Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 20, 2017
From the bestselling author of Weightless and A Love Letter to Whiskey
Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.
She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.
Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.
Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.
He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.
Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.
I had just grabbed my oversized hat and slipped my sunglasses on when I spotted Anderson walking up the drive with a large trash bag slung over his shoulder. He wore a simple, black V-neck and distressed jeans, an outfit way too dark and hot for the heat. A light sheen of sweat gathered on his neck as he made his way toward my cabin, his eyes hidden behind all-black sunglasses.
“Change your mind?” I asked, not even fighting the grin on my face as I walked outside and leaned against the banister.
Anderson squinted up at me, his boots heavy as they hit each stair. “About?”
“Tubing?” I asked. That was why he was here, right?
“Oh.” He shook his head as he hit the top stair, shrugging the bag off his shoulders to hold it by the neck in one fist. “No, I have somewhere to be…” His voice trailed off, and even through the tinted shades of his glasses I felt his eyes on my chest. I’d strapped on my favorite boho print bathing suit and paired it with a dainty gold chain that wrapped around my neck once before dipping between my chest and crossing over my ribs.
He sniffed, holding the bag out toward me. “I just came to drop these off. My clothes. Well, the ones that could probably use a little TLC.”
My eyes lit up and I reached for the bag, but Anderson snatched it back, brows shooting up into his forehead.
“No frills, Wren.”
I threw my hands up in surrender. “I promise.”
He smirked, just slightly, and handed the bag over, tucking his hands in his front pockets.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” I asked, peering into the bag at my project before setting it just inside the cabin and locking the door behind me.
“I can’t,” he said, lips pressed together. He was tense, the muscles on his forearms tight as he glanced around at pretty much everything but me.
I opened my mouth to ask why but was cut off by the sound of a truck flying into my drive, tires sliding against the gravel.
Tucker was in the driver’s seat with Davie in the passenger. Sarah and Yvette sat in the back, laughing with their hands up as the truck skidded to a stop. They were both sprawled out on a pile of tubes, wearing bathing suit tops and tiny shorts.
All of their faces froze when they saw Anderson.
“Hey, you ready, Wren?” Tucker asked warily, his eyes moving from where Anderson stood in front of me, to me, and back again.
“Yeah, one sec!” I called back.
I turned to Anderson, but his eyes were hard on Tucker, jaw ticking under his skin. When he faced me once more, an anchor fell from my throat into the pit of my stomach, immobilizing me completely. Because even though I ‘d tried to convince myself I was wrong, I recognized the look in his eyes.
And when his nose flared and he took one big step toward me, our chests brushing, his hand reaching out to rest almost imperceptibly on my hip, the anchor in my stomach exploded into flames, burning a desire so fierce I inhaled a toxic breath and didn’t let it go.
“Be careful, okay?” His eyes locked on mine just before he leaned in and swiftly kissed my cheek.
He turned on his heel and jogged down the stairs and past the truck. Sarah called his name, but he didn’t acknowledge her, just kept his gaze forward until he’d disappeared from view.
And then everyone looked at me.
What a beautifully written novel with all the feels!!!! My emotions are in overdrive, but oh man, this book is totally worth it!
I love a good book about forgiveness, self-discovery, and second chances. Revelry had it all with a good sexy and sweet romance as the topping! Wren is trying to find herself, and she thinks she can do it in a small cabin community. What she doesn’t expect is Anderson! He’s the moody if not sometimes rude neighbor who comes to her rescue one night. Luckily, these two move past their initial awkwardness with each other, friendship blossoms, and then something more. But, she’s leaving at the end of the summer, and he’s still living in the past. It will take a lot of understanding, love, and patience for these to two to forge a new path together.
Characters are such an important part of me liking a book, and I adored Wren and Anderson, not because they were perfect but because of their very real flaws. Wren is grieving a life she envisioned for herself. She thought she would have a completely different life than she does now. She’s just recently been divorced. She’s trying to discover who she really is, not the person her ex was trying to create. On top all that, she’s trying to rediscover her creativity as well. She’s an up and coming fashion designer, and she can’t come up with anything new. She is tenacious and despite her pain, she is full of light….which brings me to Anderson’s darkness. He is a survivor, but he definitely is not living life. He punishes himself daily for something devastating that happened in his past. So, he just goes from one day to the other, never feeling anything, except guilt and pain. He recognizes a sadness like his own in Wren’s eyes. Yet, she is slowly bringing some light back into his life.
Their tolerance for each other at first is just bearable, despite the sizzling attraction they have for one another. After somewhat hot and cold interactions between the two, she agrees to let him help her fix up the cabin she is staying in. There begins a trust and friendship which slowly blossoms into more. I loved the fact that the relationship progressed at a very realistic pace. If it had developed rapidly, it wouldn’t be as believable. It was a romance that was both emotional and beautiful.
Not only was the story of Wren and Anderson dear to my heart, but I loved Steiner’s writing. She has a way of engaging all of my emotions. She can both break my heart and put it back together. Her descriptive writing was phenomenal. I could easily picture myself in the community whether it was at the pig roast or sitting on Momma Von’s front porch. I just loved it. I felt like I was among friends, and I hated telling them good-bye.
Let me just say that the epilogue has to be one of my very favorites I have ever read! I just love a good HEA for everyone!
Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.
An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.
When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.