Series: Briar Creek #3
Published by Forever
Publication Date: October 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ Barnes & Noble ♥ Kobo
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
Sometimes love is where you least expect it . . .
What do you do when your cheating husband proposes to the “other woman”? For Jane Madison, it means you keep calm, carry on, and sneak candy bars and wine for dinner. Jane’s grateful for her adorable little girl, yet she yearns for the love that was missing from her marriage. Only one man ever really “got” Jane-and she’s stunned when he returns to Briar Creek. But a single mom can’t date her ex’s best friend . . . can she?
Jane’s still kind, beautiful-and far too good for the buddy Henry Birch tried to stop her from marrying years ago. Laying eyes on her now is like a much-needed ray of sunshine. Back in town to sell his family’s old house, Henry wants to close a bad chapter in his life and move on. But time with Jane and her sweet daughter has him flirting with the idea of happily ever after-if he can convince her to take a second chance on love . . .
As I read this book the words that came to mind were ‘complicated’ and ‘moving’. HOPE SPRINGS ON MAIN STREET is such an emotional and touching story about starting over and getting a second chance at love. It’s a romance, sure, but it’s also about hope and courage and strength of will.
Jane Madison is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after her divorce but having her ex-husband living in the same town with the woman he cheated on her with makes it even harder, especially with the well-meaning but misguided gossip in town. Her resolve takes an even harder hit when she finds out that her ex-husband is marrying his mistress and having a baby with her. Jane is determined to move on and find a man that cherishes her, someone she can share quiet evenings with and feel comfortable and secure with but she doesn’t expect that man to be her ex’s best friend, Henry Birch.
Henry and his sister grew up under a cloud of scandal and gossip because of their alcoholic mother and he left Briar Creek as soon as he could but he’s back in town for the first time in six years to settle his mother’s affairs after her death and close the book on his painful past in Briar Creek. The only bearable thing about coming back is kind and beautiful Jane Madison, the only woman he ever loved, the woman he lost to his best friend because of his insecurities. Henry knows that he’s not cut out for long term relationships but he’s willing to try with Jane.
Jane was an amazing character. Her strength and composure as she navigated a very difficult situation just about broke my heart. It’s hard to really be happy for others when your life is crumbling around you and the hits just keep coming, but she handled it so well. Deciding to be together took a great deal of courage from Jane and Henry because of their connection with Jane’s ex Adam and for Henry, his relationship with Adam’s family.
There are sometimes you read a book and connect so well with the characters and everything they are going through and this was one such book. HOPE SPRINGS ON MAIN STREET wasn’t all sunshine and roses but it was a very great story. I’m looking forward to catching up on the previous books and reading more in the series.
Henry wandered over to her, and she caught a hint of his warmth, the soap on his skin. Her stomach tightened. She scrubbed a little harder. Soon, this table would positively shine. “Either way, I’m glad to see you dancing again. You always enjoyed it.”
“I do enjoy it.” Meeting his eye, her breath paused at the softness in his deep-set gaze. “It’s a wonderful job, really. Things have a real way of working out the way they’re meant to.” She crossed to the potted mums Henry was so focused on earlier, happy to have an excuse to keep her back to him. They needed a little tending, well, not really, but he wouldn’t know the difference.
“That’s optimistic even for you,” Henry remarked.
Jane’s heart was beginning to pound, but she refused to let him get to her. Staying strong was what she did best.
“What’s the alternative?” She glanced over her shoulder and forced a smile. “To fall victim to the circumstances of your life? To run away instead of letting the dust settle?”
Something in Henry’s expression shifted, and he lowered his gaze to the floor. “Suppose so.”
Jane brushed a loose strand of hair from her forehead with the back of her hand and moved onto the left wall of the room, where Ivy kept hundreds of beautifully scented candles, all locally made, stacked on wrought iron baker’s racks.
“So, what kind of classes do you teach at the studio? Ballet?”
Jane nodded. “The young ones are fun, but it’s rewarding to see the progress some of my older students are making.”
“What about adults?”
At this Jane laughed. “No, no adults.”
“Why not? There must be some folks around town who are into that type of thing. I took a salsa class when I was in Miami.” He winked, and darn it if her stomach didn’t roll over.
“You took a salsa class?” She couldn’t fight the smile that teased her mouth.
“Hey, I’ve got moves, Jane.” He set his hand on her hip and her heart seized in her chest. She froze, looking up at him in panic, but he just slipped her an easy grin and waited. Her shoulders rose and fell with each breath, until she realized he was trying to get around the counter and she was blocking his path.
She blinked rapidly, then shifted to the right, but he didn’t move, not right away. His eyes gleamed as his smile grew a little broader, and as he finally moved past her, his hand lingered on her hip, until it finally slid off.
This was going to be harder than she’d thought.
“Seriously, though,” he continued. “You should offer some adult classes. Salsa, ballroom…” He stopped, seeing the look on her face. “Why not?”
Jane tried to picture some of the local residents lining up to learn the tango and cringed. “I don’t think people around here would go for that sort of thing.”
“You’re the one who’s been trying to tell me Briar Creek has a lot more to offer than it seems.”
He had a point there. “We base our classes on enrollment, so—”
“Perfect. If people sign up, you have the class. Nothing lost in trying, is there?”
“Why, Henry, that’s very optimistic of you,” Jane replied. He matched her grin and held it, his smile boyish and slightly lopsided, and Jane felt a rush of heat spread over her. She wasn’t imagining it. There was definitely something there, something in the glint of his eyes that was anything but platonic.
Henry was flirting with her. Or maybe he was just having a little fun.
Whatever it was, she was putting a stop to it. This was nonsense! Her entire world was crashing down on her and here she was, getting caught up in sparkling blue eyes and a friendly grin?
Henry popped the lid on a delivery box and looked her square in the eye. “As a matter of fact, it is optimistic of me. What can I say? Maybe you bring out the best in me.”