. It’s the one thing Briley has that Kat wishes for herself, someone special to share her life with. But with all the new things going on in her life, Kat has no time to look for that someone special, let alone devote a significant amount of time to their relationship. Or so she thinks.
Finding that one special person only happens in dreams. When fate throws Kat in Dylan’s path one night, the two can’t seem to stop running into each other around town. Soon, an attraction begins to blossom, but Dylan’s trust issues run deep, especially where Emma is concerned. Will Kat be able to romance Dylan and Emma into a possible future together? Or will Dylan’s concerns prevent her from letting Kat become more than a friend?
The best way I can describe Kat and Dylan is adorable and sensible.
Dylan’s life was turned upside down when her husband was killed and her daughter, Emma, was injured in a car accident. Since that time, she’s doing everything she can to keep her head above water to pay off the hospital bills and provide for Emma. Her trust in others is shaken, and because Emma is her first priority, she finds it difficult to get close to people. But under all the worry and apprehension is a woman who loves her daughter more than anything, is passionate about flowers, and finds joy in the simple things. She isn’t opposed to a relationship. She feels she doesn’t have time for one…until she meets Kat.
Kat’s life is, in a nutshell, hectic. She’s picked up everything to move closer to her sister, Briley, and she’s still in the process of getting her new business running smoothly. She’s dedicated to her new passion of building tiny houses, but she’s not a workaholic. She loves spending time with Briley, her fiancée Leah, and their children. She’s a very popular aunt, and her love for them shows. So when she keeps running into Dylan, she calls on the time with her family to help her make the right decisions. She listens, she understands, and she doesn’t push for anything more than Dylan is willing to give.
To Dylan, Kat seems too good to be true. But that’s exactly what Dylan needs – a woman who is willing to be patient and be a friend if there is any chance for something more down the road.
The Writing Style
Harris is an expert at writing romances that are truly meant to stand the test of time. Kat knows she must be respectful of Dylan’s concerns. What this does is allow Harris to set up a story about courting between Kat and Dylan. It’s the best kind of slow burn romance. Every action has a meaning behind it, which tells Dylan and Emma just how sincere Kat’s feelings truly are for them. This style makes this story’s title more appropriate because it’s exactly what Kat is doing. She is illustrating a blueprint for romance in the hopes to win Dylan’s heart forever.
I really loved all the good advice people gave Kat on how to romance Dylan, especially as it pertained to Emma. Everyone gave the most important advice that when you’re dating a woman with a child, it’s always good to include the child even if they’re not present. Harris not only understands it, she illustrates it beautifully through Kat’s actions and interactions regarding Emma.
The ending feels a little abrupt. I had an idea where this story would end based on the information given, but I was totally off the mark. It doesn’t take away from the sweetness and fun of the story, but it may feel a little jarring to some readers when they reach the ending ahead of schedule.
Sometimes, you just really need a sweet story that is filled with all the right things to make a relationship work, and this one definitely has that. This story was such a delight. I loved revisiting the characters from Add Romance & Mix, and I enjoyed reading a story where the two leads show such love and respect to each other’s feelings. So please, pick this one up today and check out Garriety in all its beautiful, loving, and quirky glory.
Excerpt from Blueprint for Romance by Shannon M Harris
“Hello again, Kat.” Dylan pushed a piece of hair behind her ear. The way Kat always made her nervous was quite the inconvenience.
“It’s good seeing you again, Dylan.”
“Our third meeting.” Kat’s bout of shyness charmed Dylan.
“Good.” Evan clapped his hands. “You two know each other.” He held out his hand. “I’m Evan, Kat’s nephew.”
“Dylan. Nice to meet you, Evan.”
“Ah…do you know anything about flowers?” Evan asked.
“Follow me.” They walked two rows over. “You’re getting started and almost everyone grows daylily because they’re easy and require little maintenance. They’re personally one of my favorites and come in a variety of colors.”
“What are these?” Evan tapped a display.
“Ah.” Dylan picked up a container. “These are hydrangea. They’re gorgeous, but it’s a bush so you need to plant them away from your other flowers. They symbolize emotion and understanding.” Evan took one out of her hand and put it in their cart.
Dylan crooked her finger and they followed. “Peony. They come in a variety of colors, but I’ve always been partial to pink. They can also mean prosperity, good fortune, a happy marriage, riches, honor, and compassion, along with bashfulness.”
“What about roses?” Kat leaned against the wall and stared intently at Dylan.
“You both should know that red is a lover’s rose and signifies enduring passion…”
“That’s awesome,” Evan said. “Let’s get some red roses.” Kat nodded, and he sped off.
“You’re not bored?” Dylan loved talking about flowers but knew people could easily get bored.
“Not at all. It really is fascinating. I knew different flowers had different meanings, but I never gave it much thought…”
Dylan’s voice sounded amused. “It’s special when someone takes the time to express themselves through flowers, but most people don’t take the time to dig deeper.”
“Your love of flowers is evident,” Kat said. “Like my and Briley’s love of cosplaying. Everyone has something they’re proud of and interested in.”
“You don’t think it’s silly?”
“Of course not. The world would be a boring place if everyone liked and enjoyed the same things. Life’s too short. Enjoy what makes you happy.”
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Blueprint For Romance
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781948232715
- Publisher: Sapphire Books
- Shannon M Harris Online
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