About the book:
Grace Harper is a pro at handling the unexpected—which comes in handy when she inherits the ranch she ran away from years ago…along with a young, autistic stepbrother she’s never met. And because nothing ever goes easy for her, Grace finds her frustrating, sexy ex-flame, Noah, taking care of JJ. But if she’s getting out of this nowhere town, she’ll have to find a way to keep from throttling Noah—without kissing him first.
Noah Taylor may be enemy number one to Grace, but she needs his help. He knows the girl he used to love is still there, beneath the heels and fancy clothes, so he’ll help her—and keep his distance like she says she wants. Only the more time they spend together, the closer he wants to get. Graci has no intention of staying, but she belongs in his arms—he just has to prove it to her.
She looked around at the bareness, her gaze eventually shifting up to the loft, still filled with hay. And memories. Memories she wanted to forget but couldn’t, like the bittersweet memories of Noah. Her friend, her knight, her once-upon-a-time everything. Goose bumps ran up her spine. This loft had been their kingdom, where they’d dreamed big when they were small. Later, it became a refuge, where they experimented with alcohol. And each other. A place where they planned their escape, where they—
She whirled around at the sound of his voice, as familiar as if she’d heard it hours—not years—ago. But the man standing in front of her wasn’t the boy she’d left behind. Dark stubble had replaced peach fuzz. The lanky, thin frame she remembered had morphed into broad shoulders and hard muscle. Hard-work-earned muscle, not gym-sculpted. His stance was confident, proud. Imposing.
He stared up to the loft and then shifted his focus to her. “Remembering old times?” The mischievous glint in his eyes hadn’t changed, nor had other things. His hair was still thick and black, one random curl hanging over his forehead. His dark blue eyes were still as deep as Lake Tahoe. His lips? Firm, full… Were they still totally kissable? Her mouth dried at the thought, and heat sprawled through her stomach, then lower.
What was wrong with her? She wasn’t a teenager anymore. This was the guy who’d broken her heart, pulverized it. And it wasn’t like she was Celibate Celia in New York, pining over him. Noah Taylor shouldn’t affect her body, shouldn’t affect her anymore.
And he shouldn’t be here.
This trip was supposed to be in and out, nice and easy. Sell the ranch, scoop up JJ, and skedaddle.
Noah’s gaze rolled down her body, lingered on her too-high heels, then climbed back up. “The City’s treated you well,” he said.
Bronzed abs peeked through the rip in his dirty T-shirt. Reno had treated him well. Very well. Not that she’d ever admit it, especially to him.
A fun and heartwarming debut!
Though Grace, the main character, isn’t always the easiest person to like (I dare you to read this all the way through without yelling at her in your head about the choices she thinks she “has” to make at least once), Ms. Sky does a great job of showing how Grace grows and changes as a character. Her stepbrother, JJ, is wonderfully written–his love of animals and genuine vulnerability made him one of my favorite characters in the book. Noah, like Grace, made some questionable decisions, though admittedly his were mostly seven years earlier–in the present time of the story, he’s a strong and protective, even though a bit too quiet, character.
Even though a bit more conversation between Grace and Noah could have alleviated much of the drama, this was still an entertaining read from a new author that I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from. Plus, there were animals 🙂
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About JoAnn Sky:
JoAnn Sky writes adult contemporary romance and young adult romance with a magical twist. As J.A. Sky, she writes children’s books. For more information about her children’s stories, go to: www.dogsandbooks.com.
JoAnn is a member of Romance Writers of America and its YARWA and Golden Network chapters. Her manuscripts have seen success in various RWA-sponsored contests, including as a Golden Heart® finalist in 2014 (YA category) and 2017 (Contemporary Short category). Originally from the Midwest, JoAnn currently lives in northern Nevada with her husband a.k.a. love of her life, three teenage children, and three crazy rescue dogs.
JoAnn is represented by the fabulous Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.
JoAnn’s Media Links:
Author Twitter: @JASkyBooks
Author Facebook: JASkyBooks and Author page: authorjoannsky