About the Book:
Claire Bradford needed a wake-up call.
What she didn't need was a tragic car accident. As a single mom and the owner of a successful bead shop, Claire leads a predictable life in Hope's Crossing, Colorado. So what if she has no time for romance? At least, that's what she tells herself, especially when her best friend's sexy younger brother comes back to town as the new chief of police.
But when the accident forces Claire to slow down and lean on others—especially Riley McKnight—she realizes, for the first time, that things need to change. And not just in her own life. The accident—and the string of robberies committed by teenagers that led up to it—is a wake-up call to the people of Hope's Crossing. The sense of community and togetherness had been lost during those tough years. But with a mysterious "Angel of Hope" working to inspire the town, Riley and Claire will find themselves opening up to love and other possibilities by the end of an extraordinary summer….
This fluffy feel-good romance was just what I wanted tonight. Claire is a "fixer", a woman who lost her father at an early age and had to take care of her mother after that. She worked two jobs to put her husband through medical school, only to have him walk out on her. She tries to maintain a civil relationship with him and his new wife (who really does want to be her friend). She runs her own business. She decides the town needs healing after the car accident referenced above. The only person not worthy of care is her. Riley is her best friend's little brother, the boy who taunted and teased when they were kids, a boy whose father abandoned the family to pursue his own goals. He is a man who has been in love with Claire since childhood but who doesn't think he has it in himself to be faithful over the long haul.
The book has a mystery character who is never fully revealed (though I have a guess about who he is). It has the shallow ex-husband and the clueless bimbo second wife. Add in a couple of cute kids and life-long friends and you have a story that showcases not only romance but true love in all its forms.
As romances go, it is on the clean end of the spectrum. They get hot and heavy on the couch once, but don't get past partially disrobing before calling it quits.
In short, this was a fun, reasonably clean romance that idealized small-town life and life-long friends. Grade: B.
I' d like to than the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. I was under no obligation to write any review, much less a positive one.