Pepper Watson has lost everything–her job, her fiancé, and the future she’d so carefully planned. Now she’s back at Wishing Bridge trying to figure out her next step. Her new plan does not include the ever-so-sexy Ben Cooper. Nope. She’s getting her life back on track, and getting out of this little town as fast as possible.
Ben Cooper is doing his best to build his business and help his parents. The last thing he needs is the distraction that is Pepper Watson. She might be prickly every time he’s in her presence, but he sees another side of her. The side that has set aside her dreams to help her sisters. And then there’s the fact that kissing her is pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
He’s putting down roots. She’s running away. It’s going to take more than a wish for these two to find their happily ever after.
Next to her Coop shifted and lifted a finger up to her cheek. His touch was like a heat-ray and it wasn’t until he dropped his finger and mouthed the word ‘dust’ she remembered the candelabra.
She clamped down on her tongue to steady the uttering sensation in her stomach as she turned her attention back to the real problem. Paul.
Her ex-fiancé might be stubborn and controlling to a fault, but he never liked to contradict himself.
All I have to do is piss him off and he’ll walk away.
Exhilaration at finally getting her life back pumped through her veins and before she could stop herself, she did the one thing she swore she’d never allow herself to do.
She stood on her toes and searched for Coop’s mouth, her cheek still burning from his touch. The plan was to give him a small peck on the lips. Just enough to prove to Paul just how serious she was.
The reality was the moment her mouth brushed his, her stomach swirled and her entire body tingled. Big mistake.
She tried to pull away but forgot Coop’s arm was still around her shoulder and, as his lips formed a smile, he used his other arm to drag her closer, trapping her against his chest.
Somewhere in the distance Paul’s footsteps echoed against the wooden porch. But, it wasn’t until the sound of his engine roared into life she stepped away. Coop was grinning, as if kissing her was the biggest joke in the world.
“Well,” he said in a husky voice as he leaned against the staircase. “That was interesting. And now how about telling me what the hell’s going on?”
Which part? Where I finally got Paul to take me seriously, or that you kiss better than any man has a right to?
Either way, as far as Pepper could tell, she’d solved one problem by creating another one and now she was in trouble. Big, big trouble.
If you’ve read the other series books, you knew that Pepper was keeping secrets, and we’ve been almost as anxious as her sisters to figure out what they were. (If you haven’t read the others yet, no worries–this one should work fine as a standalone too…though her sisters play a pretty big part and you’ll probably end up wanting to know their stories as well. Just sayin’) Add in the fact that Pepper’s story is an enemies-to-lovers one, and boy, was I anxious to get to this book.
In many ways, it did not disappoint. We find out Pepper’s secrets–they are pretty heavy ones, and you absolutely want to see her back on her feet. There’s lots of cute moments between Pepper and her two sisters, and we get to see some major life moments for all the residents of Wishing Bridge Farm throughout the course of the book. There are more than a few funny, quirky moments with the townspeople throughout to keep the mood light–from what pie will be chosen for whom and why in the diner to who is going to ask Pepper for legal advice next and what their just left of left field question will be. Pepper and Coop have a history, which always has a lot to add to a story.
There were things, though, that frustrated me here. I love enemies-to-lovers stories, but Pepper’s animosity toward Coop felt like way too much. For all of her stomach swirling desire for him, she kept up the mean prickliness far too long–I’m not sure what kept him going in that direction, honestly. And I’m still scratching my head over their relationship black moment, because I felt even more blindsided by it than the characters did. Then they suffered–though we don’t really see much of it, because it’s off the pages–until they suddenly weren’t anymore. The resolution was cute, but awfully quick, and left me feeling not quite satisfied with how it came about.
Still, the story had an overall feel-good vibe, and I loved seeing Pepper finally open up to her sisters and watch them all progress through their HEAs. The ending really was pretty adorable, and the story even brought us a surprise wedding just to keep things interesting. A nice finish to a sweet series!
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.
She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library?s Stuff for the Teen Age. Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.
She also runs writing workshops and loves to speak to people about Buffy (er, she means writing). See her Website for more information.
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