5 "Rescue Me" Stars!
Second Chance Summer is book one in Jill Shalvis’ new series entitled Cedar Ridge. I am a big fan of this author and reading her books always feels like coming home; therefore, discovering that Ms. Shalvis was going to pen yet another series is like Christmas to me! I have always loved visiting the quirky towns this author creates and the lovable and eccentric habitants that seem to be the norm. The book and the start to this new series seems to be no different as we now find ourselves in Colorado. This author seems to follow a familiar formula with many of her books; however, it is a formula that works and keeps me engrossed with the story and her beautifully developed characters. Jill Shalvis writes fantastically hilarious and witty tales, swoony romances and hot and sexy times that leave you all hot and bothered. This book is no exception. Another heart-warming gem about learning to open up and letting that someone special in, becoming vulnerable and learning to trust in love.
Lily Danville was born and raised in Cedar Ridge. The perfect setting to embrace her adventurous spirit, it was home to Lily. Until tragedy struck. Not once, but twice. Unable to stay in the town where she would be bombarded with memories and guilt, Lily left never planning to come back. Ten years later and Lily is forced to return to Cedar Ridge. Her job with a high-end salon in San Diego where she catered to the rich and famous came to abrupt end. Lily is out of options and the only person who has offered her another job is her friend Jonathan. The problem is he works for a salon in Cedar Ridge. Can Lily come back to the place that she has been running from for so long? Will she be able to face the one person that she regretted leaving?
Aidan Kincaid is also a Cedar Ridge native. He comes from a close-knit family who he would do anything for. Aidan has always tried to be the one that “rescues people”; therefore, it is no stretch that he now works as a firefighter for the Colorado Wildland Firefighters and also volunteers for the local Search-and-Rescue team. He juggles a busy schedule and also helps out at his family’s resort, Cedar Ridge Resort, which is currently struggling. When Lily saunters back into town, Aidan is taken for a loop. He can’t help but want her again, even though she was the one that walked away ten years prior. Aidan finds himself drawn to Lily and keeps popping into her daily life at some interesting moments. But, can Aidan rescue someone who does not want to be rescued? And, can he convince Lily to stay in Cedar Ridge long enough to give a relationship between the two of them a fair chance?
“I...” Her gaze dipped to his chest and then back to his eyes. “I do feel things for you,” she whispered. “Big things. I just...”
He pushed her hair from her face. “You’ll get there when you get there. There’s no rush, Lily.”
Her eyes were big on his. Uncertain. Wary. “I’m just...”
“I know. And I’m not going anywhere,” he promised. “And neither are my feelings for you.”
There is a definite connection that both Aidan and Lily are unable to ignore and it was fun watching them find their way into love, blunders and all. I liked Lily and did understand her hesitations when it came to relationships. I do wish that she turned the corner a little bit earlier in the story as she struggled with finding forgiveness and had to learn to be vulnerable enough to allow Aidan in. Aidan had this strong and broody thing going for him, but damn if it was hard not to fall head over heels for him, particularly when he was so upfront about his feelings for Lily. Despite their hesitations to enter into the world of love, they both could not help but give into the undeniable chemistry that was between them and it was so much more than simple physics right from the beginning. I adored watching these two find their way to each other in such a way that can only come from Jill Shalvis. For me, she is the queen of penning light-hearted, funny and sexy romances that have me swooning and laughing out loud. Lily and Aidan’s road to happiness was real and sweet and had me transported to my happy place, somewhere only a great romance novel can take me.
All in all, Second Chance Summer is an amazing start to this new series and a wonderfully executed romance by an author who has yet to let me down. True to this author’s style, this book is not bogged down with unnecessary over-the-top angst and drama. That is definitely not how Jill Shalvis books work. What you get is a sweet, fun and light-hearted love story that will leave you happily sighing and seeking out a sexy man of your own from Cedar Ridge. From what I can tell, there are plenty still available. Jill Shalvis has definitely set the standard, in my mind, for sweet and sexy contemporary romance books and I simply can’t wait for more books in this series.
She stared at him. “Whatever I want? You can’t just offer me whatever I want.”
“Of course I can.” His eyes were intense now. Serious, smile gone. “Just name it.”
“There’s really only one thing,” she said.”
He waited with characteristic patience.
“I need you to love me,” she whispered.
“For the rest of my life,” he promised.
*****An advance copy of Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.