Series: Small Town Dreams #2
Release Date: November 29th, 2022
CW: mentions of cancer, miscarriage and depression
A cheerful jewelry designer determined to get him to open up.
A breathtaking New Zealand town that inspires second chances.
An unlikely love that won’t be denied.
Brightwater Valley, New Zealand, is beautiful, rugged, and home to those who seek adventure. Finn Kelly loves everything about guiding wilderness hikes, except the part where he has to interact with people every day. But when sunny jewelry designer Bethany Grant moves into town and involves herself in every aspect of his life, he wonders what it might be like if he let in some of her light…
While I enjoyed this book, it didn’t have the same oomph as the first one in the series did. When I read Find Your Way Home earlier this year, I loved the concept of the sister towns and the three women showing up in New Zealand to help with their tourism and help the town make more money. We met the women and got to know them and met the men who would one day sweep them off their feet. I enjoyed Izzy and Chase’s story and I was really looking forward to Beth and Finn’s, but somewhere this one didn’t make me feel the same way.
It’s been five years since Finn lost his wife and he’s kept himself guarded from people. But mostly from Beth. Ever since she and the other two women showed up in his small town, he’s been unable to get her out of his head. So instead of just being normal with her, Finn is grumpy and grouchy and unfriendly. Beth’s life in Alaska wasn’t all roses, but she’s looking for an escape and a chance to start over when she arrives in Brightwater Valley. Except, Finn makes it difficult for her to be happy and friendly when he’s always glowering at her. When sexual tensions rise and they throw caution to the wind, a lot more than just a one night stand ties them together forever.
The first half of the book was fun, especially with watching Beth and Finn navigate being around each other and trying to be friendly to a certain extent. Both of them have some trauma to work through and I feel like at times it felt like they were rushing through those situations a little more than necessary. Finn’s hot and cold behaviour also drove me a little mad. I liked seeing Chase getting involved and attempting to knock some sense into Finn through the course of the book too. And while I loved these characters individually, I think their relationship could have been developed a little more. Though, I am very excited to see what happens with Indigo and Levi in the next book!
Thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca & NetGalley for the advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.