Promise Me the Stars
Book 3, The Standish Clan - A Hearts of Harkness Romance
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Scott Standish has been a rambler since his mother got sick way back when he was eighteen. Unable to watch her die, he left home after graduation and kept roaming.
But when he goes home to Harkness, New Brunswick for a Thanksgiving visit, he discovers he’s got a stowaway—ten-year-old Sid the Kid, his sidekick from the job he just left. For once, moving on had been hard, and not just because of Sid. The attraction between him and Sid’s mother, chef April Morgan, is electric. But she’s a single mom needing stability, and he plans to keep moving.
When April comes to Harkness to retrieve Sid, she does so in a car packed with all her worldly possessions, having been fired from her position over her daughter’s behavior. When Scott realizes her predicament, he offers her domestic employment.
With no place to go and no one to turn to, April and Sidney make a home at the Standish farm. Her daughter is thrilled, rapidly becoming attached to the dog and the family despite April’s reminders that it’s only temporary. Scott Standish might be tied to the farm for a few months, but she knows he’ll settle nowhere, least of all in Harkness. April can’t afford to take a chance with her heart, or her daughter’s. So she has no choice but to fight the yearning that grows stronger inside her every day.
a great finish to the wonderfully enjoyable Standish Clan
Be sure to grab a box of tissues before you start this one. You’re gonna need them. This one will tug the heartstrings, really get ya just when you thought it would all turn out fine.
“Promise Me the Stars” picks up late October with Scott driving Titus’ truck to Harkness, where he grew up on his aunt and uncle’s farm after his parents died. Indicative of his development and mental state, he refers to his cousin Titus as brother, a BIG step forward from the first Standish novel, but still calls Arden his uncle.
He arrives home to find out the kid who dogged his every step back at his previous job in Montreal hid overnight in the back of the truck in a sleeping bag. Then, when they get her warm and try to make her talk to her mom, Sidney sneaks out again. So, he has to get Axl, his elderly dog to watch her while he calls her mom.
Listening to Scott’s convo with her mom, Sid the Kid decides “she’d do it all over again for this chance. There was no better place to wish on the stars than Harkness, New Brunswick. That’s what Scott had told her, and Scott never lied, even when the truth sucked.”
Meanwhile, April has missed work upon realizing her daughter is missing, and the opportunity to lure in a big fish with her cooking skills. She also manages to get fired. Not only did she mess up at her job, but they learn her daughter has “borrowed” the business owners’ credit card to help save a dog that would have had to be put down if funds weren’t raised for its care.
So, not only is April without a job, they’re without a place to stay as their small digs were part of the arrangements when working for the spa.
With no where left to turn, she calls her misogynistic brother to beg for a place to stay for a month or so until she can find a job and other arrangements. Then, she uses part of the funds she has left to pay off the credit card purchase, loads up all of their belongings into her car and heads toward Harkness to pick up her daughter.
Realizing the situation and determined April and Sid shouldn’t ever have to deal with April’s brother, Scott convinces his family to offer April a place to stay and a temporary job through Christmas, doing cooking and domestic work. The funds, which she doesn’t know about, are the salary he would be receiving for taking care of the property. He convinces her it’s not charity, that she’d really be helping them to stay, leaving out the part about where the salary is coming from.
While there, Sid decides to pretend, even though she claims to know the reality, what if they stayed longer. And, April plays a similar game too, convincing herself to enjoy being with Scott as mucha s possible while they’re in Harkness, then she’ll say goodbye and leave, no problem.
Too bad April and Sid fit in so well in Harness and on the Standish spread. Jace, fiance of Scott’s sister Ember, gives her business advice. she even is offers a space in the mall for a booth at the weekly market so she can sell earn money selling the food she loves to cook.
Scott further delays a project in January, seeing an opportunity for April to further build a business in Harkness if he stays a few months. He knows she’ll leave if he does, on to that other “job” she’s got waiting.
Then, April is contacted by a representative of the big fish who apparently sampled her food at the spa and possibly from Harkness market. She wants April to come work for her, and sweetens the pill by offering to pay Sid’s tuition to a private school.
Secrets are revealed. Scott and April make rash decisions, and decide some sacrifices are in order too. It’s all on the line when a perilous situation develops the night before April and Sid are scheduled to leave.
Scott has to deal with his past and decide if he’s willing to move forward and open up or continue his rambling lifestyle.
April, factoring in Side still, has to decide what’s really most important to her and put aside her harrowing childhood and being left young and alone by Sid’s dad as soon as he found out she’d been conceived.
And finally, the kids get a clue about Arden and Faye! You get more of Faye as she provides enrichment activities for Sidney and her new BFF after school. Arden continues to be the wonderful patient man every parent dreams their daughter will marry one day.
Emotional family drama!
Scott Standish is a lost and restless soul who never stays in one place too long, and rarely visits home because the family farm brings back bad memories that he is desperate to avoid. When circumstances beyond his control bring him back to run the farm during the busy fall season, he's forced to stay and deal with fears of commitment. With the healing love of his family, his house guest and her ten year old daughter, Scott prays he has the moral strength to fight his demons and be the kind of man his Uncle is. This book is a beautifully written, deeply emotional journey of love and forgiveness that deeply touched my heart. I also learned a lot about organic farming, running a home-based culinary catering business, important life saving search and rescue techniques, the charm of small town living, and the comfort of family traditions that made me appreciate the traditions in my own family. I highly recommend Norah Wilson's writing, and all three books in this heartfelt romantic series. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.