My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Rachel Whitney’s life changed forever when Drew, the son of her twin sister, Sydney, was placed in her arms—and there he stayed. At twenty-two, she had no idea what she was doing, but in that moment, she knew that raising Drew was what she was meant to do with her life.
Fiercely independent, Rachel makes her own way managing her family's insurance agency. Decidedly against introducing any men into her life, or Drew’s, she protects her heart against all romantic entanglements. But what she didn’t count on was a letter from her sister that leads a famous secret to her door eight years after her sister’s death. A secret with the same eyes as her son’s.
Desperate not to get the courts involved, Rachel allows Drew’s previously unknown father, Andrew Turner, into their lives, and to her surprise, little by little into her heart. But for Rachel, taking that step could open her family to a firestorm of media attention that not even Merryton can protect them from. Is love worth the risk? Or will Andrew's fame and ambition ruin their chances?
This story had all the things I love about a Jennifer Peel novel- great characters, plenty of emotion and angst, and a strong sense of community and friendship. The story starts with Andrew's arrival into Rachel and Drew's life, and while the situation of a dad suddenly invading a single mom's realm is one I've read in several books, the twist of Rachel being the twin sister and aunt-turned-mom increased the tension and complications. The author really delves into the myriad of emotions that Rachel experiences, and I think the first person POV helps the reader connect to what she's feeling. I had a hard time enjoying Andrew's character; I think I connected a little too well with Rachel's initial feelings of mistrust and anger, and when she warmed up to him, I was still giving him a hard time in my mind, especially with the decisions he was making in regards to their converging lives. He's charming and funny, and their romantic moments are swoony, but it's the way that Rachel continues to keep him on his toes that makes their relationship lively. She is 100% the advocate for Drew's happiness and well-being, and doesn't hesitate to remind Andrew of it. The pacing slowed a little for me partway through when Rachel's' thoughts got a little repetitive, but I didn't have to wait too long for another twist to make the plot surge forward. I'd recommend this book to all fans of clean contemporary romance!
(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)