I really enjoyed how Codi started this 2nd book in the Rock Canyon series with a little foreshadowing. It really left you eager to figure out just how and what transpired between the two high school sweethearts.
Gemma Carlson is the focused mother of one sweet 9 year old little boy, owner of the quaint bookstore (Chloe's Book Nook) in her small hometown and an aspiring author. The last point is what brought her to Las Vegas in the first place - a book conference in which she was eager to attend workshops to help her with her attempt at a novel.
Travis Bowers is a product of being bounced around from foster home to foster home after his mother died when he was just five. He had never been able to call anywhere home or anyone family until the foster system brought him to Rock Canyon and fate brought him to the library and he met Gemma. A friendship quickly led into a whirlwind love affair of high school proportions!
"He could still picture the curvy girl with glasses and a sweet smile, looking up from him with the pages of whatever book she was reading, just for him."
Gemma smiled sheepishly. "I met him in the library."... "Is that like a club or something?" ..."Nope, an actual library." ..."Hmmm...I'm gonna have to try that. I've heard of grocery stores, but libraries?"
Second chances at first love is just about the most beautiful thing. You never forget your first love, and Codi puts such a great twist on the story by having them wake up married! You aren't turning each page hoping for the vows, here you have the vows (even if drunkenly foggy!) You are hoping and praying that they can work through the issues they have to enjoy the love shared between them that throughout ten years has not fizzled.
"Love doesn't have to make sense. Love can be patient and kind, but it van also be a real bitch. Just try not to piss it off. My dad the philosopher."
Gemma agrees to three dates. Travis is hopeful. The dates are EPIC! The fights are heart shattering, so are the doors closed. But, throughout the ups and downs of every kiss and door slammed, you still feel the electricity!
"...Nothing. I just can't wait to take my wife out on our first official date."
Codi kills it again with her lovable cast of small town gems with this one. You get to catch up with some favorites from Katie & Chase's story like Mrs. Andrews and her daughters. And you get to dive deeper into the lives of some like Mike (the owner of the computer shop) Gracie (the owner of The Local Bean, a coffee shop I want to visit!) Callie (the DJ at the radio station) and Charlie. Oh Charlie. This kid steals your heart with every appearance. But, we will get back to him. Callie is full of spunk and so obviously fun. Gracie is epitome of a best friend. And my kind of BFF too. Straight talking and full of snark. She was the speaker of some of my favorite quotes throughout the book. (I secretly hope Codi will give me a book with Gracie's HEA!)
"Oh, it's real, honey. All six-foot-five of manly proof is here to back up the fact that you, Gemma Carlson, got married Britney Spears-style."
"Seriously, how many eighties movies have we watched? Grand gesture, woman. No one can resist a gesture of grandness."
"Yes, but I'm also hot, funny and have excellent fashion sense. So I may have, it's an even trade. I mean, no one can be this awesome without a few issues. "
I can't give the story away, because WHAT FUN WOULD THAT BE? But, if you haven't put 2 and 2 together yet, or if math isn't your thing - Charlie is more than just some hyper 9 year old to the steaming hot Travis Bowers. The most endearing moments were those that included all three of them. Being a mother myself, the sexiest trait in a man is the ability to lose yourself in a child. An amazing father is downright delicious. And the playful banter that is so easily exchanged between the two high school sweethearts ten years later is heart warming.
I give this book an easy FIVE stars, and for those who love Country music (like I do!) you will love the soundtrack behind the book. I found myself singing along during karaoke, during the charity event and the flashbacks to Prom.
Amazing Job Codi!!!