7th March 2017, Piatkus, 368 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Book summary from press release sheet
The quiet town of Hartwell is the perfect place to get away from it all – and find what you never knew you needed . . .
Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content – her successful business, a close circle of friends and her steady boyfriend . . . even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.
Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.
Once Vaughn begins to realise he's made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he's never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they've found together only comes around once in a lifetime . . .
It didn't matter that I hadn't reread book 1 as planned in this community based series, I instantly remembered the characters as they appeared. I remember loving Bailey's blunt nature, although her tastes and actions can be blushworthy. If your gut tells you to skip a scene don't question it! Words can't be unread. That's all I'll say on the matter.
Before I get to Bailey I want to talk about Emery, the shy coffee bookstore owner who you'd think wouldn't say anything blushworthy but, due Bailey's story she does, which made me smile as Emery is slowly coming out of her shell. I'm desperate for her to be the main protagonist of a book. On Twitter Samantha said maybe to me wondering if Emery's tale gets told, which isn't a no so I'm hopeful!!! Emery has a perfect job but clearly has had a tough mysterious past. In tthis book she manages to speak to both Cooper and Vaughn which is progress on her interactions with men. She cares a lot about her friends, which may be why she asks Bailey about certain events.
Back to the main herione of the story, I loved how Bailey's friends go out of their way to protect her and refuse to take no for an answer. The way Emery, Jess (key player in book 1) and Dahlia force truth out of her is funny, and shows how their friendship bond is growing. Bailey is owner of an inn, another perfect job. She encounters real danger there, which shocks her. She has to deal with both obvious annd devious tricks to ruin her business, but she is fiesty and fights back with all she has. That doesn't mean she is left on her own.
Regardless of whether she wanted Vaughn helps out because he loves her, despite pretending not to. Their antagonist relationship causes some awkward moments when they are among friends, but I promise it's worth cringing through to get to the good ending which seems guaranteed in Samantha's books. Bailey gets seriously hurt emotion wise, which is hard to bear because she's very much a heart on sleeve type of girl, beloved by most of the town (& me). It's hard seeing her less than her bubbly bouncy self. Thankfully Jess and the others are they to support her through it, and so are her other friends and family. The book has oodles of community spirit, both with people initially not being part of the community and those who are. I'm eager to know who book 3 will be about, as no doubt Bailey will feature a lot in it, given the way the story ends!
Samantha has a new website, so check it out!
Be sure to check Hart Broadwalk's debut book, The One Real Thing by Samantha Young (Romance, Contemporary, 10/10E)