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Review – Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge #1) by Jill Shalvis

Second Chance Summer cover image

Publisher: Grand Central
Publish Date: Out now
Reviewed by: E
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

RESCUE ME

Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .
This blurb came from Goodreads

I think the first book by Shalvis I read was the first story in her Wilder trilogy. After which I went on to finish that trilogy and dove right into her Lucky Harbor series. The first three books were my favorite because like the Wilder trilogy they featured siblings with a tumultuous relationship in a small town. When I read the blurb for Second Chance Summer I thought the start to her new series might evoke those same elements and happily it did along with some new elements.

Lily was returning home, once her favorite place in the world now a place haunted by memories and guilt. In addition, her return wasn’t as the triumphant prodigal who made it big, but someone who was betrayed and forced to working at a temporary job until she could find permanent employment. Also unlike a prodigal, her mother, the sole remaining member of her family no longer lived in her hometown. Returning home meant she had to face the ghosts of her past and deal with a crush that never really went away. As Shalvis revealed bits and pieces of Lily’s past I really felt for her and thought about how desperate she was to return to her hometown. I loved how she wasn’t completely self-confident and yet didn’t want to ask anyone for help especially not Aiden.

Aiden Kincaid harbored his own sense of guilt and responsibility based on events in his past. They were mostly separate from Lily except for his regret about letting her leave with his thoughts and emotions unspoken 10 years ago. Aiden was a firefighter, a member of the local Search & Rescue team, and with his siblings ran the largest resort in the area. His relationship with his siblings was complicated because while they were all related on his deadbeat father’s side between the five of them, they had three different birth mothers. Aiden’s family had their internal squabbles about running the resort which were exacerbated by the looming balloon payment on a loan taken out by his father due the following year. While they were able to keep the resort running, they were not making the amount of profit needed to for the payoff. As a result, his brothers were trying to track down their father, over his protests, in an attempt to get him to fix what he had done. Learning why Aiden was so vehemently against his father and almost overprotective towards those he cared about nearly broke my heart for the child he had been.

I enjoyed watching Lily and Aiden start to come to grips with their personal demons and begin to heal. Lily had to forgive herself, trust In the support of others, and learn not everyone she cared about would leave. Aiden had to realize Lily could take care of herself and wouldn’t do anything stupid while also learning that sometimes keeping secrets from those who care about you really doesn’t help them. While this story contained somber and serious moments as part of what Lily and Aiden worked through it also contained some much needed comic relief and the evidence of deep friendships.

The corner of his mouth quirked. “Did you just kiss me to shut me up?” he asked.
She blew out a sigh. “It made a lot more sense in my head.”

Then there was the discussion about a spider in the house and the resulting requirement to burn the entire house down. I think I laughed out loud while nodding because it seemed a perfectly reasonable reaction to me.

Second Chance Summer combined some tropes I really enjoy with Shalvis’ deft handling of complicated family dynamics and the small town lack of real privacy setting to end up with an enjoyable read. While this didn’t have the immediate impact as some of her other stories since it seemed to have a slower pace, I think this is a series I will be able to settle in and thoroughly enjoy.

I give Second Chance Summer a B

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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