Book Review

by Brenda Novak

Genre: Contemporary Romance, General Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: HOT

2012 Contemporary Romance Award Winner

2012 RT Book of the Year Nominee

RT Rating

In this sensitive, passionate, and heartbreakingly poignant second installment of her Whiskey Creek series, Novak masterfully explores what happens when a woman whose entire life has been consumed by playing a variety of roles casts off her suffocating masks and, with the support of an unexpected lover, embraces who she was, is and can be.

Cheyenne Christensen’s half-buried memories of a happy childhood do not include the woman she calls Mother — a grifter, prostitute and abusive alcoholic who now lays dying and unrepentant in their shabby home on the wrong side of town. Eager to shed her sordid past, Cheyenne is thrilled when her secret crush, upstanding Joe DeMarco, asks her for a date. But why can’t she control her sudden passion for brooding Dylan Amos, the town bad boy? Maybe it’s because Dylan understands and accepts Cheyenne for exactly who she is — whoever that might be. (MIRA, Nov., 441 pp., $7.99)

Reviewed By: Carolyn Martin

Publisher: MIRA

Published: November 2012

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5 Stars - WoW

Submitted by twocoulters on October 24, 2012 - 7:53am.

Thanks to the publisher, Harlequin, and NetGalley for the chance to read this early!

I loved Brenda Novak’s Stillwater Trilogy and Last Stand series – so when I discovered she was releasing a new series I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it a read – Each book in this series so far is standalone but, I recommend you start with the novella, When We Touch – it introduces you to Whiskey Creek. Then follow that up with When Lightning Strikes because you are not going to want to miss a moment with Simon & Gail.

Ms. Novak's reputation for world-building and depth of characterization shines brilliantly in this well executed small town romance. I eagerly awaited this book and boy was it worth the wait! The story picks up shortly after the end of When Lightning Strikes. Too bad the next installment, When Summer Comes, isn’t releasing until early 2013.

The moment Cheyenne “Chey” Christensen entered Whiskey Creek she fell in love…with the town and Joe DeMarco. All these years later she is still in love with Whiskey Creek and her crush Joe hasn’t lessened. Now her best friend, Eve Harmon, is infatuated with him – and even though it is killing her Chey is being supportive; not that Eve (or anyone for that matter) realizes the depth of Chey’s feelings for Joe. After much encouragement Eve finally asks Joe out and, when he agrees Chey discovers she is torn between being happy for Eve and hoping the date is a disaster. However, it doesn’t really matter, it’s not like Chey has time for a social life, with all the other crap going on in her life: (1) her mother, Anita, is dying (2) her sister, Presley, is on drugs again (3) all of her friends are on going on a cruise leaving her alone for Christmas (4) the stress of managing the Inn’s renovations…not to mention (5) the crazy dreams she keeps having about a blond woman.

Enter Dylan Amos, Whiskey Creek’s #1 bad boy. He comes from the wrond side of the tracks and he’s landed in hot water more times than he can count. He’s exactly the kind of guy Chey’s always kept her distance from; he is more Presley type. However, Dylan temps her like no other man has before; soon they find themselves caught up in a raw heat that’s out of control. Too bad Dylan’s not the only one interested in Chey…it seems that now (of all the rotten timing) Joe’s discovers he wants Chey for himself.

There are so many AWESOME characters in this series that I hope inspire future installments. Between the remaining single friends in her group and the 4 SEXY…SEXY remaining Amos brothers there must be at least a dozen more installments.