This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Love Swept
Released on April 19, 2016
I fell in love with this family-oriented romance series from book one. I love the big, boisterous, accepting, and loving McKinney family and it is fun seeing each brother find their way to romance. In this one, the McKinney son who has distanced himself from his family, JT, gets his story. Like Matt, he falls for a ready-made family with a hardworking, single mom who doesn’t believe in fairy tales and her cute as a button daughter who happens to have an important thing in common with JT that gets his attention.
This is the third book in the series, but it could be read out of order in a pinch. The previous romance pairs are referred to as are their stories a little, but they don’t play a huge role in this one.
The story opens with Jake McKinney, researcher and designer for innovative prosthetic limbs and all around relationship avoider including with his own family, noticing a beautiful, sweet, hardworking waitress at a diner. He keeps going back just to see her and then he encounters Casey, Paige’s precocious and sunny little girl.
Jake lost his leg in a car accident that still haunts him. He went through extensive therapy and it was there that he met his two business partners. They supported each other in ways that his caring, helping family couldn’t. Now, Simon is pushing Jake to make a move on the woman he can’t stop thinking about. Helping Paige’s daughter Casey is his tentative step forward especially since Paige has a crazy life and has no desire to start up a relationship because it doesn’t fit her plans. Casey is an amputee and is having trouble with her prosthetic leg and that is something that Paige can’t fix herself and she loves her daughter so she accepts Jake’s help. He has no idea what he is doing since he is gunshy of relationships, too, but he can’t seem to keep away from the mother or the daughter.
Paige Roberts has lived a hard life and grew up trailer trash, made a mistake with a guy, and now she has Casey. Paige is set on breaking the pattern. She has big plans to finish college, get a decent job, get a house with a yard, and make sure Casey never feels the lack or the slights that Paige endured growing up. With two jobs, school, and a child with special needs depending on her, Paige has no time for a relationship. But the gorgeous Jake McKinney makes her pause. And once she sees him humbling working to make others’ lives better and in particular all he is doing with Casey for her leg and being adorable the way he naturally acts with Casey, Paige can’t resist though she is terrified of it all turning to ashes on her.
This story just seems to flow along with no major conflicts or crises. It’s a series of small moments that add together. It wasn’t challenging or exciting, but it was engaging and sweet. It takes the time to develop the characters, their relationship to each other and to those around them.
The conflict is all internal and even then it’s mild. Jake has strong guilt from a horrific event in his past and Paige has to overcome the fear that relationships can’t be real because of her mother’s messed up life. Casey, the little girl, adds the extra dynamic of Jake not only falling for Paige, but for Casey as well.
The backdrop of Jake’s work with prostheses and bionics was neat and I liked the tie to the romance and family stuff. It also provided two engaging minor characters in Jake’s business partners and friends, Lynn and Simon.
As I said, this one is gently paced. It meanders through daily happenings and fun, cute moments. I loved the time at the fair. I also loved when Jake took his girls to the ocean for a beach picnic.
But that said, eventually Jake and Paige get up to some passionate moments and can’t keep their hands off each other even when outside the bedroom they are wary and tentative about a relationship.
And it couldn’t be complete without some time in the midst of the big McKinney clan. Loved those scenes of a big family gathering and interaction. Paige and Casey got to experience the magic of Jake’s family and that was touching.
In summary, it was a mostly mild, tender heartwarming read that would be good for a lazy afternoon when the reader wants a feel good romance with likable characters, cute moments, and family.
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #139 CR