by RaeAnne Thayne
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: HQN Books; Original edition (May 24, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373775938
- ISBN-13: 978-0373775934
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Book DescriptionReview: This is a very warm and engaging romance.
Claire Bradford needed a wake-up call.
What she didn't need was a tragic car accident. As a single mom and the owner of a successful bead shop, Claire leads a predictable life in Hope's Crossing, Colorado. So what if she has no time for romance? At least, that's what she tells herself, especially when her best friend's sexy younger brother comes back to town as the new chief of police.
But when the accident forces Claire to slow down and lean on others—especially Riley McKnight—she realizes, for the first time, that things need to change. And not just in her own life. The accident—and the string of robberies committed by teenagers that led up to it—is a wake-up call to the people of Hope's Crossing. The sense of community and togetherness had been lost during those tough years. But with a mysterious "Angel of Hope" working to inspire the town, Riley and Claire will find themselves opening up to love and other possibilities by the end of an extraordinary summer…
Claire is a divorced mother with two children. He ex-husband was her high school sweetheart but after 10 years of marriage he decided he had fallen out of love. Shortly after their divorce he married his young, beautiful secretary. Claire keeps herself busy with the children and by operating a beading business.
Riley is the new Chief of Police. He has returned home after leaving LA where he served as an undercover cop and saw an unsavory side of society. Riley is three years younger than Claire and the younger brother of Claire’s best friend. He has always had a secret crush on Claire but now he thinks that she is too good for someone with his disreputable reputation and his rough experiences. Yet he is drawn to her sweet, fresh and loving spirit.
Claire and Riley meet in her store after a break in. She is surprised to feel interest in him as a man but she figures he would not be interested in a divorced woman. His reputation says he is not one to settle down. There is some coming together and walking away between the pair and I was pulling for them to get over their fears and get together already.
Tragedy strikes the community when Chief Riley pursues teenage thieves. There is an accident that results in the death of one teenage girl and leaves another teenage girl in a comatose state. Riley blames himself as the town council questions whether they should release him after his probationary time. Claire comes up with an event to pull the town together and give them hope. It is nice to see the neighbors pull together to help each other after the tragedy brings sadness and guilt to the community.
The characters are very likeable and could be real people. Even the unlikeable characters are developed appropriately with the circumstances explained. The writing style flows well, is natural and real to life. The dialog has some sass to it yet is very natural. The romance has just a little zing to make it interesting but not overtly sexual.
There are one or two questions remaining at the end of the story - maybe there is a sequel? - but still this was entertaining.
This is an engaging story that I recommend for a light, easy read. I would be interested to read more by this author.
TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY FOR THE PRINT COPY and TO ENTER for a ***BONUS giveaway to another commenter a Kindle ebook copy of the author's Christmas book:
Alternative win would be one of the author's other Christmas
books for Nook from B&N.
***PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE ENTERING ONLY FOR THE PRINT, ONLY FOR THE KINDLE/NOOK CHRISTMAS BOOK (Open Internationally) OR ENTERING FOR BOTH.
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* This contest will close 10:00 PM (Central) on November 25, 2011.
The WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED on November 26.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.