Lexi Jewell left Scarlet Springs twelve years ago, vowing never to return to the eccentric Colorado mountain town where she grew up. Now, here she is—over thirty, out of a job and with little choice but to move back in with her father. Lexi knows it’s just a matter of time before she runs into Austin Taylor, her first boyfriend and her first heartbreak. She’s determined to show him she’s over him—until he steps out of a pickup truck and back into her life, looking sexy as hell in his mountain ranger uniform.
As far as Austin is concerned, Lexi can turn her snazzy little convertible around and drive back to Chicago. After all, she ripped his teenage heart apart and turned her back on the town he loves. But from the moment he sees her again, he can’t get her out of his mind. Even her smile messes with his head.
When an evening of conversation turns into something else, Lexi and Austin agree to be friends again—with benefits. But as Lexi starts making plans to return to the big city, Austin realizes he’ll lose her a second time unless he can show her that what she’s searching for has been right here all along.
I am so excited about this new series by Pamela Clare! She is a great writer who mostly writes romantic suspense which is one of my least favorite subgenres. I am thrill that she is starting this indie series of contemporaries with acton thrown in.
What I really liked about this book is what I am sure I will really like about the series. The book was a love letter to Colorado mountains, search and rescue, and outdoor nature sports–in this case rock climbing. It is a feast of details and images and works perfectly to create a world in this small town you will want to visit and admiration for all the lifestyles, pastimes, and skills of the characters.
The cast of characters is great in terms of those I just know will have their own books.
The romance is a lovely second chance with high school sweethearts who have an intense attraction and love for each other paired with a playful sexuality (and they did have sex with others while apart thank god) which is super fun. The love story comes from them falling in love with fuller selves they both are now and seeing who they were then much more clearly.
The heroine’s journey is a worth the reading in terms of understanding herself and her relationship to her home town.
I wasn’t thrilled with the resolutions in terms of personal relationships between her father, her stepmother, her best friend, and her sisters. I thought these plot points should have been contended with more powerfully for a richer closing to this book.
But overall, good stuff!