Lights on Knckbridge Lane by Roan Parrish
9/28/2021 by Harlequin
Review by Melinda
I love almost every book Roan Parrish writes, and this book is no exception with a few quibbles here and there. There’s a lot to like about this couple, Adam’s daughter Gus, and the town. But it didn’t work everywhere for me,
As the third book in the Garnet Run series, I did feel like it would be easy to read this as a standalone, which is always important from a new reader POV. But just as importantly we get to see familiar characters like Charlie, who has hired Adam at the hardware store, and River, who works with Rye. I really enjoyed how these characters were woven throughout the book and integrated into Gus and Adam’s lives
What I liked about this book was Adam, one of the main characters, and how much he worries about everything, particularly Gus. She is constantly on his mind, wanting to make sure he is doing a good enough job as a father. It felt super realistic to have him worried about her adjustment to the move, to his ex leaving them, and about how he’s raising her. Some of my favorite scenes are when other people are telling him he’s doing a good job as a parent. It’s always a surprise to him to hear that. The other thing I love about him is how vulnerable he can get – his emotions are not that hidden, and he has no issues with showing them. More vulnerable heroes, please!
The other MC, Wes, is definitely an isolated grump but I wouldn’t consider this grumpy/sunshine. Wes has a house full of spiders, iguanas, and other creatures…for reasons I couldn’t tell you because there were science reasons that I honestly glazed over because my mind said ‘romance reasoning, moving on’. Having animals makes sense in this series as it continues the theme from the first two and I was fine with them being creepy/crawly, but some readers may not love reading about that. I did love how passionate Wes got when he talked about science or his love of the animals.
Because this is a category romance I felt like we didn’t get enough of either Wes or Adam’s background. We get bits of each of them through conversations but nothing that in depth. I wanted more about Adam’s ex and how the breakup impacted Gus, and how he basically sprung the child onto his ex because that story was mentioned and essentially never talked about again! I needed a deep therapy session level of introspection on these things.
My main quibble is also something I loved – Gus. She’s precocious, and not like a bunch of the other kids in her classes. She prefers snakes and tarantulas to puppies and kittens. So, of course, she loves Wes. And she brings so much humor and heart to this story! However, she also moves the entire story along from start to finish. If there’s a child in a book I want to appreciate their presence, but also I want them to not *be* present at all times so that I can appreciate the romance as well. I felt that the romance suffered a bit for having Gus there at every turn. Which is probably the point since that’s real life, but this is a book, and I want what I want in a book! The falling in love was brief and succinct because Gus was always present, and I wanted a few more scenes between just the two of them.
Overall, this was very cute, and really a great holiday romance. It’s on theme and truly could be turned into a movie on Netflix that I would watch in a hot minute and be delighted for the holidays.