Reviewed by Mandi
When her father dies, Annie Carson moves back to her hometown after being gone and out in the world for ten years. In those years she married an older man, had a son named Atticus, and eventually gets divorced. She has also become a popular blogger talking about being a super-mom and also life as a single mom. Her father leaves her his sprawling and dilapidated farm, and Annie decides to fix it up and sell it. She just doesn’t realize how much work that will take.
Moving back home means running back into her former boyfriend Sawyer. Years ago in high school she was humiliated by him at a party and hasn’t spoken to him since. Sawyer is now the town’s sheriff and can’t believe the free-spirited Annie is back in town. Sawyer may be a more mature adult now, but his grandmother still thinks he is a boy. She is a little on the mean side, and thinks Annie and her late-father are totally kooky. If she had her say, Sawyer would not be allowed within twenty-feet of Annie. Thankfully, Sawyer can stand-up to her and tries his best to woo Annie again.
This is the first book in a new series from Lia Riley. I tried one of this author’s new adults recently and didn’t care for it, but this book has a different tone. It’s deeply rooted in a small town and I enjoyed the atmosphere. Annie lives in a big farm house that needs a lot of work and I could picture it pretty well. She has big plans to fix it up, but the extent of the work is something she didn’t plan for. She is very head strong and wants to be the perfect mother. Being a mother has kind of taken over her life, as it tends to do. She had thrown away her vintage dresses and shoes and now looks down to see herself wearing sweats and stained t-shirts. Not only does she need to work on the house, but she needs to establish her own life again.
Her kid didn’t annoy me too much in this one (as sometimes kids do) but the one frustration I had with this book is that sometimes Annie acted a little too perfect. And she looked to people for sympathy. Kind of like an “oh gee poor me” attitude – and that got on my nerves. I’m all for her being overwhelmed with her life – I expected that. But her “too perfect” act was a little much.
I love a small town sheriff and Sawyer fit that role nicely. He was kind and patient and knew how to handle his grandmother who always had a lot to say. His courtship with Annie was slow, but they had nice chemistry together. Again, I think Annie tried to put on her perfect act with Sawyer and I would have liked her so much better had she just been more genuine.
I think I’ll try the next book in this series – I liked the voice in this book, just wasn’t a big fan of Annie. But it’s a cute small town and I think with the set up of two supporting characters, the next book could be fun