Reviewed By Aethena Drake
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
The cover for this book was excellent. It put me in the perfect mood to snuggle into the sofa and enjoy a little angst and romance. Nothing says relaxed like the image of a lazy, sunny afternoon laid out in the back of an old pickup next to someone you enjoy being up close and personal with.
The cover is lovely, and the cast of characters is beautifully diverse. The author constructed a cast that reflects how complicated small town life can be. The diversity of the characters also reveals how rampant prejudice can be in a multitude of forms. Having grown up in a small agriculture based town on the outskirts of a big city, I could relate to life in Shelby.
Wes and Manny are both products of this small town existence, but Wes moved away to build a different life for himself. Leaving the town of Shelby doesn’t mean Wes forgot about his life there. The story opens with Wes on a mission to put the past behind him, but of course returning a jacket to an old love isn’t going to be the simple cathartic task Wes is hoping for.
The core of the story revolves around Manny and Wes coming to terms with the fact that they still have feelings for one another even though their lives have changed. As Manny and Wes interact with old and new acquaintances, a series of high school reunion activities unveils a host of hidden prejudices in some very interesting and pointed ways. I appreciate how effectively the author demonstrates the troubling consequences of prejudice and misunderstanding. The events at the high school reunion also show how a new perspective can clear up misunderstandings from the past. Even Manny and Wes are forced to acknowledge their own issues.
Overall this was an enjoyable read with enough tension to keep me turning the pages even though the coffee pot was finished brewing. I would have liked a few more details on the progress of some of the characters’ lives, but I suspect that had a great deal to do with the fact that I was a bit too comfortable on the sofa. I recommend this book if you are looking for a romance with a diverse cast, an interesting moral, and a high school reunion with some very unpredictable moments.