Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge #1) Published June 30, 2015 by Grand Central Publishing.
Source: Publisher via NetGalley. Thank you Grand Central Publishing for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: contemporary romance.
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 . . .
As you might know, I truly believe Jill Shalvis is the queen of contemporary romance. I only encountered her books last summer, when I read Simply Irresistible and though I only reviewed a small number of her novels here (the Wilder series), I actually read most of her works. I’m therefore comfortable in claiming that her series usually start off slowly, with us getting to know the small town she’s placed us in, meeting the extended family for the first time and so on.
Second Chance Summer is a very good Shalvis first book in a series. I’m sure that the sequels (and I hope there will be many of those) will get better and better, because we’ll know the people, we’ll care about some of the characters already and we’ll be eager to know more about them. I’m saying this because a 3.5 rating isn’t glowing but that’s because I’ve read Shalvis’s other novels and this one doesn’t quite measure up to some of them (my favourites include – but are not limited to – Rumor Has It, Always On My Mind, and Animal Attraction).
Lily and Aidan are a typical Shalvis pair. They have a history together, they’d been a couple before but then a tragedy tore them apart and now they’re trying to see if they can make it work for the second time. The chemistry says yes, the sparks are flying but they’re struggling to see past the mistakes they’ve made, to forgive each other – and themselves. I liked the back-and-forth between them, the rekindling of the old flame. If I dislike something, it’s insta-love romance (I understand insta-lust though). I liked that Lily and Aidan decided to take a(nother) chance on each other.
One of the things I enjoy when reading Shalvis’s novels are the settings. Romance novels rarely make me care about the towns they’re set in, but I always envy Shalvis’s characters when I’m reading about the gorgeous scenery. I mean, the towns she uses are made up (hello, Lucky Harbor!) but have you seen her Instagram feed? :) She keeps posting pics of the forest and the lakes and it’s easy to see what inspired her writing.
Have you read any of Shalvis’s novels? Which one is your favourite?
Do you prefer small town settings or the big cities in your romances?
I’d love to hear from you! :)