Series: Summer Sisters (Book 1)
All Ryder Caldwell wanted was to be Melanie
Duncan's protector -- until those feelings turned into something
stronger, forcing him to end their relationship before they made a
mistake. But how could he have predicted that his rejection would send
Melanie running into his brother's arms? And result in a baby?
Now, ten years later, Mel has come home -- and she's not alone. She was
always the woman Ryder couldn't forget -- and now she's accompanied by
the child he hadn't known existed. And suddenly the good doctor can see
everything he's been searching his whole life to find…right in his own
Good book. Ryder and Melanie had known each other as children. He had taken on the role of protector, watching over her and being her friend. When those feelings started turning into something stronger he ended their relationship (she was only 16). Ten years later, her grandmother had left her house to Melanie and her two cousins, so she returned to St. Mary's. Ryder was stunned to see that Melanie had a child, and more so to find out the child was his brother's. He wanted to get to know her, and resume his friendship with Melanie. But she was angry, and wanted nothing to do with him. After talking they decided to try to repair their friendship and allow Ryder to get to know his niece Quinn without going into the fact they were related. Melanie found that their adult friendship was turning into something deeper, but she still had trust issues with him and his parents. I really liked both Melanie and Ryder. Mel has been raising Quinn on her own, with only her mother as help. Now her mom has passed away as has her grandmother. She is stuck in town with her cousins, going through years of stuff in the house. When Ryder comes to her and she discovers he never knew about her daughter she is surprised. She also realizes that she still has feelings for Ryder. She is very angry at the way his parents treated her when they found out their other son had gotten her pregnant. She also realizes that she is going to have to tell her daughter about her father sooner rather than later. I like the way that she has matured and won't let anyone walk all over her again. She and Ryder spend a lot of time together and their feelings grow, but Ryder has his own tragedy in his past that he hasn't gotten over. Ryder really wants to get to know Mel again, and also be a true uncle to his niece. He is really good with her and you can see the love growing between them. He lost his fiancee in a tragic accident less than a year ago and still hasn't dealt with his feelings. He is avoiding getting emotionally involved with Mel because of it. Mel doesn't want to stay in St. Mary's because it is too painful to see Ryder every day, knowing that he won't love her. It takes her leaving for him to realize that he had always loved her, and moving on with her was possible.