This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life
I just fell in love with this story. I am always looking for a story that is a little different than anything else that I have read and this book delivered. The set up of this story was completely unlike any other book that I have picked up and I really liked the characters. I really want to smack myself because when I was first approached by Brenda Novak with the offer of her book, I almost ignored her message. I decided to go ahead and give her book a try after a little bit of thought and I am so glad that I did.
This book reads perfectly well as a stand alone novel which worked out perfectly for me since I had never read anything by Brenda Novak before this book. This story focuses on Phoenix, Riley, and Jacob. Phoenix has just been released from prison after serving a 17 year sentence. She has never had the chance to see her son, Jacob, and she wants to get to know him more than anything. Phoenix knows that coming back to Whiskey Creek will be very difficult but she needs to be near her son and be able to help her mother.
Riley is Jacob's father. Once Phoenix returns to town, Riley starts to wonder what really happened. He is just as attracted to Phoenix as he was when he was a teenager but he is old enough now that he will not let other people influence his decisions. Riley has really changed just as much as Phoenix has over the years.
I really liked the characters a lot. Phoenix wasn't bitter and tried really hard not to ask anyone to help her. She was determined to take care of things on her own as much as possible. Phoenix would rather do without than ask for something. She never made any demands and was willing to only take what was offered in terms of relationships. Riley was a good guy kind of hero. He helped out even when he wasn't given any credit. His life up to this point has been focused on raising his son instead of dating.
The chemistry between Phoenix and Riley was wonderful. The way they danced around each other worked well in this story. I loved watching them get to know each other again. The writing was fantastic. I really had a hard time putting this book down and found myself thinking about Phoenix anytime I was away from the book. I only wish that I could be half as forgiving as Phoenix is in this story.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This is the first book by Brenda Novak that I have had a chance to read but I will be reading other works very soon starting with the earlier works in this series. I received a copy of this book from author for the purpose of providing an honest review.