(U.S. link: http://amzn.com/B00B73T1YA)
Advanced Reading Copy
To Be Published: July 2nd, 2013, Forever
She lost her job, her boyfriend dumped her, and she had no place to live......Paige Morrison has officially hit rock bottom. She is moving in with her retired parents, in Mirabelle, Florida, where she sticks out like a sore thumb. Not one to hold back, she gives as good as she gets when a nosy neighbour implies she is nothing but trouble, simply because of the way she looks. But her runaway mouth doesn't make matters any better and before long the 'trouble' tag is attached to her firmly with the help if the gossip vine of the small town. It doesn't make finding friends or getting a job any easier.
Brendan King has lived all his life in Mirabelle, he just never had the urge to leave, no matter how mean and spiteful some folks here could get. There were still plenty more that were good people, his grandparents, his sister and his friends. He had a life here, part owner of the car repair shop his grandpa opened over forty years ago, still playing baseball with his buddies just like he has done since high school. It hasn't always been easy, but there are memories in this town that he is not willing to leave behind.
The first time Paige meets Brendan, they aren't exactly on their best behaviour. Paige has just been duped into a fake interview with the town gossip, after which her car broke down at the side of the road. She was not having a good day. Brendan came to tow the car and take her back to the garage. After the initial misconceptions were quickly cleared up, they fell into an easy banter and by the time they got to the shop, Brendan had already decided he would help Paige make some friends and maybe find a job. Anything to encourage her to stick around.
Before long, Paige finds herself comfortably situated in a brand new job, surrounded with brand new friends and, no surprise, in the middle of a blossoming new relationship........with Brendan. But after the last disaster, she is determined to take things slow, and for now, Brendan is fine with that. When Paige becomes convinced that Brendan really has her best interests at heart and she finally indicates she is ready to move ahead with their relationship, they are suddenly hit with a massive blow......one that might not be so easy to recover from.
This was a sweet love story. Nothing really jumped out in terms of story line, it was more a gently babbling brook than a rushing waterfall.
The characters were certainly compelling, understandable and loveable and very nicely matched. And although there was chemistry, it wasn't jumping off the pages. There was a lot of promise for some of the secondary characters in terms of future books, but there were also some, Chad in particular, where I had trouble justifying his role in the storyline once all was said and done. Maybe that will become clearer in future instalments, we'll see.
A promising light, pleasant read with very sympathetic characters!