I’ve been looking forward to this new addition to Ms. Wolff’s Sierra Falls series, after having such a terrific time with the first book. While the small-town feel is still very much in evidence, this story doesn’t quite stand up to the first. So it’s a little bit of a disappointment.
The main draw for me is Eddie Jessup, the hero. He’s in partnership with his brother in the family construction business, and they just got the job that will put them on the map, draw in more high-caliber customers to make a larger success of the business. But just as he’s about to begin the restoration of a local ranch house for an out-of-town corporation, Laura Bailey becomes his personal ecological watchdog.
Having been given the responsibility of the financial future of the family lodge, Laura is now on a rampage to make sure the new spa cum everything else needed to put the lodge out of business never comes to be. She’ll find whatever it takes, despite what the loss will do to others in town, including Eddie and his family. Fighting Eddie is exactly like it was in high school. Well, not quite. Now he’s a man with a man’s wit and allure, and she’s by no means immune.
I thoroughly enjoyed Eddie. He’s literally the guy next door, a man who cares about his neighbors and will help at the drop of a hat. He likes to rile Laura up, loves her feistiness and drive, something I can see only once in a while. Laura is one who gets an idea in her head and runs with it, without verification, because she just knows. She also runs that idea into the ground, even after Eddie goest to bat for her and gets his client to scale down on their plans. Now, granted, in the end there’s some fishy hanky panky going on that vindicates Laura, but I just wish she’d toned her drive down a little sooner. It’s not until more than three-quarters of the way through the book before Laura finally gives in to her attraction to Eddie and hits the sheets with him.
The mystery, so to speak, isn’t as intriguing as that in the first book, and it’s solved a tad too easily. I still enjoyed the secondary cast of characters, especially catching up with Billy and Sorrow, who are featured in Sierra Falls. They’re an absolutely terrific couple. Everyone makes you feel like you’re sitting down with them, sipping a cup of tea, gossiping, enjoying life, and anything else folks do in their small towns. I really like Helen and Rob and their marital issues. In fact, I think I like it even better than Laura’s. It has a more personal impact, more of a heart tug.
Eddie saves the day for me, though. Even in the end when the usual argument happens to cause them to part, he’s the one who takes the first step, realizing what he’ll lose if he doesn’t. Laura comes to her realizations too late for me, as well as letting their misunderstanding go as far as it does, refusing to tell all when the opportunity arises. That’s a huge pet peeve for me. Fighting too long, taking arguments to the max and then some, just much too much and seen way too often in romance.
However, I still like Sierra Falls and look forward to more about these fun folks who take living to new level.
In love and war, something’s gotta give…
For Laura Bailey, weathering her teen years at her quaint family lodge in a boondock town at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas wasn’t easy. Fleeing for San Francisco the minute she graduated high school seemed like a good idea—until she lost her job and her fiancé. The blow to her pride sent her back to Sierra Falls to figure out her life. But her hometown is undergoing a bit of renovation.A new Sierra Falls resort is posing a threat to the Bailey family business. Even worse, the construction company developing the property is run by Eddie Jessup, Laura’s cocky high school nemesis who delighted in locking horns with the little spitfire. Some things never change. But their battle isn’t the only thing heating up between Laura and Eddie, and before long they realize that getting to know each other all over again has its rewards. But fate isn’t through with them. Nor are the games men and women play in the name of love.
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