UNEXPECTED AND UNDENIABLE...
Bailey Moore has an agenda: skiing in the Rockies, exploring castles in Europe, ballroom dancing in Argentina. Now that she has a second lease on life, she's determined not to miss a thing. What she doesn't realize is that item #1 comes with a six-foot-one ski god hot enough to melt a polar ice cap. She doesn't want to miss out on him either, but Hudson Kincaid isn't the type of guy to love and let go. And as gorgeous as Cedar Ridge is, she's not planning to stick around.
As head of ski patrol at his family's resort, Hud thinks he's seen it all. But never has he run into someone like Bailey. She might look delicate, but her attitude is all firecracker. And her infectious joy touches something deep within him that he's been missing far too long. Now he'll just have to convince Bailey to take a chance on her biggest adventure yet . . . something rare and all kinds of wonderful.
I loved Second Chance Summer, the first book in the series, which also happened to be my first by Jill Shalvis, and this one ranks right up there with it. Everything about it just hit the right chords with me from Hudson and Bailey and their courtship to the Kincaid clan doing what they do best, being all up in each other’s business and has left me with that whole happy dopey smile feeling and wanting more.
Bailey is described as a firecracker in the synopsis and that is a very apt description of the woman. She’s fought against a disease that should have killed her and is now grabbing the bull by the horns and finally living her life because she can finally live. What I liked about her was that she never did the whole pity party thing about all that she couldn’t do because of her illness, instead accepted her past as her past and wanted to focus on her future and did it with such grace, and a little sassiness that made it easy to like her.
Hudson is that guy who feels the need to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders, whether he needs to or not. The guilt he carries from past transgressions has affected how he lives his life and his interactions with those not apart of his family. In some ways I understood why he felt the way he did, in others I was totally with his family about him needing to let it go. He’s the kind of guy that can look beyond a person’s past, accept their present and see their future, but is unable to do it with himself. But despite his issues, he’s the guy with a huge, patient heart and a sly sense of humor that makes him so damn loveable.
Their courtship/relationship is built on living in the moment. Bailey pushes Hudson to open up, while Hud sees Bailey as a woman, as normal, not an invalid who needs to be pitied. This dynamic creates a situation that ends up pushing them into an area that neither expected, though it’s pretty apparent to everyone that if they let go of what they think their lives should be they can have a future that neither thought they’d ever have and it could be pretty damn wonderful.
Then there is the Kincaid family that needs to be mentioned. I loved them in Second Chance Summer and I loved them in this book. I loved their bantering and how nosey they were and gave both Bailey and Hudson their two cents even then neither one was looking for or wanting it and that much of the time what they had to say was spot on. And being able to catch up with all of them and see just where they are at was one of the highlights for me.
The writing is engaging and there is just the right balance of humor and drama, sweet and sassy and a dose of sexy to keep things interesting. The issue of if the resort will stay in Kincaid hands is still looming over them, but plays second fiddle to everything else going on in their lives. But what really makes this book, and series so far, is the family dynamic. It’s so well done that it jumps off the page at you and any time they are together it’s a joy to read.
The Bottom Line: Another great read and I can’t wait to read Jacob’s book!
~ ARC provided by Forever Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.
Look for Jill's latest, ONE IN A MILLION, on shelves and e-readers now, and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold.
Visit Jill's website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.