Series: It Had to Be #2
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
Tara Carter isn’t looking for romance. She’s content seeing patients at her new practice by day, then going home and cuddling with her puppy at night. Her new life in the tiny town of Anderson Butte, Colorado—known by celebrities as the place to lie low—is the perfect respite for a woman with a whopper of a secret. There’s just one problem: the town’s sexy sheriff knows she’s hiding something.
Sheriff Ryan Anderson, weary of small-town drama, has sworn off dating locals and thinks a fresh start in a bigger city is in order. However, the more he gets to know Tara, the more his heart tells him that she could be the woman of his dreams. But he wants to get to the bottom of whatever she’s trying so hard to keep under wraps. Can he uncover her secret before it drives them apart forever?
This was such a fun, sweet and cute story to read and I really enjoyed it. It has a little bit of everything – drama, secrets, angst, mystery, suspense and the friendly but nosy neighbors every small town seems to have.
Fear for her physical well-being caused Tara Carter to assume a new identity and relocate to the town of Anderson Butte, Colorado. She has sworn off men and is content with her current lifestyle, her dog and her dental practice but the sexy Sheriff has her rethinking her plan to remain man-free.
Sheriff Ryan Anderson has a strict rule about not dating anyone in town especially after his ex upped and married another man, but the attractive new dentist is tempting him to break his own rule. Which might not be such a hardship, because Tara is not interested in anything long-term and he has plans to move to a big city as soon as he finds a job of his liking. Tara is fun and friendly and for a guy of few words, he finds himself very chatty around her but Ryan discovers that Tara is keeping secrets, secrets that frighten her, secrets he wants her to share with him but Tara’s not willing to draw him into her drama.
Ms. Baumann has written a very touching story and some very strong characters. Tara has gone through hell and she is a survivor but after her experience with her ex-husband she can’t trust her instincts when it comes to men and she’s reluctant to get involved with Ryan because she can’t give him what he wants – a future and a family. Ryan is a combination of sweet and kind but very reserved and he loves his sisters and grandmother wholeheartedly. In fact, he’s always willing to go to bat for anyone he cares for and he’s just the perfect person to help Tara heal and you’ve got to love how patient and gentle he was in trying to convince Tara to take a chance on a future with him.
I love the small town dynamics. The people were friendly and well-meaning and opened their hearts to Tara, even their nosiness was good-spirited. I enjoyed Ryan’s family, even the crazy grandmother, who turned out to be a great positive influence on Tara and someone she could count on.
Even with the issues they had to deal with, Tara and Ryan’s romance is a slow building one and with the addition of the well-meaning but nosy friends, the mystery of the buried treasure and the entire town’s search for it, IT HAD TO BE LOVE was a very enjoyable and funny read, the kind that makes you feel warm on the inside.