Series: Small Town Dreams #1
Release Date: April 26th, 2022
CW: mentions of parental abandonment, parental death
She’s determined to make it on her own.
They’re both going to learn a thing or two about first impressions.
Brightwater Valley, New Zealand, is beautiful, rugged, and home to those who love adventure. But it’s also isolated and on the verge of becoming a ghost town.
When the town puts out a call to its sister city of Deep River, Alaska, hoping to entice people to build homes and businesses in Brightwater, ex paratrooper Chase Kelly is all for it. He sees the benefits of building the economy, but only if those who come to Brightwater are ready for its challenges. Former oil executive Isabella Montgomery and her plan to open an art gallery don’t seem up to the test. Now Chase is determined to help her learn the ways of his formidable hometown.
This is my first book by Jackie Ashenden, but it certainly won’t be my last. I am obsessed with her writing and her storytelling, it’s so immersive and beautiful. I am totally captivated by the visual picture she painted of this small New Zealand town and all I wanted to do was visit this place and never leave. Plus, the way she crafts the story between all the characters was so interesting. And knowing that there’s a series set in Alaska definitely means I need to read those books too, right?
Find Your Way Home has a bunch of tropes that I absolutely adore—single dad, small town, enemies to lovers—and all tied together with a healthy splash of ‘it’s just sex’. So obviously I’m all about this book. And then there’s the gorgeous and misplaced city girl, Isabella facing off with the grumpy alpha big man in small town, Chase and this book just injected itself into my soul. Let’s be honest, if you know me well enough you know that enemies to lovers is never my first choice for a romance trope, but I liked this one. It was so gritty. Izzy and Chase spend a good amount of time in the book sniping at each other and they’re complete strangers, so it’s a combination of sexual tension and frustrations over Chase being a bossy man and Izzy being a stubborn woman. It was so fun!
“Maybe I could…be persuaded.”
“I thought you didn’t do casual.”
“I don’t.” She took a breath. “But I could make an exception for you.”
I realised that I haven’t read a lot of ‘it’s just sex’ romances so far this year and I really want more of them. Izzy and Chase have very explosive chemistry that culminates in a paying for a hotel room to scratch the itch in a town far away from the small town they’re living in. And that just changes everything about their relationship. I liked the push and pull, Izzy’s constant need to defy Chase and his obvious inability to let Izzy just do her own thing. I don’t always love controlling or bossy alphas, but there was something so charming about Chase that I loved it so much.
However, I wish we had more bonding and friendship building between Izzy, Beth and Indigo. I’m sure in the next few books we’ll see that, but I wanted to see the three women becoming friends and connecting more. I also feel like the ending was a little rushed, but by the time I finished, I was feeling all kinds of happy. Now I need to know what happens with Beth and Finn!
Thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley for the advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.