“Closed tight and green, every day you showered me with kisses. You let me feel the warmth of your sunshine lips, allowed me to plant my roots in your steady breath. You coaxed me, warmed me, loved me into blooming. Still every day you thank... and praise me... I could only have bloomed for you.” ~ Pearl (Bloom)
Will Sullivan, of Bloom Box by Cate Ashwood, is standing in a building that is as empty as his heart. Putting the shop together should have been a happy time, full of love and expectation. But Will bought the shop for his ex-lover who was unfaithful, leaving Will with darkness and despair. When Milo Hart walks through the door, glowing with energy and enthusiasm, he brings Will a sense of hope he thought had been lost forever.
Will is almost ready to give up on the idea of running a flower shop. With his ex-boyfriend gone, what is the point of following through with it? When Milo, who is job hunting, tells Will about his experience with retail and his knowledge about flowers, Will realizes that with Milo's help, the flower shop might still be a possibility after all. Will is certain that whatever Milo lacks in experience he will certainly make up for in enthusiasm. Will is in awe of Milo's ability to envision how the shop should look; he turns simple shelves and flowers into works of art that are not only appealing but inviting as well. Will is also amazed at Milo's knowledge of where and how much to order, and what it takes to make a shop work.
Even though Will is many years older than Milo, he is still attracted to this “joy magnet” of exuberance. Milo's whirlwind of activity is impressive even if it does contribute to his being the clumsiness person Will has ever known. In Will’s opinion, it only adds to Milo’s charm. Will worries about taking advantage of someone much younger and inexperienced, but Milo is not so easily influenced. He knows what he wants and goes after it, whether it concerns what he hopes to achieve with the shop or on setting his sights on Will and when Milo wants something, he's persistent and determined to do his best to get it. The only thing which might deter him is if Will decides Milo is not the man he wants.
This story, which is the last in the ‘Heartsville’ series, is just as enjoyable as the others. It's a slow but sure burn between Milo and Will which made me wish they would push their doubts away and 'just do it'; take the plunge and show each other how they feel. There isn't much angst in this story but that didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment. I loved that neither man was perfect; each had his flaws, yet together, they were determined to build something lasting. For fans of the series, you will love this sweet, happily-ever-after tale. For those new to the series, you are in for a real treat. They can be read separately, but to really get into the spirit which is only found in Heartsville, it's important to read them in order. Thank you, Kate, for this addition. Also, another thanks to Piper, Nico, Jayden, and J.H. for helping to create Heartsville and introducing the special men who help make the place as fabulous as it is.