I enjoy a good contemporary romance, but there are certain scenarios more than others that really grab my interest. In this case, its the small town girl who makes good in the big city, but for some reason is forced to return home. And added to that, this one also offers courtroom drama, an old mystery to be solved, and the meeting of a man from the heroine’s past. Lots of delicious ingredients made this story one satisfying read.
Tulsa McGrath is the small town girl who grew up under the stigma of a mother’s reputation, but that was years ago now she’s a high-priced successful divorce attorney with her own LA practice. She’s successful and independent and thinks she has left the stigma of her past behind. One call for help from her sister brings the past back into her life just like that. Savannah is now engaged in a custody battle for the daughter she reared by herself and she turns to her sister Tulsa to come home and help.
Tulsa barely gets a chance to figure out how she feels about going back home after all these years before she learns that Cade Montgomery, one time love of her life, is the attorney for her niece Ash’s dad. The betrayal stings and there is so much unfinished between them when she walked away.
Cade can’t believe what is happening to him. A year ago, he came home divorced and dissatisfied from NYC to help care for his dad and his dad’s law firm after the stroke and suddenly he is now the attorney and opposing council against the woman he loved and who left him. How can he still want someone so badly when she didn’t want him?
Tulsa and Cade’s anger, pain and feelings of betrayal still aren’t enough to quench the attraction they have between them. Time didn’t diminish what they had between them, but there is still what has remained hidden in the past- until now. Some things are just not meant to be or is it just some things have to wait for the right timing.
I found the layers of this plot just a thing of beauty. It was a modern Romeo and Juliet retelling in a way (without the tragic results fortunately). Each of the plot components made for interesting story. While the romance gripped me the strongest, I loved reading the interaction between the brothers- Wayne and Cade and the sisters- Tulsa and Savannah. The small town Colorado backdrop was pretty neat too. I have to say that I really liked the way the custody situation was told. It wasn’t just about two adults taking out their issues on a battle over their child. Bobby and Savannah’s motives are really about wanting to be with Ash. Bobby wants to spend time and get to know his daughter and Savannah is afraid to lose what she has with her daughter. The author handles the touchy stuff with Cade and Tulsa’s relationship issues very well. While they both have a lot to be angry about and were definitely angry, I like that it didn’t dissolve into childish petulance. The way they both handled things made me really like them and want them to have a chance. The romance stays just the cool side of steamy which makes sense based on what else is going on in the story.
Secondary characters were not overlooked at all. My favorite was Wayne, Cade’s half brother. My heart just broke for the guy because he was this big loveable man. I laughed so hard after the ticket scene and the boxing match between the brothers. He totally had Cade’s back and that’s saying something considering how their relationship could have been because of Cade’s dad. Savannah, Bobby, Ash and even Rose the waitress were all written with depth and not just background people for Cade and Tulsa’s story. And then there was Cade’s dad, Hudd. That man was a real piece of work.
I think this book has appeal for those who enjoy light Romantic Suspense, but definitely those who enjoy Contemporary Romances with small town settings.