“I want her forever. I don’t want her for a moment, or for a short time, or for an experience. I want her always. I want her early morning and her late night. I want her midday and I want her bedtime. I just want her.”
This is the ultimate fun, sexy, feel-good, heart-warming romance. From beginning to end, it kept me laughing, swooning, and falling in love!! It’s a second chance love story — the heroine is a single mom of four kids, and the hero is a guy she’d fallen in love with when they were younger… and eighteen years later, they’re reunited and fall in love again!! The banter was fantastic, the romance was gorgeous, I even cried happy tears in the epilogue (I love letters!!!), and now I seriously can’t stop smiling. Loved it!!
I first fell in love with Tammy Falkner’s writing with her Reed Brother’s series. But when I heard that she’d written a separate standalone (this book) and that it was a second chance romance (my favorite), I couldn’t resist. Then, this blurb finally sold me on the book…
Katie Higgins was the first girl I ever loved. We spent one summer together at Lake Fisher when we were sixteen and then I never saw her again. My life is shit, my job is gone, and my dad had a stroke, so I find myself back at Lake Fisher once again. And so does Katie. Her last name isn’t Higgins anymore, because Katie is married with three kids and one more on the way, but when she shows up at Lake Fisher with her kids, danger trails her all the way there. I could do a lot of things. I could leave and go home. I could stay and deal with it. But what I want most of all is just to take care of Katie. If I concentrate on her, maybe I won’t have to face my own problems. Yeah, that’s it. Fix Katie.
I haven’t seen Jake in eighteen years, but the moment I lay eyes on him, I feel safer than I have in a very long time. Memories swamp me every time I look out over the clear, cool water. A first kiss. A first boyfriend. A first love. That old spark is still there. I just can’t act on it, and neither can Jake. Our story started eighteen years ago, and then we both made lives with other people. Jake is willing to tell me about his, but I can’t share mine with him. Ever. We can be friends and spend another summer together, right? Sure, we can.
As soon as I began reading it, I fell in love with the story, the writing, and the characters. My gosh, I wasn’t expecting it to be so FUNNY, but I laughed out loud so many times over the antics with Jake’s giant stinky goofy dog, the flirty fun banter between Jake and Katie as they began to fall in love again, the hilarious griping of his beloved but jokingly-cantankerous dad, the general adorable mayhem that came with having young children around, and the fun flashbacks to the summer they met. This book was a joy to read!!
“Why don’t you take Katie up to our house and get her something dry to wear?” Pop said… “But you stay out of her room while she’s changing. I’m not ready to be a grandpa.”
Katie laughed out loud.
But then Pop pointed at her. “If you get my boy pregnant, I’ll string you up by your toenails.”
Sh giggled again. She held a hand to me, and I slipped mine inside hers.
And that was the first time I ever held hands with Katie Higgins.
What I really appreciated though was that the story had a lot of depth behind the light-hearted surface. Not only are there a lot of deep feels with their reunion, but Katie is running from some things in her life that have caused her and her family a lot of pain and turmoil. I don’t want to go into detail because it’s something that you’ll discover as you read, but I will reassure you that there is no love triangle at all.
The most heart-melting thing in this book was the open, loving, and unconditionally accepting way that Jake accepted her kids into his heart. There was absolutely no question for him. Her kids were just an extension of her, and even though she was even heavily pregnant with another man’s child, it didn’t matter to him. He loved her, he’d always loved her, and he whole-heartedly accepted everything and everyone she came with into his life. Seriously, it was PURE SWOON MATERIAL.
“I didn’t want kids. But then I met yours…” His voice trails off.
“And what did you think?” I hold my breath.
“They were a part of you, so I had no choice but to love them at first sight.”
When her lips touch mine, I know this is where I’m supposed to be.
“Are you jumping in with me because you’re afraid I’ll drown, Jake?” Her voice shakes.
I look her in the eyes. “Nope. Just because I want to be with you.”
If I had to make a tiny complaint, it’s that there were a few times when I felt things were a little rushed. But the flip side is that there’s really no stupid drama at all so I was extremely grateful for that.
I also really loved the open-minded view this story had towards family. Family is one of the most important things, but I’ve always been of the firm belief that family doesn’t have to mean blood-relations. Family is love. It’s people bonded together by the kind of soul-deep love that is what makes them family… and this book showed that over and over and over again. It brought me to tears, it made me laugh out loud, and more than anything, it made me believe that their love would bind them together forever.
This truly is the ultimate feel-good romance that is guaranteed to make you laugh, swoon, and fall in love. If you’re looking for a book that’ll make your heart happy, this is it!!
Rating: 4.5 stars. Standalone second chance romance.