Rafferty Hamilton doesn’t plan on putting down roots anytime soon. With her divorce final, the hotel heiress has left Manhattan behind to scout new locations for her family’s chain of resorts. Which is why it’s so frustrating to be stranded in Laurel Falls while a good-looking, slow-talking, Stetson-wearing mechanic takes his sweet time with her overheated coupe.
A decorated vet who paid his dues in Afghanistan, Trace Black can fix anything with an engine and get it revving—even Rafferty’s ridiculous sports car. He couldn’t say the same for the knockout driver, who looks like she’s never gripped a gear shaft in her life. Women like Rafferty don’t usually stick around in Laurel Falls, but Trace finds himself showing her everything his hometown has to offer before she cruises on down the road.
As the days pass, Rafferty finds herself charmed by the pace of life and the open hearted warmth of the residents. She’s even tempted to trust again—and it’s all thanks to Trace. He’s not the kind of guy she’s used to falling for, but he just might be the man she needs.
The last paragraph of the description is what caught my interest. I’m a sucker for well written secondary characters that help to bring the world the author has created to life, so I decided to take my chances and found that I really enjoyed the inhabitants of Laurel Falls. The downside to this, if one can say it’s a downside, is that I found that I enjoyed and was more interested in the supporting cast of of characters more than I was in Trace and Rafferty and their road to their HEA.
The fact that my interest wasn’t more focused on Trace and Rafferty doesn’t mean that I didn’t like them because for the most part I did. Trace is the guy that has kept his family together throughout the years. He’s had to put some of his dreams aside because of it, but keeping his family happy, healthy and together was more important, so he does what he has to do. He’s got that good ‘ole boy charm in spades and though he does have his hang ups, he is also able to be honest with himself when he’s allowed them to cloud his judgement.
Rafferty is dealing with the fallout of her failed marriage and trust is a huge issue for her, but even though she hedges on truly opening herself up to anyone there is a sweetness and openness to her. Part of that comes from what her position in her father’s empire is, but the other is just inherent in her personality. Though she had some reservations about the town of Laurel Falls, she still kept an open mind when she met the inhabitants and saw beyond the rundown exterior of the town.
The progression of their relationship was more on the sweet side than the steamy side of the coin, which didn’t bother me in any way. Their bantering was cute and I liked how they called out each other on their presumptions about each other, but in a way that wasn’t combative. The huge complication in their relationship presents itself early in the story, so when that bomb was dropped it wasn’t unexpected, but there is a part of me that wishes there had been more to it than what we had gotten. But, overall their HEA was sweet and I’m happy that they ended up together in the end.
But while I liked Trace and Rafferty, they were simply overshadowed by the inhabitants of Laurel Falls. While I’m pretty sure I would have liked them based solely on how Trace and Rafferty viewed them, the fact of the matter is that they became more real and interesting because we get to see things from their own POV’s as well as get to know a bit about their pasts as well as what is currently going on in their own heads during the book. Having so many mini storylines going on gave depth to the world, but it also pulled my interest away from the main MC’s. The good thing though is that I am interested to see what is in store for them as the series progresses.
I enjoyed the book, though tended to focus on the supporting cast more than the MC’s, but it happens sometimes.The multiple 3rd person POV’s may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it worked for me though there were times where it took awhile to figure out who’s head we were in. The romance was sweet as was the sex, so if you like your sex gritty this probably isn’t the book for you.
The Bottom Line: This was a sweet romance and I’m really interested to see how the characters grow throughout the series.
~ ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
Zoe Dawson, the author of 40+ books had always dreamed of becoming a full-time romance writer, and with determination, persistence, and a little luck that wish came true. Her other passions include traveling the world, owning a beach house (she believes she was a mermaid in another life), and seeing her books in movies. When she’s not writing, she’s painting or killing virtual MMORPG monsters in World of Warcraft. She lives in North Carolina with her two grown children and one small, furry gray cat.