Reviewed by: Helyce
Favorite Quote: “I’ve been waiting for you. For so long. Forever.”
Lacey Mosely isn’t unhappy with her life in small town Crowell Montana, but recently, having watched her sister fall in love, again, and settle into married life happily looking forward to the birth of her first baby, Lacey realizes that she longs for that kind of devoted love and wonders if she’ll ever have that life for herself. Unfortunately, there are no prospects in town and she is not about to rekindle anything with her ex, Dusty, who she often refers to as the “dust storm”.
All that is about to change when Lacey’s sister Kate goes into labor while her husband Trevor is out of town. He charters a plane in the hopes of making it back in time, but he misses it. When he finally arrives, Lacey has a few choice words for the pilot who has apparently decided to come to the hospital as well. But nothing could have prepared Lacey for the voice that said:
“Aw, come on, Shoelace. Don’t go getting yourself all tied up in knots. I got him here in one piece, didn’t I?”
Ms. Blake starts off the final book in this series with a lot of excitement. Kate has gone into labor early and her husband, Trevor, is out of town. It was a terrific way to introduce Jake Holt into the story; Jake being the pilot of the private plane Trevor used to get home. Though Jake isn’t really a newcomer to Crowell as we quickly learn. In fact, Jake Holt once lived in Crowell and was the secret boyfriend of Lacey Mosely.
I love the second chance at love theme in my romance stories and I also love it when the characters are a bit mismatched. In this instance, we have Lacey, the beautiful, popular, cheerleader in high school who begins a secret relationship with Jake, the town misfit. For their whole senior year, they’d met secretly. Experiencing a lot of firsts together, they were in love, even if they were really too young to understand what they were feeling. But on graduation day, Jake leaves town without a word to anyone, and is gone 10 long years.
I liked the pacing of this story. Jake and Lacey do not just pick up where they left off. While it is clear that there is still a sizzling attraction they really are not the same people at all; physically, mentally, emotionally, they have both changed in so many ways, but deep down, they feel a pull toward each other that neither really wants to deny.
The logistics of their relationship are handled well. Jake lives in California now, where his job keeps him busy. Being a pilot fits well with the nomadic lifestyle that he’s come to enjoy and while he does have a “home” he’s rarely there and that’s just the way he likes it. So, in an effort to get acquainted, Jake and Lacey send emails back and forth until Jake has a free weekend and can get away.
“All the years of waiting for someone I didn’t know I missed so much it made every other man in my life come up short. Every second of knowing, somewhere in the recesses of my heart, that this guy has been the only one who ever honestly knew me. Loved me.”
Jake and Lacey really have no problems reconnecting, but the future is not really something they talk about with each other. Lacey has an ongoing inner monologue about her worries, and it becomes all too real when something life changing happens for Lacey to cement her future and she’s not only afraid to tell Jake, she doesn’t even tell her sister. Predictably, this causes a strain on their new relationship, especially when neither is willing to compromise.
“I’m pretty sure I never stopped being in love with you, Lacey. Not for one damn second. This whole time, even when I was on the wrong side of the Continental Divide, my fucking heart was still here with you.”
It takes some time apart for our couple to realize that they belong together and that sacrifices and compromises must be made in order for their relationship to succeed. While I wasn’t sure I was happy that one character seemed to be making more of a sacrifice than the other-their eventual HEA was much more important for my total enjoyment of the story. I really enjoyed all three of the stories in this series and look forward to more from this author.