Originally posted at Romance Around the CornerI’ve been reading a lot of stories about widows falling for their husband’s best friends, especially widows whose husbands were soldiers. I think it’s a new trend in Contemporary Romance. This one in particular looked like a sweet story and that’s why I read it.Alicia’s husband, Ty, died in the war. Since his dream was to move back to his hometown and take care of his father’s bookstore, Alicia decided to do just that. So now she and her kids are in a new town, trying to settle down and adapt to life alone. Liam was Ty’s childhood friend but they didn’t stay friends after he joined the military because on a faithful night there was an accident that thwarted the husband’s career in sports and forced him to join the military. An accident everyone in town still blames Liam for, even though it’s been years and Liam was a troubled teen that needed more help than scorn. Now Liam is a college professor and has a PhD, and still everyone hates him. I guess he feels the need to atone for his sins because he still lives there. It makes no sense.Everyone in town is nice and cute (except when it comes to Liam) especially a woman named Penny who used to know Ty and basically forces Alicia to become best friends. Long story short, Alicia and Liam fall in love, everyone butts in and demand they quit it because Liam is evil, a huge secret is revealed and they lived happily ever after. This book didn’t work for me at all. Liam was the story’s only redeeming quality and yet he made no sense. He was a bit of a nerd, so I appreciate the unconventional hero -- physicists aren’t common in romance unless they also happen to be super heroes or something like that. I liked the tortured, former bad-boy trying to redeem himself and I loved how he use science to make magic tricks. But no amount of self-hatred justifies staying in a town that hates you, especially after having turned your life around. But other than that, I thought he was adorable. The rest of the characters were either flat, annoying or both. The heroine was uninteresting. I couldn’t connect with her and it was hard for me to care about her happiness when I wasn’t emotionally invested in her journey. The best friend, who plays a secondary role throughout the book and is in charge of delivering the final blow and big reveal, was so annoying that I wanted to skip her parts. She was pushy and judgmental.I can’t resist a Contemporary Romance that hints at angst and emotional drama. But this one didn’t deliver and left me feeling disappointed and completely unsatisfied. 1.5 StarsSource: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.ETA: I originally wrote Penny and Liam fall in love which is a mistake, it's obviously Alicia and Liam who fall for each other otherwise this would have been a weird romance. I got the names crossed. Sorry about that and thanks to Musing Sallie for pointing it out to me!