And I Love Her
By Marie Force
Hunter Abbott, the eldest of the ten Abbott siblings and chief financial officer for the Green Mountain Country Store and other Abbott enterprises, is the family fixer who sees that all the family is taken care of, their wounds bandaged, their stories heard, and their problems solved. When he finds a teary Megan hiding behind the family store, he feels the same compulsion to take care of her that he feels for his sisters, except there is nothing fraternal in his feelings for Megan. Hunter has been casting longing looks at Megan as long as Megan has had an unrequited interest in Hunter’s brother Will—about a decade. Now that Will and Cameron are in a committed relationship and Megan has indicated she has accepted Will’s choice, it seems the perfect time for Hunter to make a move, especially since Megan is talking about leaving Butler once the diner is sold.
Megan has never really noticed Hunter, but his kindness makes her take a closer look. She likes what she sees, and she can’t forget Will’s comment that she has been focusing on the wrong brother. But Hunter deserves someone who can give him the kind of promises he is willing to make, and Megan is determined to protect her heart and never give anyone else the chance to leave her as her parents did.
And I Love Her is the fourth book in Marie Force’s Green Mountain series, a series I fell in love with when I read the first book, All You Need Is Love. But this most recent installment was a disappointment, an ok book rather than one that had me clearing space on a keeper shelf. I have read some excellent books recently with seriously flawed heroines who eventually earned my understanding and sympathy. This was not the case with Megan Kane. Readers are told repeatedly that she has repented of her bitchy behavior in earlier books, but I had trouble forgetting her rudeness and immaturity that bordered on the unbalanced. It’s not as if Will ever reciprocated her feelings. And while her parents’ deaths were certainly a tragedy and losing both parents at once a double devastation and seventeen a particularly vulnerable age, Megan had her sister for love and support, a town that cared about her, and no financial concerns. I guess my mother’s count-your-blessings philosophy is too deeply ingrained for me to ignore it even in a fictional world.
And while Hunter is endearing, I did want to see his apparently inexhaustible patience wear thin. Even when he is injured and his mother and his twin are angry that Megan can’t forget herself and be there when Hunter needs her, Hunter understands and defends her. The Abbott women forgive more easily than I do. I accept that Hunter wants only Megan, but I never understand why and I never feel that she deserves him.
On the other hand, I do love the Abbotts, and the best parts of the book for me were the family scenes. I adore Grandfather Elmer Stillman and smile at the matchmaking antics he and his son-in-law conceive. Molly’s observation about her father and husband made me laugh: “You can’t argue with their results though. A wedding, an engagement, and a shack-up all in one year. Not bad.”
I thought Will’s proposal scene was perfect for him and Cameron. And I am eager to see their wedding, to find out what happens with Ella Abbott and Gavin Guthrie, still grieving his brother’s death (It’s Only Love, November 3, 2015), and to learn the denouement of the story of baby brother Max and his pregnant girlfriend. I’m invested in the series, and I highly recommend it. But I’m less enthusiastic about this particular book. Fans of the series will want to read it to keep up-to-date with the Abbotts, and some readers will be pleased that this one has a higher sizzle factor. I still consider Force a power hitter, but even the best can’t hit a homer every time. (I hear the groans that I resorted to a sports metaphor, but it’s March and spring practice has begun.)