Finding You, like many “C” reads, works in some ways and fails in others. While the author provides enough character depth to get to like the leads, she doesn’t give enough to truly understand them. Perhaps had less time been devoted to rounding out the secondary characters, the primaries would have been better developed.
After an on-the-job tragedy that led Carla Candellano to give up as a search and rescue worker, she returned to her childhood home to raise search and rescue dogs. Single and 30-something, she’s happy with the life she made for herself, even if her mother can’t deal with her single unmarried status. Carla has her family and friends, and even if she’s not rescuing people any more, at least she’s contributing. All this changes when she meets a little girl named Reese.
Reese has not spoken a word since the accident – she survived but her mother did not. Lawyer Jackson Wyatt is her concerned father, who’s come to Carla’s hometown in a last ditch effort to reach out to his daughter. Reese’s grandparents believe she’d be better off in a full-time psychiatric facility and have given Jackson the summer to get her out of her shell.
When Reese comes to visit Carla’s rescue puppies, they two instantly bond with the commonality that both are hurting from incidents outside their control. For the first time in months Reese shows signs of wanting to be engaged in life – with Carla and the dogs’ guidance. Carla wants to help Reese but after meeting Jackson, is hesitant because of the attraction. The attraction is mutual but both fight it for different reasons. Carla is still devastated by her career-ending tragedy and Jackson believes his focus must be on connecting with Reese or possibly lose her forever.
There’s a very interesting story in here begging to be told properly, but the author instead develops other characters, mainly the large, Italian, Candellano family. This is the first book in a series and too much time was spent on the family. Child gave just enough character depth for the reader to like Jackson and Carla, but not to really know them. She reduced the amount of time spent on their story further by working through a marital problem involving one of Carla’s siblings.
This story is also plagued by predictability issues. Even though readers know a romance novel will end in a happy and committed relationship, there needs to be some sense of question, of not knowing what will happen next. Unfortunately, by the time I’d reached the mid-point of this book, I’d figured it all out.
And yet there’s enough here that Finding You still manages to be fun. Carla’s interaction with her family – particularly her mom – was great, and though they took time away from Carla and Jackson, those secondary characters set up for the next book in the series, Knowing You, were ones I looked forward to meeting. Although each book should stand on its own, the fact that this is packaged as a two-in-one helps; it’s a pretty good platform for getting to know the Candellano family.