Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review: Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge #1)

by Jill Shalvis


Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it's the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there's an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .
The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .
Themes:  contemporary
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating:
 An all new series begins, one that made me cry, laugh, and fall in love with all the crazy characters in this mountain family.  Shalvis has several series that I have enjoyed following for a long time now, but I am always looking for something new and exciting and Second Chance Summer might just be the start of what I’ve been looking for.  Set in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, this series revolves around a family of sexy and dangerous men and their adrenaline junky little sister.  If you are a fan of Shalvis’s other series you will definitely enjoy the quirky characters in this town as well, but if you are a first time reader of her work I can tell you that laugher, wit, sarcasm and sweetness are to be expected from the story and the characters.  I really enjoyed getting to know the Kincaid Family and their friends and neighbors, but of course this story was full of Aidan and his struggle to earn a second shot at winning Lily’s heart.  The fun of watching them circle around one another was tempered by the sadness, emotional trauma, and trust issues that each had to come to terms with.  I am really looking forward to the next couple of stories in this series and getting to know more of this family. 
Lily is returning to her hometown, extremely reluctantly, bruised and battered on a personal and professional level.  After a betrayal by a man she thought she could trust fully, there is no way she will allow another man to break her, even the sexy and terrifyingly alpha Aidan Kincaid.  He bruised her heart once and she won’t that mistake again, no matter how much he seems determined to put them together.  Aidan is surprised by the depth of emotion he still feels for Lily when she blasts back into his life, but he lives his life in full speed now and he will find way around, under, or over her walls any way he can.  As they grow closer together the emotional traumas of their past have to be dealt with and Lily isn’t sure she can truly trust him to be there for her.  When danger lurks around every corner for this search and rescue operator/firefighter, can Lily allow herself to fall in love and risk losing him too?
Shalvis has found an all new chord to pull on my heart with the story about a woman that is dealing with guilt, grief, and fear while still trying to pick herself up and make her way in the world.  Lily seems fragile in the beginning but you slowly begin to see her come into her own as she is bolstered by friends and the new family she finds herself surrounded by.  She is definitely a character with fire inside, she just needed to dig herself out of the ice she has wrapped herself in for her own safety.  And really I’m not sure what more to say about Aidan than HOT!... ok so there’s more to him than just a gorgeous firefighting, rock climbing, adrenaline seeker, but that's a good place to start.  While it may seem he’s just a thrill seeker, his obvious concerns for his safety and the safety of his friends and family, show him to be the truly caring individual he is.  He is the bedrock for his family and has been since he was a young boy and their world imploded, caring for his siblings and helping his mother cope with her husband’s treachery. Seeing him interacting with his friends and family shows how sweet he can be, even as he is saving people from danger—and themselves—and when he finally comes to terms with the way he feels for Lily there is no stopping his pursuit of her, this time for keeps. 
I liked this story every much.  The Kincaid family was full of laughter, even though they were dealing with serious issues ranging from financial troubles to missing family members and coming to terms with the past that has colored all their lives.  Aidan is the man that brings everyone together and keeps his siblings from becoming too mired in the worries and fears, and his interactions with his mother are beyond hilarious.  Lily has some serious issues to deal with, letting go of guilt for past mistakes and finally letting herself grieve her loses, but with Aidan’s help and the confidence he inspires she is able to conquer it all and find her niche.  When Lily and Aidan are together the sparks fly, whether they are fighting or loving, and it is obvious to everyone that they are meant to be together as long as they can drop their walls and find a way to accept each other’s love.  Set in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, the Cedar Ridge series promises to be another great success and I cannot wait to see their world once winter hits.  Lighthearted at times, but dealing with the real sorrows and griefs of life, this romance will be a reminder that even if you feel like you can never trust another person enough to fall, love is out there for everyone, You just have to open yourself up to it.  Cannot wait for Hudson and Jacob’s stories (already planned for the next year) and the books coming in the future as well.  Looks like another Hit series, Jill.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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