Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Second Chance Season: A Grand Valley Novel by Liora Blake

It wouldn't be summer without a scorching hot romance, right?  This novel, the second in a series, caught me off guard, but in a "wow this is such a good story" way.  

First of all, you don't need to read the first Grand Valley novel First Step Forward in order to enjoy the romance between Garrett Strickland and Cara Cavanaugh.  I do, however, want to read the first novel because the second in the series is so darn good.  The third in the series, Ready for Wild, will be out in October, 2017.  I can't wait to read it!  You get hints of its beginnings throughout Second Chance Season, and you get an update on the couple from First Step Forward. I love it when characters in a trilogy pop into each other's story lines.  

So...Garrett meets Cara on the side of the road outside the small Colorado town of Hotchkiss.  She's smoking hot, and lost.  Garrett stops on his way to work after seeing her SUV pulled over on the side of the road, and being a decent man, he wants to make sure the driver is okay.  Cue the instant lust Garrett has when he sees Cara.  And, of course, Garrett's no slouch in the hot department himself, and Cara likes the looks of him, too.  She's traveled to Hotchkiss on a freelance assignment to write a series of articles about farmers who are creating successful businesses and changing the face of rural agriculture in America.  She could use Garrett's help, as she's new to the area and unsure of who to make contact with to get some great stories.  

Cara is also staying for the next 8 weeks in the home that Garrett grew up in, but lost after his father died and their farm went bust.  Garrett's future was radically changed, and now he works at the local co-op, which is way below what he could do, but there's nothing really spurring him on to pursue his dreams.  Until Cara, of course. 

Well.  The lust between these two is pretty intense.  I've got to hand it to Ms. Blake, she does a really good job at creating sexual tension and ramping up the heat.  Plus, she writes a darn good story, with characters that aren't shallow and have real issues.  Cara's wealthy background does become somewhat of an issue, but not because of her attitude about wealth.  After all, she could sit back and enjoy,but wants a career of her own and is willing to work hard to get it.  There's an minor age difference between Cara and Garrett, but it's only mentioned briefly, and is never an issue, which I found refreshing. The path to happiness doesn't run smoothly for these two, but it does eventually conclude in a satisfying way that has a little bit of an unusual twist.  

If you're a romance fan, or may even if you're not, I recommend this book and heck, I'll even encourage you to read the first in the series, and hang on until October to read the third.  I'll be reading them both.  Yes, romance is the main plot point, but there's so much more to this story that I would certainly recommend this to anyone who likes contemporary women's novels with a bit of steam.  Enjoy this one on the beach!

Rating:  4/6 for a novel that caught me off guard with a well written plot, fully shaped characters with real issues, and wowee some steamy sex!

Thank to to Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster) for a review copy.    

Available in paperback and ebook.  

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