Wildflower Heart by Grace Greene
This is the first book in the Wildflower House series by Grace Greene. While there are romantic aspects, this introduction to Wildflower House is not a romance. I was a little fooled by that as it seemed to be setting itself up to be a romance.
Kara Hart has experienced plenty of loss in her lifetime. Her mother walked away from the family when she was just 14. Two years later, she learned her mother died and there will not be a funeral for her to have closure. It's just Kara and her dad, a business owner who does his best to keep his business running while also being there for his daughter.
Years pass and Kara marries a college sweetheart. On a night out together, she's prepared to tell him she's pregnant. However, he shocks her to the core during a heated discussion and they're in a crash that takes his life.
Kara goes back to her dad during her recovery. A year passes and she learns he's selling his business and wants to renovate a huge Victorian estate in rural Virginia. She cannot imagine starting over in a rural community, but she wants to see her dad live out his dream. She accompanies him on this change. There, she finds herself enchanted by the natural setting and by her very handsome neighbor Seth.
In the Wildflower Heart's description, the blurb goes into Kara dealing with another surprise. I don't know that I like bringing that aspect up as it happens in the last part of the book. Most of the story is about Kara learning to find her footing again after becoming a widow and moving to an unfamiliar area outside the cities and suburbs she's used to.
Wildflower Heart is a very gentle, emotional story. It's written in the first person, which I find sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. It took a while for me to adjust to the story being solely from Kara's point of view. Half of the reason for the struggle is that I never loved her character. She came off as condescending to her father with the "Sigh, this furniture/art/wallpaper/decor doesn't fit the house and looks ridiculous, but it's your house so do what you want" attitude. He did her no favors by spoiling her.
I love Lake Union books, but this one was just okay. I was never so into the story that I feel like I must seek out the other books in the series.