Friday, July 31, 2015

Recent Read

Why This One: It was on for a good price and it looked interesting and I love a blue collar hero
Genre: Contemporary
Level of Steam: If this were a real cup of tea (tea just goes with reading better than coffee) it would be the perfect temperature. 
Outline: Some things are sexier the second time around.

Cal Payton has gruff and grumbly down to an art...all the better for keeping people away. And it usually works. Until Jenna MacMillan--his biggest mistake--walks into Payton and Sons mechanic shop all grown up, looking like sunshine, and inspiring more than a few dirty thoughts.

Jenna was sure she was long over the boy she'd once loved with reckless abandon, but one look at the steel-eyed Cal Payton has her falling apart all over again. Ten years may have passed, but the pull is stronger than ever... and this Cal is all man.

Cal may have no intention of letting Jenna in, but she's always been his light, and it's getting harder to stay all alone in the dark. When a surprise from the past changes everything, Cal and Jenna must decide if their connection should be left alone or if it's exactly what they need for the future of their dreams
My Thoughts: What a treat this book turned out to be.  I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one.  I’d barely heard about it, I didn’t see much buzz, but whatever I was expecting, this book more than made up for any expectations.  I enjoyed it so much that when I saw the author at a signing at RWA I simply had to go over and tell her how much I enjoyed this book.  I don’t normally do that as I don’t do well at signings in general, but I am that pleased with this book.
Cal and Jenna were high school sweetheart and had a deep connection but Jenna wanted more out of life than what small town life offered and took off for the bright lights of the big city.  But as the outlines says, she’s come back and the sparks are still there and she wants another chance with Cal.  But he’s ten years older now and has come to the conclusion that a wife and family aren’t for him any longer.  His mother left him and his two younger brother years previously and Cal did most of the raising of them.  His relationship with his father is most contentious.  They work together at the family garage and Cal’s dad stifles any kind of expansion or changes that Cal wants.  With such a poor example of family himself, Cal doesn’t want to risk it.  And then when another person is added to his responsibilities, he really doesn’t want to get involved again with Jenna again.
I loved, loved, loved Cal.  He’s exactly the kind of hero I read romance for.  He’s a good guy who while on the outside seems to not want the obligations in his life, on the inside he dearly loved his family.  The sparks flew between he and Jenna and while he was pretty broken up when she left, he doesn’t hold onto bitterness, he understands why she did what she did even though it hurt very badly.  And the reader just knows he would make a great husband and father.  He’s a car mechanic and not afraid to get his hands dirty.  Oh I just love him.  Even doing this review makes me want to read the book again.
Time got away from me between reading this book and then this review so it’s a few weeks apart and Jenna isn’t quite as vivid a character as Cal, but I really did like her too.  She knows what she wants, she wants Cal back and she sets about getting him back, not in a sneaky underhanded way but in a “I was young and didn’t really know and appreciate what I had back then and now want a second chance’ kind of way.
And I just got back from a break at work and opened Dirty Thoughts and noticed that Ms. Erikson has another book she wrote where the hero of that one was Cal’s brother, Make it Right.  You can guess what I did right after that!  So now I have a plan.  I’ll read Make it Right and then reread this book.  I also noticed she had quite a nice back list which I will be diving into.  Consider me a happy reader, I love finding new to me authors
Grade: 4.5 out of 5
Would I read it again: You betcha, I already have plans to.
Grade: 4.75 out of 5
'til later


Nicole McLaughlin said...

Excited to hear this! I picked up this ebook card and downloaded it today. (Which was kind of a headache i have to say. Really wished I could have gotten it on my kindle. Oh well.)

Lover Of Romance said...

oh I love this book as well!! It was amazing. I can't wait to read her other books too. And boy do I love my grumpy heroes.

Kristie (J) said...

Nicole: I got a bunch of ebook cards which I need to (attempt to) download. I know that I will need quite time though as it's going to take a lot of concentration and probably some frustration. I don't know how many you got, but I recommend putting this one towards the top of the pile as it was purtnear a perfect read for me.

Lover of Romance: Wasn't this one great? It's such a great feeling when you go into a book not having defined expectations and discovering it's a real gem of a book. That's what this one was. And I'm looking forward to the next one. She said she loved the hero even more. And I'm anxious to read Max's story too :-)

nath said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Kristie! Ms Erickson is on my list of authors to read! so it's good that you gave it such a high grade :P

Kristie (J) said...

Nath It really is fun finding a gem of a book when you least expect to and this is a real gem so my rec is try her sooner rather than later :-)