Release Date: February 24th, 2022
CW/TW: power imbalance at work, gaslighting, blackmail and threats, mentions of gun violence, secondary character in coma
For years, I convinced myself that one day he would see me as more than the bubbly activities director at his family’s campground.
Sure, he was ten years older.
And far too devoted to the family business to make time for his own happiness.
But none of that mattered. Especially after one blissful night when he was all mine.
I thought our forever had finally begun, but he broke my heart instead.
A year later, I’m moving on.
In a new city.
At a new job.
With a new man.
Add in the fact that I just landed my first big account, and things can’t possibly get better.
Until I hear my first client is none other than Anderson Bexley.
Now, I’m heading back to a place I had once called home.
Back to Camp Bexley.
Back to him.
Only this time, I’m determined to walk away on my own terms… with my heart intact.
There’s just something so wonderful about K.K. Allen’s stories and I always go into them completely blind. Which was why I was pleasantly surprised to return to Camp
Dakota Bexley and hang out with characters I vaguely remembered from Over The Moon. Even as I started this book, I was like ‘everything looks and sounds familiar’ and then it all came together. And I’m so glad! I loved not only returning to this world, but falling in love with Hope and Anderson. Plus, the promise of more books from the Bexley’s has me even more excited!
Hope has been in love with Anderson since the moment they met when she set foot in Camp Bexley, and she spent all the years working there pining for him. Then one night, she got a chance to really express herself, kissing and holding him in her bunk before Anderson pulled away and encouraged her to leave so she could take a job in the city. And now a year later, she’s the account manager for Camp Bexley’s new look and being around Anderson again is both intoxicating and frustrating for Hope. Anderson might not have told Hope how he felt about her back then, but his love for her ran deep and he knew that the only way he could save her was if he let her go. So he did, chasing her away from the only place she called home thinking it was in her best interest and losing her all at the same time. With her back in his life, it’s taking everything in him not to throw caution to the wind and take what he’s always wanted. But there are so many elements getting in the way and so many things left unsaid before they can even consider being together.
I loved the push and pull of Hope and Anderson’s relationship, of how desperately they want to get back what they once had and lost and how they’re fighting to ignore each other. Which is hard, given that they’re the only two people at the camp till the relaunch happens. The first half of the book is wrought with sexual tension, because they’re not only fighting their feelings, but they’re arguing and fighting about the way things ended when they last saw each other. Hope just wants to do her job and Anderson keeps wanting to talk, which just drives her absolutely insane. I loved the reversal of roles here and how she wanted to shut everything down to focus on her job, while Anderson can’t keep it together because being around her drives him wild.
“Saying goodbye to you was the death of me. But you came back and you brought me back to life at a time I needed it most. If you think I’m giving up on you now then you’re wrong. I get a second chance to show you exactly what you mean to me—and just how far I’ll go to keep you.”
Anderson is just incredible. He’s flawed, he’s complicated and he’s got all this weight that he’s been carrying around for years related to his family. But he’s such an incredible hero. He’s put his blood, sweat and tears into the camp and refuses to let it just fade into nothing. And his feelings for Hope are so much bigger than himself, which just adds to the impressiveness of this man. I’m all for heroes who look like lumberjacks, but are 100% in tune with their feelings, because we need more of those. We need more men who are willing to put their whole self on the line for the people they love. Hope is also so great. Sure, I didn’t love her relationship with Dexter (because he treats her like crap), but she’s strong. She’s had nothing in her life, except the camp, and she’s made something of herself from the scraps of what she’s been able to put together. She works hard, she pushes herself beyond what is asked of her and she stands her ground at every turn.
Also, they are impossibly hot together. There were some moments when I had to stop and drink water or fan myself, because it was so HOT. Yes, the sexual tension has a very satisfying conclusion, but my god, I was not prepared for how satisfying it would be. The chemistry is off the charts, the feelings and emotions coursing through their veins is also such an important reason why everything about their physical relationship works. There is an absolutely delicious scene that involves ice cubes and holy hell, it is… *fans self*
I will tell you right now, I hated Dexter with every fibre of my being. I thought he had potential, but as far as villains go in romance, he made me really angry. I hated the way he treated Hope, I hated how he made her feel and I just generally wanted to punch him every time he was on the page. Which is always a good indication that the author has done a good job with the character!
I’m also really excited to see more of the Bexley siblings and see how all those stories come together. I loved the little hints and mysterious moments about these brothers, and I cannot wait for more.
Thanks to K.K. Allen and Wildfire Marketing Solutions for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.