Hero: Luke Dawson
Heroine: Shannon North
FIRST LOVE BURNS HOTTER
Rainbow Valley, Texas, has always been a refuge for animals, and Shannon North, director of the local shelter, intends to keep it that way. But with donations drying up and more pets in need of a loving home than ever before, Shannon’s beginning to fear she’s not the savior the shelter needs. When a tall, dark, and handsome cowboy from her past comes to the rescue, she knows that accepting his help may come with a high price: her heart.
THE SECOND TIME AROUND
Bad boy Luke Dawson shook the dust from this little town off his boots years ago. He walked away from everything…except the memory of the one night of passion he shared with Shannon. Now, a few wins away from becoming the world bull-riding champion, Luke’s headed for fame and fortune. But then a crisis calls him back to Rainbow Valley, and Luke is reunited with the good girl who stole–and broke–his heart. As their rekindled relationship deepens into desire, old secrets resurface, and Luke must choose between the future he’s always dreamed of and the only woman he’s ever loved.
I’ve read a couple of books by Jane Graves and I really enjoyed them so when I started this book, I had high expectations. I was expecting more of the same but this was different. Instead of taking place in the city, this took place in a small town and while I did enjoy it, it’s not my favorite from this author.
This story follows Luke Dawson back to Rainbow Valley where he’s there to bury his old man. There’s no love lost between Luke and his father and there wasn’t anyone in attendance for his father’s funeral and Luke was a-okay with that. There were only two people that he thought cared for him in that town and as the funeral is coming to an end, one of those two people showed up. The other person broke his heart and was the main reason why he skipped town when he was 18. She didn’t show to the funeral either.
Shannon North remembers Luke Dawson as the one guy in the entire world that could make her breathless from just a look. He was the only guy that ever meant anything to her and she missed him when she left. Now, she’s kind of/sort of seeing this dentist guy that is nice but doesn’t make her feel anything more than …nice. And when Luke Dawson comes storming back into her life, she knows that things are about to get shaken up.
Luke gets hurt while in Rainbow Valley so he needs to stick close to physical therapy and that means staying in Rainbow Valley longer than he thought he would. Being back isn’t doing him any favors since everyone still thinks he’s that badboy who terrorized everyone and everything in his teen years but he’s changed. He’s grown up and he’s not that same pissed off little boy and this was the part of the book that I really liked. I liked seeing everyone’s opinion of him change during his time back in Rainbow Valley and I really liked seeing Shannon finally stand up to her Mom. That was a long time coming.
But I guess for me, the book started off slow and I spent a great deal of time waiting for things to pick up. And they just kind of plopped along, getting a sigh out of me every once in a while. I mean, while I liked the characters and the story while I was reading it, none of them really jumped out at me and grabbed me by the throat and made me love the heck out of them. I wanted to and when the book ended, I thought it was good but that’s about it. It was a good story with good characters but it wasn’t my favorite book by Graves. I liked it well enough to be curious about the next book though. Mark Cordero gets his own book and that one seems pretty interesting so I will be checking it out.
Grade: 3 out of 5