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This is the second book in the Jamison Valley series, and this time Devney Perry has given us a heartachingly beautiful second-chance-romance that is sweet, sexy and emotional with lots of chemistry, and a couple that you cannot help but fall in love with. With a bit of mystery/suspense on the side, some family drama and another delve into the lives of the people of Prescott, Montana, this is a really well-rounded read and I loved it!
Emmeline Austin and Nick Slater met in Vegas when they were in their early 20s. After a whirlwind night together they got married, both of them already madly in love, and believing that they were about to begin a life together. But when Emmeline woke up the next morning, Nick was gone, leaving only a note behind that said ‘Sorry’.
It’s nine years later, and Emmeline has moved on with her life, but she has done it completely under the thumb of her wealthy, controlling father. Now, she has finally taken control, getting the teacher’s degree she always wanted and taking a job teaching kindergarten in the small town of Prescott – embracing all that comes with small-town life and wide open spaces, which is about as far away as she can get from the socialite life in New York City that she is desperate to escape from. But life throws her a curveball when runs into the man she never expected to see again – her still-husband, Nick.
Nick is the Fire Chief in Prescott, and from the moment he lays eyes on his wife for the first time in nine years, he knows it’s the second chance he’s always wanted and he makes his intentions clear.
“I want a chance,” Nick said.
“A chance for what?” I asked.
“A chance to start again.”
My mouth fell open. Was he serious? “What? Why?”
“You asked me back then if I believed in fate. I didn’t until I met you. And I’ve spent nine years thinking I’d never see your face again. But fate brought you back into my life and I’m not going to mess it up again.”
“I stayed away from you because I figured you would have moved on. But you’re not happy. I can see it plain as day. Give me a chance?”
I looked to the table. “No. I want a divorce.”
“You won’t get one.”
At this early point in the book I was bouncing up and down in my chair with excitement. It’s a great set-up, and the chemistry between Nick and his Emmy absolutely sizzles. I couldn’t wait to see how it was all going to happen for them, and I wasn’t disappointed. Nick’s pursuit was absolutely fantastic as he barged on in to Emmy’s life, but at the same time he knows he ruined it all and that he has a lot to atone for. The balance of alpha romantic hero and apologetic man desperate to make up for the mistakes of his past is really well done, and even though his actions hurt them both so badly, my heart ached for him.
“No more running away. I told you I’m not letting you go, so you need to get used to having me in your life. Every day. No more space.”
“I am not ready…”
“Get ready,” I said. “I thought about you every day for nine years, wondered what you were doing. I had questions I wanted to ask but couldn’t. Those nine years are on me. It was my mistake to walk away from you but I’m not doing it again. And I won’t let you do it either. All I’m asking for is time. I’ll prove to you that you can trust me again.”
“We’re it for each other. You walked back into my life and I won’t leave you again. And deep down, you don’t want me to let you go.”
And Emmy is a fantastic heroine. She’s strong and determined, and though she admits that her heart has always belonged to the man who broke it, she’s managed to go on and live her life on her own terms, and I love that about her! And I love that when Nick comes back into her life she’s not a push over. She demands answers and she makes him work for it, but she’s also not a bitch about it. She’s open about what she’s feeling, and she shares her heart and her fears with him, and their journey was really beautiful to watch.
“I don’t know if I can ever get past it, Nick.”
His forehead dropped to mine. “What can I do?”
The answer was simple. “Stay.”
But their battle for their future together is a complicated one, with the secrets of Nick’s past to be dealt with, as well as Emmeline’s controlling family and Nick’s potentially dangerous one. And woven alongside the love story, Emmy faces a mysterious threat – adding a sense of suspense to the story (and more than a few surprises), while at the same time allowing Nick to show his protective alpha side which was pretty special.
And then there’s the people of Prescott. We see more of Jess and Gigi from the first book, which I loved, as well as catching up with most of the other characters who have already been introduced. I love the sense of fullness that this brings to the book as we get to see Nick and Emmy interacting with their friends and family, and of course it builds on the series, as while I read I kept anticipating which stories we will be getting in the future.
I really loved this book. The characters are wonderfully developed and very relatable, the balance of romance with all of the other stuff happening is really well done, the pacing is perfect, and I felt every moment of it as Nick and Emmy found the courage to move on from the past and embrace their second chance.
Who we had become was who we were meant to be, two people who would hold onto one another until the end. Who would savor every moment together. Nick had my heart completely and I had his.
A great read – 4.5 stars!
The Jamison Valley series
The Bitteroot Inn (#4)
To be released 16 January 2018