Rating: 4 stars out of 5
A May-to-December MMM Romance.
What’s the perfect recipe for an emotional MMM romance?
One autistic coffee shop owner, one morose mug maker, and a mostly cheerful police detective.
Fie Morogh Russell goes off to war with a broken heart and returns with a shattered spirit. He hermits away in Bideford, Devon, making mugs, with his service dog, Haggard, for company. Post-traumatic stress turns every memory into a minefield, and life is dismal with one or two rare exceptions.
Davet Heuse drags his younger brother to Bideford for a new start. Both autistic, the two siblings have fought hard to enjoy freedom by the seaside. While Davet runs a coffee shop from his tiny house, his brother pursues his dream at university.
Detective Sidney Little has transitioned from military service to the police force easily. His unrequited crushes and his estranged father are the only points of frustration in his life. He hasn’t quite figured out how to deal with either problem.
When a tragic accident brings Davet’s world crashing down around him, can Fie and Sid help him through the pain of loss?
In this May-December romance with a twist, three men struggle through one obstacle after the other to somehow find themselves in love on the other side.
At War with a Broken Heart by Dahlia Donovan is the second book(s) that feature an autistic main character. The other being her marvelous Grasmere Cottage Mystery series that I adored so. Each character has been someone unique, just as there is such a large autism spectrum. Donovan includes the behaviors and traits that go along with someone who is autistic without making it a screaming element of the story or character, It simply is part of him. Just as red hair or being a Scot is part of the others. I love that about her characterizations. They are solid people, complete with a past, family, baggage (huge or small), secrets, and a need to be loved.
I really like the title here because it applies to more than just one character. Each of the three men has a wounded heart that needs mending, At first it’s only one character so damaged that he’s broken inside, needing others to help him to recover and go forward. But as the story progresses, it becomes a path strewn with angst and past abuse for more than just Fie. Since the blurb gives little away, neither will I. I will mention there’s a mystery to solve, a bit of a red herring thrown in, a delight of a police station, and , a few holes I wish the author had filled in before the ending came.
I liked the relationships that developed between the three men. Nothing instant as they had known each other for some time or in the case of Fie and Sid, actually served together. Friendship was already established so to make a leap into romance for them and the reader wasn’t a big step. But actually a natural one.
My only reservations here are that I wanted more about Davet’s background, his family, and the “red herring” I felt the author kept throwing at us, the readers with regard ot his parents and what they wanted. That was frustrating and never really resolved. Unless , of course, there intends to be a sequel. I’m on board with that!
This is a charming, and different contemporary love story from an author I’m addicted to. Whether it was her Sin Bin series or that terrific Grasmere Cottage Mystery Trilogy, now I can add this one as well. I highly recommend them all.
Cover art: Soxsational Cover Art. Complete fail imo. Doesn’t match up to any of the characters, doesn’t contain any story element, could be a cover to any book. This is a story about 3 men in a small village, each has nothing to do with that model. Instead of being broken he looks like he’s going ‘huh”. smh.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 205 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Hot Tree Publishing
Edition Language English