This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Carina Press
Released on November 25, 2013
The second I saw this title my head filled with John Denver’s song by the same name so I checked it out and discovered that story was indeed set in West Virginia Mountains about two people to whom home is important. I’ve only been through West Virginia once, but it was beautiful and I was eager to read a romance against that setting.
Logger Matt Shaw finds himself back in a place he had no desire to return to, but he’s there for a job as a favor to a friend. The new owner of the land that used to belong to his family for generations before they lost it needs the funds that selling some of her timber will give her and the company Matt works for got the job. No matter how cute the owner; he needs to do the job and get away before his memories swamp him.
Kayla Edwards, owner of Mountain Specialty Spices, has been a wanderer all her life growing up an Army brat, but now she plans to sink down roots here in the beautiful mountains. She has big plans, but she has put all she has into getting things this far. She needs the money from the timber sale. The timber company sends out a fine specimen of a lumberjack that has her toes curling and breathing go short. She can tell that she affects him too though he tries to remain professional.
It’s not long before they are caught up in the beginning of a relationship. Matt can’t tell Kayla about his family’s past and his connections to her land because he has fought hard to get away from being that poor, evicted kid with nothing, but the clothes on his back. He doesn’t want to see her pity or the disappointment thinking that he’s a failure and can’t provide. He worries a little especially when she admits that honesty is big with her because she has been used before, but he just wants to bury the past. Kayla discovers that she has the possibility of running a maple syrup business from her land as well and that would really get her finances back on track. Matt tells her its hard work and it’s risky, but she’ll have his help, right? Although his familiarity with the land and his secrecy over his past niggles at her. And then yep, finally an innocent conversation reveals all that Matt was trying to conceal and he may lose his chance at love over his lie.
First of all, I just have to rave on about how much I loved the setting for this story. I so want to live there. Gorgeous place and small town atmosphere. Gah! I am so there when I get the chance.
The plot was well written and I loved the crisp feel to it and the tone of much of the story. The big build up is obviously what will happen when Kayla discovers the truth. The writer did a good job of having me on the fence about who to sympathize with over Matt’s choice to keep his past to himself. I totally got his reasons, but I also see where Kayla is coming from too. Relationships need honesty and that was the point of this one along with Matt’s need to let go of the past.
The romance on this one was off to the races from the get-go. In fact, Kayla’s aggressive flirting the moment they meet wasn’t a hit with me especially when the story later reveals just how much she had been used in the past. I was confused by her strong come-on when there should have been wariness. I suppose it made the difference that she was the aggressor. The clues were there that something was bothering Matt, but she just ran right through the red lights so there is a part of me that couldn’t get why she felt so betrayed. She’s the one who pushed so hard in the beginning. The speed of their attraction and relationship also explains a bit of Matt’s reticence to ruin the present with talk of the past too.
But really, I loved these two together. I was on both their sides and wanted them for each other. Kayla’s wants and needs lined up well with Matt’s for long term. They were so hot for each other too. Couldn’t stop flirting or keeping their hands off and they barely kept their clothes on most of the time. I cracked up when Matt’s nephew walked in on Kayla while she was taking a shower at Matt’s house, flushed the toilet which probably scalded her and then went out to tell Matt that he wasn’t allowed to have girls sleepover so why did Uncle Matt. Too cute!
This is a really sweet and equal parts spicy romance with good characters and a heartwarming series of scenes against a breathtaking setting. Those who adore small town romances and rugged heroes should give this Contemporary Romance a try.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review this book.