I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Jaci Burton
Released: December 1st 2015
Series: Hope #5
Published by Berkley Jove
“Warning: Swooning will definitely be happening while reading.”
~ Under the Covers
Oh sweetness! I love the stories in Hope! Ms. Burton makes me fall in love with these characters with such ease it’s surprising sometimes. I was anxiously awaiting this one because I love these McCormack brothers. Reid was the one that left town to pursue his big dreams in the city. But a project dear to the whole town brings him back to town and right in the path of Samantha. She’s more concerned with taking care of the last remaining member of her family, her grandmother, than with her own life and pleasure.
First of all…hot men wearing tool belts and flannel shirts. And I have to point out that he does the dishes. Reid McCormack is almost perfect. Like that ideal man that we read about and the real thing sometimes falls a bit short. He’s a successful architect and can wear a suit like it’s no ones business, but when he gets back to Hope to work on this restoration, he gets hands on and a bit dirty. Warning: Swooning will definitely be happening while reading.
On the other hand, Samantha is a very likeable heroine. Even if at times I couldn’t identify with her as much, whether it was her thoughts or decisions, I still came to care for her and wanted to see her get that ideal HEA. She’s a very happy person even when faced with a hand that is not easy. She puts her big girl panties on and takes care of stuff. I loved that determination in her. The chemistry between Reid and Sam was excellent. They are sweet and even endearingly clueless at times.
I can’t leave Not My Dog, Notty, out. I’m a sucker for stories with cute and adorable animals and this has that. I absolutely adored him! And while we talk about side characters, fans of the series will be happy of the glimpses of previous couples they get to see in this book.
Now if only we could get Ms. Burton to write faster because I’m definitely left DYING for Deacon and Loretta’s story!
“More of these inside,” Logan said.
Reid nodded, and he and Luke went inside to grab the pans.
“Are you as hungry as I am for these?” Luke asked as they walked back outside.
Reid juggled multiple pans loaded with ribs. “Like you would not believe. I’m amazed I’m actually in town for this. It’s been years since I’ve been here for the barbecue. I actually have dreams about it.”
Luke laughed. “Hey, you know where the ranch is. You could come home more often.”
“Not as easy as it seems.”
“It’s as easy as you want to make it. All you have to do is buy a plane ticket.”
He waved his hand to dismiss his brother. “Yeah, yeah.”
Logan looked up from where he was placing ribs on the grill. “Why would you even want him to come back here for the barbecue, Luke? You’ve seen how much he eats. That’s just fewer ribs for you and me.”
“You make a good point, Logan.” Luke turned to Reid. “Never mind. Stay in Boston.”
Reid laughed. “You’re both assholes.”
“Like that’s a revelation,” Logan said. “Now grab some tongs and help me get these spread out on the grills. And someone needs to drag a cooler of beer out here.”
“I’ll get the beer,” Luke said.
Reid took charge of one of the grills. It felt good to be home again, to be cooking ribs with his brothers at his side. This had been a McCormack family tradition every year, going back to when his dad was still alive. His father and his grandfather had stood at the grills cooking together when Reid had been just a kid. He could still remember knocking around in the front yard with his brothers, the smell of those ribs cooking for hours while they threw the football around or played in the dirt.
As the day progressed, people would show up at the house bringing food. By late afternoon, Reid’s stomach would be growling from smelling the meat cook.
He was certain today would be a lot like that. Except for wrestling his brothers in the dirt.
“You must be thinking deep thoughts over there,” Logan said, “because you haven’t said a word.”
He slanted a look at his brother. “I was thinking about how long this annual barbecue has been going on, and how you and me and Luke used to play in the front yard all day, just smelling the ribs cooking and getting hungrier every hour.”
Logan’s lips ticked up. “And Dad and Grandpa would sit in their chairs, drink beer, and occasionally yell at us to break up a fight.”
Reid smiled at the memories. “Yeah.”
“And when Mom was around, she’d be pissed that we got dirty.”
Logan’s lips curved. “She was always pissed about something.”
“Don’t miss that.”
That was one thing the brothers all had in common. They had loved their father, and had always stuck together when their mother had gotten riled up about something trivial—like young boys getting dirty.
Their mother hadn’t been happy being a ranch wife and mother. Fortunately, their dad had taken up the slack and loved them enough for two people.
And so had Martha and Ben. They’d had plenty of love and parental influence, so once their mother had divorced Dad and taken off, Reid figured they were all better off without her.
Which had suited him just fine. He sometimes wondered where she was, but he didn’t wonder enough to look her up. She’d remarried some guy and was apparently living her happily-ever-after city life somewhere on the east coast. That’s all he knew and he didn’t care to know more.
Some people just weren’t cut out to live life on a ranch. Or to be a parent. And that’s just how it was.
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