The Giving Heart
Spend a white Christmas on Summer Island, where the fires are warm and the romance is hotter.
Lila Sloan is house-sitting for her sister, Meg, who owns an inn on Summer Island—it seemed like the perfect getaway. Now Lila wonders why she ever thought spending Christmas alone on an isolated island was a good idea. To make matters worse, local real estate developer Beck Grainger is trying to cut down the beautiful trees that line Meg’s property. Lila can’t let this happen; Meg will never forgive her.
Beck can understand Lila’s anger—sort of. The trees are on the neighboring property, not Meg’s, and the land was zoned for residential use months ago. His plans were no secret. He dislikes being at odds with his friend’s sister, though, especially because Lila is appealing in every way: loyal, quick-witted and completely stunning.
Lila hates that she’s so attracted to Beck, who seems like a genuinely good man, despite his tree-murdering tendencies. And their chemistry is off the charts. She just wishes he’d let this development go. As Summer Island counts down to a snowy Christmas, Lila and Beck will have to strike a compromise that seems impossible for them both—or risk losing the best thing either of them has ever had.
A Note from Toni
Just like The One Who Stays which came before it, this book has been in my head for a long time. That said, it wasn’t as fully fleshed out for me as the first book in the series, so writing it was a little more of an adventure, and a joyful one as I got to know the characters and their hearts more and more. Romance writing fun fact: Back in the day when I first started writing romance novels, there were certain widely-touted “rules” regarding things you shouldn’t hinge a plot on, and one of them was “land deals.” The reason was that if a land deal was keeping your characters apart, it wasn’t a “real conflict,” but more something external which, if you took it away, would clear the way for love. Well, this book totally circles around a land deal, and I contend that it’s a perfectly valid conflict. J Because it goes way beyond the real estate involved and comes down to issues like priorities, forgiveness, giving, taking, and family legacies. It forces the characters to dig deep within themselves and figure out what’s most important to them. Oh, and just like The One Who Stays, this book contains another love triangle. Writing that aspect of the story gave me a lot of authorly satisfaction and also broke my heart at the same time. Lastly, whereas The One Who Stays drew something from my personal life as regards Meg being a cancer survivor, in The Giving Heart Lila reveals a secret as the book goes on, and though what happened to her didn’t happen to me in nearly the same way, her story was inspired by an event in my past, about which I’ll just say #metoo. I really love this book – it flowed out of me with ease and was a pleasure to write, and my editor declared it’s her favorite Christmas book ever! Strong praise which I gratefully accept. I hope you will enjoy The Giving Heart as much as she did.
Reviews for The Giving Heart
“The pervasive Christmas atmosphere is sure to put readers in the holiday spirit.” ~Publishers Weekly