Ward Cantrell always went for the long shot. But that recklessness cost him his college scholarship and his chance to play pro ball, and—worst of all—it ended his relationship with the girl next door. Neither the town nor the girl has ever forgiven him. Now he’s taking one last long shot by opening a boutique distillery on the family farm he inherited.
Piper Morrissey spent high school in Ward’s shadow, but she’s come into her own in the years since. Maintaining her spotless image, and that of her family’s winery, is priority number one. Nobody knows that she still yearns for her golden-boy ex. Or at least they didn’t—until Ward agrees to sell Piper the land she needs to start her precious port line. The caveat? She’ll need to date him for one month.
Ward hopes a month is all it’ll take to convince his former sweetheart that while he’s changed, his love for her hasn’t. But when the chance arises to thumb his nose at the town that turned its back on him, he can’t afford not to reject Piper’s offer. Will that make her reject him and his love—for good?
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I really enjoy Barth’s writing, and when Ward and Piper were first introduced in this series, I couldn’t wait to see how their second chance story would turn out!
Ward and Piper were high school sweethearts, but their relationship died in college. Now that they are both living and working in their hometown, they have resumed their friendship, but it’s strained. When Piper needs some land for her new business, and Ward has land to sell her, he offers her a great deal: get the land super cheap, but also date him for a month.
Piper takes his deal, knowing she’s going to have to shield her heart once again. But Ward knocks at her defenses, and before she knows it, she’s head over heels for him all over. But their relationship is still on rocky ground, and a few missteps threatens to bring them crumbling down. Only this time, both Ward and Piper aren’t willing to let the other go without a fight.
I adored this story, I thought it was one of the best second chance love stories I’ve read in a really long time. Both Ward and Piper are so adorable, and they’re both aware they are still 100% in love with each other. For me, that makes the dynamic of the deal and their relationships that much more exciting the second time around. I love that although they had a few bumbles and bumps, they also weren’t willing to let each other go without talking it out and figuring out a way to make it work. I loved that aspect.
I loved getting to know more of Ward’s backstory, especially once his long-lost relative showed up in the picture. It painted such a vivid picture of why he was the way he was, and I really did adore him. When he was put into a rock and hard place situation, I just wanted to hug him and reassure him it’d all be okay, it’d all work out.
Likewise, I also adored Piper. She was sweet and caring and the kind of heroine I could see myself being besties with. Her dedication to the family business was so great to see, and I loved the fact that her work ethic was such a strong part of her character. I really loved the strength of her character, the willingness she had to put the past behind her and move forward with Ward, it was perfect.
I think this is the final book in the series, and I have to admit that I’m sad to say goodbye to these characters. I’ve really enjoyed this series, and Barth continues to write great short series that are bound to keep you turning the pages. I’m excited to see what she has in store for us next!
All in all, I really enjoyed the third book in the Shore Secrets series. I loved Piper and Ward and I thought their romance was absolutely wonderful and perfect for them. I wish we would have the chance to see more of them in future books or stories.
I give Back to Us a B+