Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sweet Reunion (A Hope Falls Novel)

I often find myself browsing through Amazon looking at the books. I know...I know. I have 5 bookshelves, and God knows how many TBR books on my wonderful Kindle. Does it stop me? Nope. And stumbling upon an author (or authors!) in this case, is the reason why I shall continue. I adore a well written second chance romance, and with a title like SWEET REUNION - I knew I would not be disappointed. So let's start with some cool things I found out after devouring this book by the talented Melanie Shawn:

  • Melanie Shawn is actually TWO sisters (Melanie & Shawna) who write together. How cool? I am always intrigued by writing duos, like Ilona Andrews. I'd love to pick their brain as to how they do it! 
  • They are from California like me! 
  • This series is slated for 8 books so far! YAY! 
Now for the book, here is your blurb! 
For Amanda Jacobs, dealing with the pain of losing her beloved Dad is the toughest thing she’s ever gone through, and it comes with a lot of complications, as well – like taking over the family business, Mountain Ridge Outdoor Adventures. It makes her miss the simplicity of being a teenager, when she was surrounded by her amazing friends, The Fabulous Four, and she was madly in love with her Dad’s right hand man, Justin Barnes. His sexy smiles and deep brown eyes had made her heart race in a way she’s never felt before or since. When the Fabulous Four unexpectedly show up on her doorstep to support her through this complicated time, things seem to be looking up for Amanda. But that’s not the only surprise visit in store for her…

Justin Barnes left Hope Falls ten years ago, in the dead of night, and didn’t think he’d ever set foot there again. That was just fine with him, except for one little complication: Amanda Jacobs. He had fallen in love with her unruly blonde curls and sparkling sapphire eyes, but she had been a teenager then, five years younger than he – too young for him to act on his attraction. Still, he’d missed her every single day of those ten years. When Justin receives a phone call that his former mentor has passed away, he knows he has to return to Hope Falls. Justin just has one question – will the girl that once adored him have grown into a woman that can’t stand him? Or will she still be the only thing in the world that feels like home?
A few things I need in a romance is the hurdles. I cannot... I repeat CANNOT read a cookie cutter, simple romance. Silly, right? Since I read romance for the HEA. But, I need a moment of "Oh... are they gonna work?" (Yes, I know they are... but I still get the butterflies!) This book had all the goodies a romance can offer. Small Town? CHECK. Second Chance Love? CHECK. A rag tag bunch of childhood friends that tell it like it is? CHECK. One to five secrets and/or unknowns revealed to make the story more compelling? CHECK. Forgiveness? CHECK. So much more? CHECK. Instead of spoiling the book for you, I am going to go the way of the list. Random? CHECK. 
  • Justin is a tough guy whose heart is in the right place, just wasn't taught what to do with it. 
  • Amanda is a sweet girl. Perhaps too sweet for her own good. 
  • Teddy is just a great addition to the story. I love how animals add such a telling touch to a person's intentions and heart. 
  • The Fab Four sounds like a blast to have around, and I am eager to read each of there stories as they all find their ways back home. 
  • Trent. Grrr. A few facts about Trent and I. 
    • I loved the name since I fell for Trent from Daria. I know... I know what you are thinking: "You fell for a cartoon character?" Yep, sure did! Judge away! 
    • I feel like the only thing lacking from his story, besides another punch or FOUR - is Teddy disliking him. There was no mentioned love for him, but I feel like Teddy should have growled or barked. I felt like growling. 
    • I would have LOVED to see an encounter between the Fab Four and him AFTER all the secrets were revealed. 
  • The flow of this book was as smooth as a glass of whiskey. Everything was well paced and the build was natural. Which is saying a lot in regards to the time frame of the story. 
  • Even the villains were characters you grew to care about... Except for "Ohhhh...Justin!" She could bite me. Hehe
And now, I can't leave you without sharing some of my favorite lines from the book: 
  • He never met a stranger. Every person in the world, to him, was just a friend he hadn't met yet.
  • "So if she's Joey, does that make you Pacey or Dawson?" she whispered.
  • "Hey," she protested, "you guys are having a threesome and nobody thought to invite me?"
  • "Wow. That was the most oddly romantic story I think I've ever heard." Lauren smiled and Sam and Amanda laughed. "I'm serious," Karina said earnestly. "If I were a country singer, my next single would be 'I Thank God You Were Wearing Your Garfield Socks.'"
  • "Son, don't you know? If you don't stir the pit, the soup'll burn. You gotta stir the pot or all you end up with is a big ol' mess."
So, there you have it. An odd review of a GREAT book. Look, I am not the writer - these ladies are. And trust me, it is a beautifully written story of love and forgiveness. Before I head out, let's give these ladies some READER LOVE! 

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