The Sweetheart Deal by Polly Dugan
Published: May 19, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown and Co.
Format: audio via publisher
Leo has long joked that, in the event of his death, he wants his best friend Garrett, a lifelong bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey. One drunken night, he goes so far as to make Garrett promise to do so. Then, twelve years later, Leo, a veteran firefighter, dies in a skiing accident.
As Audrey navigates her new role as widow and single parent, Garrett quits his job in Boston and buys a one-way ticket out west. Before long, Audrey's feelings for Garrett become more than platonic, and Garrett finds himself falling for Audrey, her boys, and their life together in Portland. When Audrey finds out about the drunken pact from years ago, though, the harmless promise that brought Garrett into her world becomes the obstacle to his remaining in it.
In The Sweetheart Deal, we meet Audrey whose husband has recently died and is trying to deal with that all while raising three sons. We meet Garrett who is Leo’s best friend and has always said if something happens to him he wants Garrett to marry Audrey. Garrett has never even seriously considered this but when Leo dies he knows he must go and help Audrey out as much as he can and that means finishing an addition on the house that Leo had started and also help out when it comes to his sons.
While everything started out has friends slowly but surely the tension is so much and Audrey and Garrett experience some sparks. As much as Garrett tries not to get involved with Audrey he can’t help but fall for her. They try and keep it a secret from everyone especially the boys but in time their secret is exposed. Not only that secret but the note that Leo had Garrett sign, as a joke, saying he would marry Audrey is also found out. Needless to say, when she finds it she isn’t pleased, she thinks it’s all a joke, she thinks she’s the joke. That everything that has happened wasn’t real. This is where I get a little upset, she goes off on him like this is his entire fault when in actuality she is the one who started all the physical stuff.
The Sweetheart Deal was a good read. I liked how we got the full back story of Leo and Audrey and how deep their love was. I think in order for us to buy the whole Audrey and Garrett story you had to know the relationships between Leo and Audrey and especially the one between Leo and Garrett. While the whole idea of asking your best friend to marry your wife if you die is really odd, I can see that Leo’s logic was that he knew Garret would do anything for Audrey and his kids, he knew they would be in good hands. Overall I enjoyed this story of loss and eventually finding love again in the most unexpected places.