I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review
Sloane has always had a case of wanderlust but with her new job as an exotic locations romance writer, she seems to have found her niche. Except for one little detail, her inspiration is leaning toward small town America romance right now. When her publisher rejects her new idea and demands a Greek hero, Sloane capitulates and finds herself searching for a way to save up enough money for her Greece trip. Fortuitously, Gavin and his thirteen year old sister Bree enter the picture. Gavin has just moved to the small town of Pine Mountain becoming a restaurant manager and newly appointed guardian of his half sister. Their mom recently passed away from breast cancer and to say the least, both are having a hard time adjusting to their new lives. When Gavin's regular babysister has a family emergency, Sloane steps in to help take care of Bree.
Sloane is a fly by the seat of your pants gal while Gavin is more rigid than a newly starched collar; clashes and battles occur as they bump up against each other and push each other's boundaries. Sloane was the more interesting of the two characters, she struggles with being the black sheep of the family because getting married and having kids isn't the end all for her. This affects what she considers her self-worth and the reader gets to see the emotional toll it all takes on her. Gavin is portrayed as so calm, cool, and collected for most of the story that he never feels real and I could never quite warm up to him. Cracks under his surface are eventually shown but this wasn't until very close to the end. Bree, surprisingly, was my favorite character as her emotional drama of missing her mother and trying to get Gavin to react or open up to her was the most poignant part of the story. The opposites attract trope was really the only thing holding Sloane and Gavin together for me; very small doses of passion.
This had all the ingredients, small town, opposites attract, demanding mother, struggling hero, and trying to find herself heroine, to be a very quaint heartfelt story but I think it came up a little short. Almost all the scenes take place in Gavin's home, so any small town feel with any whimsical characters was absent. This also caused the pace to be very slow, the middle part of the story felt uninspired and while the Big Misunderstanding helped give some spark, readers are going to see it coming a mile away and find it every day. The author's writing is very solid if not remarkable. Small town romance series are pretty popular right now, unfortunately this one has a very been there, done that feel.