Series: Ardent Springs #1
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: April 21st, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
At eighteen, Lorelei Pratchett couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown. Twelve years later, her Hollywood dreams have fizzled and she’s back—temporarily, she thinks. Though she throws herself into saving the old theater and starting a baking business, small towns have long memories, and Lorelei’s wild past still haunts her. It doesn’t help that her ex-boyfriend, Spencer Boyd, is even hotter, smarter, and more distracting than before.
The fiery Lorelei that Spencer knew years ago may have become closed off and cautious, but their chemistry hasn’t faded one bit. Losing her a second time is unthinkable to him, yet Lorelei is convinced she doesn’t belong in Ardent Springs. Somehow, Spencer needs to show her that everything she needs is right here: family, friendship, new beginnings…and a man who’s never stopped loving her.
Warm, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, His First and Last is an irresistible story of first love and second chances.
Spencer took a step back once he was sure that Lorelei could stand on her own. “This isn’t the right time. “ He ran his hands over his face. When he looked up, he noticed Lorelei’s cheeks had been rubbed pink by his scruff. “I’m sorry,” he said, rubbing his thumb along her delicate skin. “I shouldn’t have done that.”
Dark blue eyes lightened as they narrowed. “Shouldn’t have done what? I made the move, Spencer, I’m the one who climbed you like a stripper pole.” One finger poked him in the chest. “I thought this was what you wanted. You’ve tried to kiss me twice now. What changed?”
He hadn’t expected the anger. If anything, Spencer thought she’d be glad he stopped them. If she’d wanted to be kissed, she sure as heck had an odd way of showing it.
“What changed with you?” he parried. “You’ve kept me at a distance since you got back. So what’s different about tonight?”
“You looked sad,” she said, then threw a hand over her mouth.
“I looked what?”
“Forget it,” Lorelei stammered, her eyes dropping to the floor. “You’re right, this was a mistake. I never should have come here.”
Spencer trapped her against the door with an arm on each side of her head. “Are you saying you were about to have pity sex with me? Is that what this was?”
“I didn’t come up here to have sex with you!”
“No, that idea came after you saw how sad I looked, right?” For no rational reason he could name, Spencer was livid. “I don’t need your pity.”
“And I don’t need to be barked at,” she answered, pushing against his chest. “Excuse me for caring.”
This time he backed off and let her open the door. “I told you I wasn’t going to be good company.”
“Understatement of the year,” Lorelei said, storming down the steps. “Go to hell.”
He watched her stomp across the yard, and though he couldn’t hear what she was mumbling, Spencer had no doubt he was being insulted in varied and colorful ways. All of which he’d earned. She slammed the front door hard enough to shake the windows on the old place, and he remained in the doorway waiting for the light in her bedroom to come on. Which it did seconds later. The jeans hit the wall first, and then, the purple top went flying before she disappeared out of sight.
Spencer had royally messed up this time. Whatever ground he’d gained was gone. All because he couldn’t forget the past. Deep down, he knew stopping had been the right thing to do, but turning down a woman like Lorelei wasn’t something a man did without consequences.
© 2015 by Terri Osburn. All rights reserved. Excerpt reprinted by permission.
HIS FIRST AND LAST is an absolutely well-written and heartwarming story of second chances at love, life and coming full circle in the search for love and where to belong and is a great start to Terri Osburn’s new series, Ardent Springs!
Lorelei Pratchett hightailed it out of Ardent Springs when she was eighteen for fame and fortune in Hollywood leaving behind everything – the man she loved as well as the town that judged her harshly for the circumstances of her birth. Twelve years later, she has returned home temporarily, broke, jobless and homeless, to regroup and head back out. At least that’s what she thinks.
Twelve years ago, Spencer Boyd foolishly let the woman he loved walk out of his life. Now she is back and he is not going to let her go again. He’s got to convince her that everything she needs is right there in Ardent Springs, a task that is made difficult by the fact that Loerlei has lost faith in herself, but Spencer is willing to exercise patience.
A lot of things have changed in Ardent Springs, but what has not changed is the judgmental attitude of some of the town. Drafted into the committee formed to restore an old landmark by her grandmother, Lerelei finds herself facing opposition from peopel with grudges and her responses are tinged with the bitterness and resentment from her past.
Ms. Osburn is great at creating charming small town settings and makes you just want to take a trip to her fictional towns. Her characters are well-developed, realistic and full of life as well. At the beginning of the story, the animosity Lorelei faced had me thinking that being back home was a bad idea but as the story progresses, she displays admirable growth and maturity. Her plans to stay temporarily get thrown to the side as she embarks on building roots in the town and also exploring her relationship with Spencer. I love the pace at which Lorelei and Spencer’s relationship grew – deliberate and steady – and I loved that they were both willing to work at it, with Spencer being very patient and understanding.
The secondary characters are just as fun (mostly) and charming as the main characters and Ms. Osburn sets the scene for the following books in the series very skillfully. She also throws in some huge secrets that when revealed, rock the lives of some of the characters.
Any book that has me smiling and chuckling throughout is a winner in my opinion and HIS FIRST AND LAST is certainly that. I highly recommend it to lovers of contemporary romance and look forward to the rest of the series!