By RaeAnne Thayne
Published 2011, Harlequin Books
Paperback, 376 pages
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.The community of Hope's Crossing is quaint in its friendliness and familiarity of the different individuals with one another. Though the town operates as the hub of a large resort, it does not lose its charm as a small town. So when the type of crime that is more prone to big cities happens here, it causes its citizens to be less welcoming to its newest inhabitant and chief of police, Riley McKnight. Riley faces an uphill battle both socially and romantically, as he is drawn all over again to the stubbornly independent Claire that was attracted to growing up. The big difference this time is that Claire likes him back! They play the typical game of I can't believe he/she likes me, and do I really like him/ her that is so common in romance novels. In the mean time, Claire dreams up a way to put the town in better spirits, while defending Riley's place there.
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 easy to like, with her bead store that attracts such colorful characters, and the patience she exhibits in all of her relationships, from the one with her mother to the ones with her ex-husband and his new, pregnant wife. I even like how her injuries drive Riley to constantly offer to help her in any way possible.
Riley's honesty is at times comedic, shocking, and even alluring. He has charm to spare, but keeps most of it bottled up because of a difficult past.
The book was more entertaining than I have come to expect from the typical Harlequin, but in many ways not very unique from the standard plot line. While I did enjoy reading it, I doubt that I will remember much about the book.
The Cover: The cover is attractive and a nice change from your typical Harlequin novel, but after reading the book, I don't agree that the theme of summer really applies.
First Line: "Lousy, stupid horoscope."
This is a humorous way to open the book, and now I am curious to know what would compel the narrator to have this thought, as well as what the horoscope actually was.
Favorite Quote: "Here, there or anywhere. But this wasn't a Dr. Seuss book and Riley was definitely not green eggs."
Read For: Off the Shelf Challenge
*I received this book free of charge from the publisher for review purposes.*