Series: Cedar Ridge #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 30 June 2015
Aidan has always wanted Lily and she has always wanted him. Tragedy separated them 10 years ago but Lily’s come home to Cedar Ridge for work and Aidan’s determined not to let his second chance slip through his fingers.
Lily never really got over the deaths of her sister and father and suffers a not-so-healthy dose of survivor guilt. She carved a life out for herself in California but was forced to leave the upscale beauty salon where she worked after her boss/boyfriend threw her under a metaphoric bus. Her best friend in Cedar Ridge was the only one willing to hire her on so she reluctantly headed home. Lily’s determination to keep Aidan at arm’s length was complicated – logically she knew that he was the one for her but unresolved issues from her past made it difficult for her to let her guard down. I liked that she was aware of her shortcomings and kept trying to chip away at her fears rather than letting them totally dominate her life.
Aidan is your typical hard working hero with a dysfunctional family and unresolved angst over his father. He wasn’t hard to warm to as he was so determined to protect everyone that came across his path. His jobs as a fire fighter and volunteer with Search and Rescue dominated the story and he was regularly running off to save yet another person despite not having slept properly for days. As a side note, the sheer number of people needing Search and Rescue over the course of the book was quite scary and I’m surprised Cedar Ridge didn’t have a dedicated full time force to deal with the problems. In his downtime Aidan helps run the family resort and meddles in his family’s lives. I enjoyed his interactions with his eccentric family the most as the unstated affection they had for each other just leapt off the page.
Shalvis follows a fairly well worn path with this tale drawing on elements from her previous contemporary romance series such as Wilder brothers and Lucky Harbor. The set up also reminded me strongly of Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski Family series which is built around a family struggling to run a lodge. The romance was a bit squished around Aidan’s numerous commitments, numerous references to the past and orientating readers to Cedar Ridge and the Kincaid’s. The second one is simply the nature of the beast when it comes to second chance romances and the last one probably won’t be much of a problem in future books now Shalvis has got her readers hooked.
Overall this is yet another solid read from Jill Shalvis and a good place to start if you were a little intimidated by the sheer number of books in the Lucky Harbor series.