Molly Canady, daughter of Coach Canady, dreams of owning her own shop for restoring cars and to be taken seriously as a mechanic. She’s a tom-boy down to her very soul preferring her loose-fitting trousers and her hands under the hood of a car with only two feminine quirks. She loves wearing pretty lacy underwear and she’s a wonderful knitter. Her mildly dissatisfying life gets turned upside down in almost one day when her mother runs away from her life leaving Molly in charge of the home where her oblivious dad and her slobbish younger brother lives and her mother also leaves her in charge of the knitting shop. If that weren’t enough, she discovers Simon Wolfe, Ira Wolfe’s prodigal son, has returned to close out all the last details of his dad’s life. Ira’s Ford dealership is in trouble so it will be sold. There goes her free garage use to finish up the old Shelby that she hopes to sell and use the proceeds for her future business. Her life is crazy and her temper rises to the occasion.
Simon Wolfe left Last Chance eighteen years before. He never planned to return, but this one desire to say good-bye to his father is a mistake. His mother cannot remember who he is, most of the town hates him because they think he closed the Ford Dealership when it was his misery uncle’s decision. There are rumors that he’s gay. Coach’s fiery daughter has made it clear that he has ruined her life because she is one of the crowd who thought he had any say in his dad’s dealership and then he inadvertently leased the building she had her eyes on. His last painting commission isn’t working and to top it off when he helps Molly out by giving her the back of his leased building to work on her car and spends a fun day with her, the one man he admired treats him like he’s a pariah.
Molly knows the score with Simon when it comes to his avoidance for relationships and it’s not long before she also knows that she and the rest of the town are wrong about Simon. Simon offers a distraction and she pursues that not realizing that her feelings aren’t as controllable as she thought they were. Then there is the old matchmaker, Ms. Miriam’s prediction. Molly remains adamant that she does not one a man, marriage or children. Simon says the same about women even as they both have to curb those feelings of longing.
This book was a parts enjoyable and parts not so enjoyable. I love the Last Chance world, the regular characters, the plot that retold the Little Women story and the author’s writing style, but this one just never quite took with me. I found the heroine disappointing much of the time and I didn’t feel the story resolved so much as just ended abruptly. There was all that stuff going on in Molly’s family hating Simon and it was never really dealt with.
Molly is sassy and firm about what she wants until its her family and then she’s one big doormat. She gets angry that they don’t get her and they do their own thing, but yet she takes it all silently for the most part. I was shocked to discover that she’s 28 years old the way she lived at home and followed rules that are okay if your sixteen. Yeesh! Want a life? Well go get it, sister! And to sit there and let your family unfairly bash someone you care about? Really? You care? Molly was a big disappointment.
Simon’s situation was much different in that the death of his friend when he was a child and the emotional abuse he took from both parents did a number on him. His issues were understandable for why he left. And then he came back to find himself as unwelcome as ever even though he’s done nothing wrong. Now his struggles made actual sense.
That all being said, Molly and Simon were a nice pairing in the opposites sort of way, but they had similarities under the surface that made it all work. They definitely had no trouble in the passion department since both made no bones about wanting each other and making it happen. That skinny dipping scene was the best. Molly talks him into playing hooky and then he dares her into jumping into the river with him. What a pair!
There was a secondary romance going on that was unrealistic, yet cute. Truthfully, I found it a bit distracting. I did really love the scenes with the ladies book club and the knitting circle. It was also nice for all the regular characters to pop in too and get updates on their lives.
So in the end, it had its enjoyable moments and I still like this small town romance series. Contemporary romance lovers who like their romances on the lighter side with a bit of spice should try this series out.
My thanks to Net Galley and Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review thoughts.