Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin
Drew Westfall wants nothing more than to forget what he had to do in the name of “smart” business. Cutting off all ties with his parents—including handing over the entire contents of his trust fund to a charity—he takes off for Bridger, Colorado where his best friend has an extra room for him. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that his business degree won’t do him much good in a town as small as Bridger, but he’s broke and has nowhere else to go.
Eden Torresi has every reason to wallow. Not only did she have to sell her house to pay for her mother’s medical expenses, but she also had to drop out of school and is in a relationship with a guy unwilling to commit. But Eden isn’t the wallowing type. Instead, she chooses to spend most of her time taking care of the seniors at Silver Linings Assisted Living. When she learns that her boyfriend’s new roommate is down on his luck, her caring nature makes her want to reach out to him and offer what help she can. But the more time they spend together, the more complicated things get, especially when the seniors of Silver Linings decide to play matchmaker.
When Kaylee Baldwin isn’t writing, she’s usually chasing after her four children, checking her email, trying to get motivated to train for that race she shouldn’t have signed up for, hanging out with her pretty awesome husband, and reading whatever good book she can find. She graduated from Arizona State with degree in English Lit. Her published books are Meg’s Melody, Six Days of Christmas (part of the All I Want collection) and Silver Linings.
“It’s almost eight on a Friday night. Why are you still here?” Maud asked with her usual abruptness.
Eden wouldn’t meet her eyes. “I had a few things I needed to get done.”
Maud snorted. “You’re hanging out with the octogenarian crowd after clocking out.” She placed a hand on Eden’s arm. “It’s pathetic, dear.”
Wanda elbowed Maud. “It’s not that you’re pathetic, but you should be out with that young hunk of yours instead of hanging out with us.”
Eden sighed. Her social life—or lack thereof—was one of the things Wanda and Maud loved to analyze and discuss. Whether Eden wanted their input or not.
“You need to make time for him,” Maud said. “And he needs to romance you.”
“Sweep you off your feet,” Wanda said.
“She’s right. There’s been absolutely no feet-sweeping.”
“No passion,” Mrs. Kipper called from the corner, still holding her romance novel. “Is it too much to ask for a little passion?”
Eden’s face grew warm as the entire room—with the exception of Mr. Wilmot, who wouldn’t be distracted from a puzzle even if the whole room were filled with passionate couples—stared at her.
“We’re not teenagers,” she defended. And she didn’t need passion. She needed someone to pass the time with on the weekends. A reason to go to her old house. A friend.
This is the second story in the Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series, and I have to admit that I am very much enjoying with this series so far. They are each written by different authors who bring their own style, grace, and talent to this beautiful collection of sweet romances. What I love the most about this series is that after the first book Home Matters by Julie N. Ford, I saw glimpses of a few of the characters from the first book. The interweaving of these character’s lives is subtle but very profound. This is such a wonderful way to illustrate how, like the title of this series; our actions have ripple effects not only in our life, but in the lives of everyone around us. Keeping that in mind may just be enough to have us second guessing and rethinking how we see and treat each other.
Drew Westfall has seen firsthand how easily numbers can become more important than the people who make up a business. His experience with that was ugly and left him scarred and disheartened. He doesn’t think he can ever look at himself the same way again, so he leaves behind the only world he ever knew and heads to Colorado to see his old college roommate. Eden Torresi has never known a carefree life not burdened with taking care of family. She has had to grow up faster than other girls her age, and as a result has never felt free enough to really enjoy her life. Her big heart and sense of responsibility won’t allow her to pursue her dreams no matter how much she longs to. She pushes it all aside to do what needs to be done. Her stubborn sense of duty combined with Drew’s terribly luck brings about the sweetest and most heart wrenching relationship that I have ever seen. Will Eden ever see her deepest dreams come true, and will Drew be able to see beyond his painful past and see himself as others do?
Drew is very much a lost soul trying to regain his purpose and direction after his world is unexpectedly turned upside down. He sees himself as a part of the heartless machine that perpetrated a cruel injustice on an innocent man and his family. As a result, he sees himself as undeserving of anything good. No matter how much those around him can see the positive changes that are taking place within him, he refuses to acknowledge that he is good and deserves good things in his own life. He doesn’t see himself as worthy of love and trust, but his new friends refuse to take no for an answer. They take matters into their own hands and give fate a gently nudge in the right direction.
Just like Drew, Eden doesn’t believe that she deserves to be able to follow her heart. She fears that she would be a terrible daughter in shirking her responsibilities if she were to give into her desires and chase after her dreams. No matter how much encouragement and coaxing her mother tries to offer, she is unable to convince Eden to live the life she has always wanted. The only person who can break through her defenses is Drew. She finds that his quiet determination and selfless giving is starting to weaken her resolve and little by little she beings to accept help and love from others. In an attempt to get Eden to finally start living her life, Drew makes the ultimate sacrifice in removing all obstacles and excuses and gives Eden one big push in the right direction.
This was a wonderful, heart-wrenching journey of two people who because of the heartache and pain they had to go through deserve to have every good thing in their life. They gave all of themselves to others in an attempt to do what they felt was right even at the expense of their own happiness. No one should have to sacrifice their own happiness in order to do what they feel is right. We often fail to see the good in ourselves when those around us can see it so easily. We focus on our shortcomings when we should be focusing on helping those around us. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others because there is no one else who is like us. We are each unique in our own way with our own strengths and weaknesses. We are made to compliment and help each other. If we would spend our time reaching out and lending a hand to those in need, we would see less and less of ourselves and instead focus on how we can make our world just a little better.
Kaylee Baldwin has created a beautiful work of art that shines like a heavenly beacon in a dark night. Her beautiful writing is captivating with its quiet, heartfelt message. It reaches deep within the soul and refreshes your thirst with its sweet water of encouragement and love. This is story that will stick with you long after you have finished reading the last page, and it will also have you rethinking how you see yourself and those around you.
The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series
Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors.
“Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love.”
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