My rating: 3 stars / I liked it
Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn't kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays...until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.
Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend's hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he's lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he's never really done normal before.
While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it's like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn't part of the plan, but could it be the best thing that's ever happened to them?
I enjoyed getting to know the family we were introduced to in the free prequel novella to start off the Walker Family series, Three Little Words. The strong family theme in a contemporary setting is one of my favorite trends in a series. The small town community is easy to envision and provides a great secondary cast of characters. Each member of the family plays a role in subtly influencing Colton and Kate while they are temporarily staying in Maple Valley to help in the wake of a natural disaster. The circumstances that they find themselves in and their opportunity to re-imagine their futures are the focus of the novel, and I was disappointed to find that while reading I always felt aloof from the romantic emotions of the characters- it was more observing rather than feeling along with them. The light-hearted nature of the writing might have played a part in that, it made the story fun but didn't delve deeper. Kate and Colton did friendship so well and I loved their banter, but missed the romantic tension and chemistry. Overall this was a pleasant reading experience and I look forward to reading more of the series.
(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)