|Although a familiar plotline is used in this story, the characters are fresh enough to make the story move with the ease of comfort and the engaging style of a Cindy Kirk book. This one is easy to like.
Margaret Fisher, called Meg by a few close friends, and Cole Lassiter are both grieving for their best friends who died in a car crash on the same road that Meg’s parents were killed on years ago. But they don’t have time to grieve long, because they are thrust into the role of co-guardians of six year old Charlie. This is the story of how they cope and what they go thru to build a solid family situation for Charlie.
Meg and Cole had a brief affair when they were in high school, but circumstances caused an almost immediate break-up following their one night of passion. Meg thought that Cole realized she was just a smart geek and wasn’t good enough for his football star self. And Cole had heard from someone that Meg was laughing behind his back, having won the football star and led him on to believe that anyone as smart as Meg could have fallen for him. Of course, being teenagers, they didn’t talk and have lived for years with these misconceptions.
Now Meg is a physical therapist, who is earning a living but certainly not rich and Cole, the owner of a series of franchises for a coffee café around the country, have returned to their hometown of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Cole’s plan is to fully recuperate from an injured knee and once he is able to raise Charlie on his own, he plans to sue for permanent custody. There is this little secret he has that he and Charlie’s mother had a one night stand before his parents got married and he just might be Charlie’s biological father. Meg, meanwhile envisions the two living in the same town, with separate places, sharing custody of Charlie.
This story follows this special little boy and these two people who truly have his best interest at heart. They also have history that they must reconcile with their current feelings in order to figure out the present and the future. Kirk uses real life issues to allow these three people to find their way. And she does so with likable characters and situations that feels natural, given the circumstances.
Jackson Hole Valentine is a perfect choice to enjoy on a nice afternoon.