Roan Parrish continues to rise to the top of the list of my favorite authors with The Lights on Knockbridge Lane, a book where you come for the steamy romance but stay for the good parenting and cozy domesticity. Perfect for the holiday season, this story is a festive entry in the Garnet Run series, while keeping up its themes of healing from trauma and forging new futures.
Adam has been raising his adopted daughter August (Gus to her friends) alone since a painful divorce. It’s been hard for them both to move back to Adam’s hometown, and so Adam desperately wants to make Christmas magical for her. Enter their reclusive neighbor Wes, who Gus aggressively befriends in order to see more of his unusual pets — including a tarantula named Bettie. Together they embark on a mission to have ‘the most lights ever’ on their house – Gus’ only Christmas wish. Meanwhile Adam and Wes grow closer and they start imagining a future together. But when their project goes viral, Wes’ fear of the spotlight threatens to ruin their fragile relationship.
As always, Parrish pairs her warm romance with deeply felt insights; in this case exploring the intrusive, destructive side to celebrity culture, what it really means to embrace differences, the bumpy road to making a family, and – most of all – how important and possible it is to break generational cycles of trauma. Both Adam and Wes struggled with toxic parents growing up, and both make it their mission to be gentle and honest with Gus. It was so refreshing to read consistent examples of good communication and transparency in parenting, so that Gus feels not only like a fully fleshed-out character but it’s also clear how seriously Adam takes his great responsibility of raising a child.
If you’re looking for a romance that can be spicy, cozy, and wise all at once, that can heal your heart and give you hope, you may want to read this book.