Reviewed by Helyce
His goal is to stand firm
As the middle child in a big family, Len Thompson has found it easy to slip under the radar. His relationships outside the family-run garage tend to run a mile wide but only an inch deep as he keeps his heart, body and soul protected. But when the one woman he’s always wanted makes it known she’ll soon be leaving town, he can’t resist letting her into his carefully constructed fortress.
Her gift is rocking his world
Chasing her best friend’s big brother has both entertained and frustrated Janey for years. She’s not sure what triggered his change of heart, but hell, yeah, she’ll accept it. All of it. Every kiss, every touch, every bit of body-shaking pleasure. Working to meet her renovation deadline is suddenly not nearly as interesting as the mind-blowing escapades she’s enjoying with the big sexy mechanic.
When old fears threaten, Len must finally choose—face his past or let their future crumble.
I’m using the blurb so I can get right into how much I enjoyed this story! I loved Len. He’s the sort of man who doesn’t say much, but when he does whatever he says seems huge and meaningful. From the opening scene, it’s clear that Len has had feelings for Janey for a while. It’s also clear that Janey has made no secret that she too, finds Len attractive, and would welcome any attention he might want to give her. What is not clear is why either of them has not taken a chance on a relationship.
After saving Janey from what could have been a horrific and traumatic event, Len decides that he cannot hold back any more. Whatever fears he may have, he’s willing to push them aside to have Janey for however long he can until she moves to Calgary. This has been Janey’s plan all along. But once these two get together, it is clear to everyone that they belong together.
I really liked Janey. She knows what she wants and she goes for it. When she didn’t fall in line with her siblings by going to college-adventuring into carpentry instead–she didn’t let her parent’s disappointment hinder her from doing what she knew she’d be good at and what she loved. She has always flirted and put herself out there where Len is concerned over the years. Being best friends with Len’s baby sister Katy meant that she spent a lot of time at Katy’s family home. There were many opportunities along the years, yet quiet Len never made a move or took a chance on Janey’s more than obvious hints.
But Len, quiet, thoughtful Len, has some secrets. One important one is revealed early enough-but I consider it spoilerish so I will control myself. It was completely unexpected and while I was very pleased by it certain things following it’s revelation bothered me, just a bit. Len falls in the middle of the Thompson siblings. He was 15 when his mom died of cancer and he shouldered some big responsibilities after that. He saw how his father was devastated by the loss of his wife and how it affected him even years later. He was so close to it, that it defined how he viewed relationships as a whole and he decided early on that he wasn’t going to get close to anyone. That it was not worth the pain that he knew would come when someone you cared about left. He’d seen it with his dad and he never wanted to experience it. So, while Len is exactly the right person for Janey as she is for him–he convinces himself that it’s okay to spend a little time with her until she moves to Calgary which was always her plan.
Only plans change occasionally when you least expect it.
The conflict these two experience on their road to love is not new by any stretch-but when Len finally sees the light and knows that he must do anything to prove that he deserves a second chance with Janey it’s one of the most well thought out and beautifully romantic scenes I’ve read in a while.
This story comes in at 164 pages (according to Goodreads) and I thought it important to note that even with the shorter page count this story did not feel rushed, nor did I ever feel that it had an insta-love quality. Janey and Len had been dancing around each other for years, so the fact that when they finally get together it is immediately combustible worked very well; and they are smokin’ hot together. I believe Clay Thompson is up next; but not until September!