One autistic coffee shop owner, one morose mug maker, and a mostly cheerful police detective.
Fie Morogh Russell goes off to war with a broken heart and returns with a shattered spirit. He hermits away in Bideford, Devon, making mugs, with his service dog, Haggard, for company. Post-traumatic stress turns every memory into a minefield, and life is dismal with one or two rare exceptions.
Davet Heuse drags his younger brother to Bideford for a new start. Both autistic, the two siblings have fought hard to enjoy freedom by the seaside. While Davet runs a coffee shop from his tiny house, his brother pursues his dream at university.
Detective Sidney Little has transitioned from military service to the police force easily. His unrequited crushes and his estranged father are the only points of frustration in his life. He hasn't quite figured out how to deal with either problem.
When a tragic accident brings Davet's world crashing down around him, can Fie and Sid help him through the pain of loss?
Fie, Davet, and Sydney make such a wonderful romance. This is my favorite book I have read by Dahlia Donovan. Here, she balances the very serious topics here of grief, PTSD, and social prejudice against people with autism.
Each hero is fully developed and that balance and watching them date and court is wonderful. The youngest of our heroes, Davet, is created with the agency too often taken away from characters with disabilities. We get to see Fie's healing journey. Sydney finally get his man and another man too.
The dark moments of this book (and there is a darkness in the hopeless of the limits of what can done with certain pains in this story) are lifted by the joy of watching these three fall in love.
The book doesn't real realistically with how a poly relationship might be taken in a small town but the power in the other elements of the plot allow me to suspend my disbelief.
This is a touching love story.