This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Signet
Released on June 6, 2014
A village romance set on the Scottish coast? Caledonia, take me away! When I read this blurb just the setting and backdrop alone were enough to make me pick up the book. I had never read this author’s stuff so I was crossing my fingers that she had a nice descriptive writing voice. And she did, village life, village characters and a tangled up romance was all sewn together well.
The story opens when Cait McLeod returns to her childhood home with tail tucked between her legs just needing to lick her wounds and figure out a new start after her husband’s infidelities led to him dying in his mistress’ arms. Cait is done with men and love is just a fairy tale. Now back to a place that should have been home, she feels the gulf of years she was away and didn’t keep contact. Instead of staying with her old Gran she has bought her own cottage, but as she stands in the rain staring on the charred remains of her cottage, she decides the universe is against her. A quick knock at the home next door gives her a new twist of fate and maybe another chance to grab back her life if she plays her cards right. Cait has discovered where one of the hottest actors in the world goes into hiding when he isn’t making a film or an appearance. This is her chance to grab back that which her marriage to her philandering husband stripped her. She’ll relaunch her career by write a tell-all about Graham and send it to People magazine.
Graham Buchanan can smell a journalist a mile away and he is suspicious of the woman on his son’s doorstep. She is Deydie’s granddaughter with unlikely claims that she just makes quilts. His private life and protecting his son and grandson from the spotlight of his movie star career are priority for him. However, he trusts Duncan that she belongs here and helps her out by giving her the room above his pub though he warns her that her gran would expect her to stay at the family cottage. He is attracted to Cait and enjoys her presence in his life and the life of the village that he cares for too, but he is honest with her that he doesn’t believe in love or long term relationships. She claims the same so he figures its all good.
Cait gets a rocky start in the village when her gran isn’t impressed that her long lost granddaughter is now back and she holds her at arms’ length. At least Deydie lets Cait into the quilters group and pushes her to help out around the village even as she warns Cait away from Graham. Cait discovers that it won’t be easy to get what she needs for her story though it’s not because Graham doesn’t give her the opportunity. She is close to him, his son and his grandson and even has the ability to run tame in his house, but between her conscience and how busy her gran and the others in the village keep her, she keeps missing chances to snoop into his life. Graham is attracted to her and she has come to adore his grandson which makes it hard for her to maintain the distance she needs both to protect herself from getting hurt by another man and to protect herself when she gets the story and angers the whole village that know Graham as their most popular son who doesn’t forget his roots. Slowly village life and the people including her gran softens to her and Cait starts to heal. She is left with a dilemma of what to do about her secret story and what to do about Graham Buchanan.
I confess that I nearly set this book aside before I got out of the first chapter. Angry, bitter woman scorned who blames the male race as a whole because her late husband was a cheater and because her dad moved on after her mom died. Wasn’t in the mood for the drama even if I understood and sympathized to her devastation. Then she adds the appalling decision to invade a man’s private life and stab him in the back by doing a ‘tell-all’ story to relaunch her career with the attitude that she is entitled because her life stinks. Yeah, was not impressed with Cait McLeod initially and for some time, but I gave her a chance and I got to see her change. It wasn’t quickly and it wasn’t easy. It was tough being right there with her as she worked through her issues.
The writing and gentle story line, the characterizations and just the life of the village got to me. I loved meeting all the characters and getting vested in their life. It wasn’t glamorous and it wasn’t exciting, but it was interesting and emotion-grabbing. It all balanced well with the tempestuous romance of Cait and Graham. They were attracted, but both fought hard to keep something back. I just wanted to shake them at times when the denial got to be too much. They were so good together and everyone could see it, but them. I will warn you now that there are a few teary-eyed moments in this one so keep the tissue box handy if you’re a crier. That being said, I’ll dangle the carrot of a hot Scottish man in kilt who has a smile and generous heart to make you go weak-kneed to balance out the sad stuff.
To sum it up, I enjoyed this debut book in a new series and was glad that I soldiered past my initial reaction to the heroine so that I could get a good heartwarming and hard-earned romance. Contemporary romance lovers who enjoy a passionate couple, small town setting and characters and an emotional story line should try this one.
My thanks to Penguin Group and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this story in exchange for an honest review.