Published by Ballantine Books on March 21st 2017
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Source: Netgalley, Publisher
An emotionally stirring novel that shows how obstacles can be overcome, differences can be strengths, and sometimes a choice can seem wrong even though it s absolutely right
If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth Prudhomme might never have taken charge of her life and moved from her native Chicago to Portland, Oregon, where she s reconnected with her spirited Aunt Sunshine and found a job as a high school music teacher. If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney, although first impressions have left Beth with serious doubts. Sam is everything Beth is not and her parents worst nightmare: a tattooed auto mechanic who s rough around the edges. Reserved and smart as a whip, Beth isn t exactly Sam s usual beer-drinking, pool-playing type of woman, either.
But if not for an awkward setup one evening, Beth might never have left early and been involved in a car crash. And if not for Sam who witnessed the terrifying ordeal, rushed to her aid, and stayed with her until help arrived Beth might have been all alone, or worse. Yet as events play out, Sam feels compelled to check on Beth almost daily at the hospital even bringing his guitar to play songs to lift her spirits. Soon their unlikely friendship evolves into an intense attraction that surprises them both.
Before long, Beth's strong-willed mother, Ellie, blows into town spouting harsh opinions, especially about Sam, and reopening old wounds with Sunshine. When shocking secrets from Sam s past are revealed, Beth struggles to reconcile her feelings. But when Beth goes a step too far, she risks losing the man and the life she s come to love.
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for approving me this book.
I did not realize that this was a series but it can be read as a stand alone. My first thought that came to mind when I finished this book was what a sweet love story. Then I quickly thought that although sweet, it was very complicated. At first glance Beth seems so simple and sweet, don’t get me wrong, she is sweet but not simple and uncomplicated at all, boy does she have mommy issues. Sam seems gruff and rough but underneath that exterior he is nothing but depth and character. Their romance should be straightforward and easy but no, that is not going to happen. Their first “blind date” sets the course for the rest of the book and how they develop as a couple, or maybe not ( no spoilers here). Beth’s Aunt Sunshine has got to be my favorite character in this book and her story is a bit of an interesting romantic sub-plot and my least favorite character is Beth’s mother. I thought to myself a few times in this book when these two were interacting, run Beth run, do not move back to Chicago! The more I got to know Sam I quickly realized that his backstory will ultimately hold him back or let him move forward with Beth. Oh and Beth herself forces a few situations between characters in the book that made me think she could be a tiny bit like her mother. The history between Sunshine and Beth’s mother was one of my favorite parts of this book , a bit of a love triangle there and who can resist that, not me!
This book was a nice way for me to spend a few afternoons. I liked the love story and the setting of the book. I would like to read the earlier books in this series as well as the next installment.