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As a big fan of Elle Casey’s Shine Not Burn, I was really excited to get this follow up story featuring Andie’s best friend Candice, and Mack’s brother, Ian – both of whom I loved in the first book. Self-declared city girl, Candice has made the trek out to visit her BFF in the country, and from the moment she sets eyes on the sexy cowboy, it’s game on!
Candice is a refreshingly unique heroine. She is happy, confident, and self-assured. Although high maintenance, immature , and a wee bit silly, she has a huge heart, and her personality comes off as endearing rather than annoying, and I thought she was hilarious! Her thought processes, and the things she does are so freaking funny!
I cringe. “Ew, Andie. Because the eggs come from their butts, of course.”
Andie laughs so hard she spits coffee out at me … “You’ve got to be kidding me.” She wipes tears away. “Oh, man, Candice, I sure have missed you.”
I frown at her obvious ignorance of all things chicken. “I missed you too. But why are you laughing over simple scientific facts? Google is your friend, you know, Andie. You really shouldn’t neglect your Googling.”
And combine that with a snarky yet gorgeous cowboy with a chip on his shoulder and the combination is fantastic!
Ian has been hurt in a relationship before, and has nurtured his pain for three years so that he is now a sulky, closed off grump. As annoying as that is for those around him, though, I like a snarky hero, so I really enjoyed him, and the dynamic between them is classic! Their relationship is antagonistic, but they have some serious sexual chemistry brewing between them and the City/Country divide is played up brilliantly. And with the two of them causing mayhem and getting into all sorts of bizarre situations – epic snowball fights, a shooting, wild animal attacks, a baby cow and a couple of purple nurples – they soon get to know each other, and real feelings start to develop.
“You are not just one person, Candice. You’re a whole tornado of a person.
While I enjoyed the chemistry between Ian and Candice I didn’t feel the romance as much as I did in the first book, and I was surprised at the speed of their connection, which was almost insta-love.
But I enjoyed reading about them together, and loved the combination of teasing, pranks, sweetness and sexy time.
The story is told entirely from Candice’s POV, and moves quickly. Her inner monologue is hilariously candid and immature, jokes are carried right through the book giving fantastic continuity, and it all gives the book a light and fun feeling that I enjoyed immensely. And Ian is a great hero – doing a great job at keeping up with Candice and showing a bit of alpha now and then.
“I’ll let you win a battle or two, but I’ll be the one winning this war.”
There is a bit of Andie and Mack time, with some gorgeously sweet moments between the two of them, and I love the closeness between Candice and Andie. And I love the strength that Candice showed in dragging Ian out of his funk and single-handedly taking on the small town dramas to try and help her BFF find her place in her new home.
While I didn’t enjoy this as much as Shine Not Burn, it was still an enjoyable read which was lots of fun and had me laughing out loud.
Shine Not Burn series