Sadia Ahmed has been a widow for over a year. She works days in the little cafe originally founded by her late husband’s family, and at night tends bar and enjoys regaling customers with the history behind the exotic cocktails she concocts. She is determined to provide the best possible life for her little boy, Kareem, and will not let anyone see just how much she’s struggling to keep her head above water. Having disappointed her parents by dropping out of med school and eloping, she cannot admit to anyone that when Paul, her husband died, they were thinking about getting a divorce, that there are debts on the cafe that she’s struggling with paying and that part of the reason she enjoys bar tending so much is because it gives her the opportunity to meet men and women she can hook up with, no strings attached, as she’s so desperately lonely.
Jackson Kane has been travelling the world for the past ten years, after he was accused of a crime he didn’t commit and felt abandoned by his family. Lured back to his home town after his sister pretty much emotionally blackmailed him, he’s still reluctant to reconnect to his past, but he just can’t stay away from Sadia, the woman he’s always loved, long before she married his brother. When it becomes obvious that she’s in desperate need of a cook in her café and generally someone to just help out, he fights the instinct to leave town again, even with a lot of the locals still viewing him with suspicion. Sadia offers him a place to stay above her garage, and he can’t resist the temptation to be close to her. Deeply ashamed that he never answered any of her e-mails in his decade away, he now wants a chance to connect with his nephew. He doesn’t dare hope that Sadia could ever return his feelings – she’s his brother’s widow, for heaven’s sake!
Full review here.