Even though Meg Anderson's hell-raising days are over, coming home to Anderson Butte isn't easy, especially when her impossible-to-please dad is the mayor and her do-gooder siblings run the place. But with another job lost and the gorgeous father of her daughter trying to make contact after disappearing three years ago, a break is definitely in order. Hopefully the little town filled with big, juicy secrets can help.
After being off the grid for years, Josh Granger, a man with his own secrets, wants Meg and his daughter back. But first he has to get past townspeople as protective as a pack of rottweilers. He's not the man Meg thinks he is, but he can't tell her why... not yet.
As Meg slowly warms to Josh, it's clear the old spark is still there. But when his secret is exposed - along with Meg's own shocking revelation - will it tear their family apart again, or bind them forever?
©2015 Tamra Baumann (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Not overly schmaltzy, funny, strong female characters, realistic men and most of all an absolutely brilliant narrator, able to perform a great range of female and, even more impressively, male voices. Looking forward to next books in the series.
A middle aged woman who hates running & uses audio books to drown out her mind screaming for mercy.
Surprisingly good. Good performance that was not annoying. The heroine is a tad annoying but comes good in the end. A few twists that I did not expect making it interesting.
"Fought to finish"
It started with good potential and likeable characters but by the end my eyes rolled at every sentence. There were too many farfetched plot lines to deal with in this book. Even more farfetched was the emotional reactions to these plot bombs, from blasé to a tempest in a tea pot. The emotions didn't match the significance of the scenarios. Then, the heroine is supposed to be some messed up, bad girl but the highlight of her "criminal" career is an elementary prank or two. I don’t like giving any spoilers (not really because it is irrelevant to the plot), but just to put the icing on the cake for the unbelievable twists in this story we have to cheer when the little boy is suddenly the next Messi in the last two pages of the book? Really? Why? Less could have been so much more with this book. Finally, the narrator, while not horrible, sounded like she had a head cold throughout the whole book. It made every character sound like they needed a nasal decongestant - stat.
This had a few good twists to it but I’m not so sure I like the characters, any of them except Josh and two and a half year old Haley. On the other hand I liked the characters a lot. It was such a screwy story at times. What it amounted to was: Meg came back to town, her jerk of a father told the whole town they were not to help Meg in any way, even Meg’s brothers and sister, and everyone went for it because dear-old-dad ran the town. Then Meg finds out the family, all of them, lied to her her whole life. And she was really mad at them, for about a second. Josh, our hero, lied to her because he was undercover and had to leave her to save hers and Haley’s lives and then he came back and she fell for him all over again and when she found out he lied she told him to move out because he lied to her and she would think about him seeing his daughter Haley. WTF? The author mad Meg seem so stupid. I got the other books in this series and I will move on to the next. I just hope the heroines are written better than Meg was. This was somewhat of a mystery so that made it more enjoyable, much better than just the same old romance that’s pages and pages of angst and misunderstandings.
There was explicit sex in this book but not really any sexual tension. And there was swearing, too. But it wasn’t too bad.
And, I must admit, I cried at the awesome ending.
As to the narrator: I know that 99.9% of female narrators who do men’s voices pretty much have all their men sounding alike, and I’m sooo OK with that. I couldn’t care less if they sound alike as long as they DO sound like men. AND I like the way Ms. Rudd’s men sound. The women all sound different, from old to slutty, whatever is called for. But mostly I love Ms. Rudd’s emotions when she reads. I mean, she really, really laughs when it’s called for, whispers, yells angrily, it’s just amazing. I’ve always said that Katherine Kellgren could give lessons in being an excellent narrator but now I have to add Kate Rudd to my on-going list. I don’t know about too many older audio books because I’d start to listen then the men would sound just like a woman and I’d have to stop. From 2014 forward some of the female narrators got better but some really don’t care if their men STILL sound like women or not.
"Very Enjoyable Chick Lit"
No big surprises here, but a little romance, mystery and family drama made this an enjoyable listen. The narrator was good and did not distract from the story. The ending delivers, so no complaints or disappointment.
"Good story line"
slow start to this book but after the first couple of chapters I really got into the story. my only really big complaint was the narrators lack of inflection during the story. I'm still glad I read/listened though.
"Fun Story, Excellent Narration!"
I really enjoyed this story quite a bit. It was fast paced and and had some great characters.
I really liked Meg and Josh. They had some good chemistry together.
The story line and plot was good. I really liked Josh's back story. Not going to spoil it here. It was good. There was a lot of dialogue throughout the entire book. Not full of filler nonsense at all. There are some great secondary characters too. The story flowed very well and was very easy to follow.
As for the narration, Kate Rudd did a great job. The men sounded like men, everyone had their own distinct voice and you knew who was talking. She read with emotion and has a very nice reading voice.
First off, the good. I enjoyed the romance between Meg and Josh, and the way they both worked to overcome their problems. However, the townspeople. Meg's father was the worst, essentially punishing her because she had the audacity to be another man's child. As if she had any choice in the matter. And not allowing Meg's maternal grandparents to raise her after her mom died, because of the family name? It's a wonder Meg had any self-esteem at all! And even in the end, when he returns her shares in the town, and gives her the position of IT head, he NEVER apologizes for his behavior. Not once in the entire book did anyone even HINT that Meg was not entirely to blame for her misdeeds as a child. Yes, and about those misdeeds. She threw a snowball threw the mayor's window. She egged a car. She picked someone's prize daisies. These are all the pranks of an adolescent child, and...that's exactly what she was when she did them. She was so obviously craving attention, starving for love, yet going about it in the wrong way. Her siblings (half-siblings, actually) treated her like a problem child and sided with their father in all things. Meg grew up and left town the second she had the opportunity. When she returns 10 years later, unwed, with a child in tow, she finds that the entire town is STILL treating her like the troubled teen she once was. And even after she has been there a month or so, these people are still too dense to realize that she has grown up.
I think the thing that really pushed this book over the edge into garbage for me was the slide show that her half-sister presented at the founder's day celebration. No one called HER childish or petty for bringing up the past like that. No one berated HER for acting immaturely. Nope, once again, all the blame was on Meg. Really? So maliciously outing someone's past and stirring up trouble is fine? Sorry, not in my book. Meg did some lame-brained things as a kid, but she also did some pretty amazing ones. She came back to town with a very well-behaved 2 1/2-year-old (quite an accomplishment, imo), yet not one person seemed to notice that she had outgrown her rebellious (if you can call a few childhood pranks rebellious) ways. Sheesh.
The story was great. But the characters were horrible people whom I would hate to meet. If you wanted me to feel sorry for Meg, mission accomplished. But I cannot like the other townspeople, and I have no wish to read anymore about them.
"Kate Rudd is always a pleasure."
As an avid romance reader who starts at 3 stars when a book is average, it's saying something that this one rates a 4 for me.
The plot here is an interesting one. At the outset, we know that Meg is a single mom who's returned to her hometown. She is a free spirit whose antics gained her the disdain of most of her small town - which is essentially owned and run by her family. Her guy Josh has left her as soon as he found out she was pregnant and she's running from him so she won't lose her daughter. The idea here that she was going to fall in love again - with him, the guy who had hurt her so badly - was something I wanted to see an author pull off. I was pretty skeptical.
I was really surprised when she did it. This speaks to the writing, which has a strong emotional punch. The plot is so-so. There are a lot of elements included that require suspending your disbelief: Meg is a helicopter pilot? And so is Josh? Meg takes Josh back when he continues to lie to her? Their daughter immediately loves her daddy? Meg's old friend hates her so much that she publicly shames her?
Despite those flaws, Baumann gave us a small town to love. Close knit, a town that keeps secrets and defends their own fiercely, even when the one they're defending is someone they don't hold highly. It's full of cliches but not the standard cheesy ones. A wise grandmother with a gun was just the right mix of gruff and protectively loving. Meg's dad never changes too much to become unreliable; he stays true to his initial character. And while Meg seems to trust far too quickly and for the wrong reasons, it works because of her own insecurities and past.
All that said, you really do have to suspend your disbelief and just be entertained. If you're looking for a realistic story here, you'll be disappointed. But if you just want a quick, fun read that introduces you to an interesting town full of great characters, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Kate Rudd is fantastic (as usual) as the narrator on audio. She voices each character with the exact amount of emotion and mood. Their personalities are distinct, probably more so because of the way she relates them. This book is likely less believable in print; Kate Rudd brings a lightness to the story that is easy and fun without being silly. It was a pleasure to go right along with things and not question them because of her narration.
This story introduced me to a town that I'm interested to know more about. Bring on the companion novels. I'm in, especially if Kate Rudd is narrating!
"I enjoyed it!"
Good solid romance, I really liked the hero and his determination to stay in his daughters life. Of course there's angst but it's not over the top. I will try another book in the series and see if it holds up. Oh yeah and no cliffhanger! Thumbs up.
"Loved every second of it"
Not just a romance novel. Very heartwarming and positive. Very well put together with twists and entertainment.
"very sweet romance"
This book is a good easy listening and happy book. A small town girl with a bad reputation that falls in love with a man that leaves her. She returns to the small town to get away only to be followed there by the man that left her. The story uncovers all the reasons in a fun way that keeps you interested and all the characters a very likable=)
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