Series: Thistle Bend #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: November 24th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
Welcome to Thistle Bend! Perfect for fans of Susan Mallery, this charming series debut introduces a small town where old secrets are revealed—and wounded hearts are opened to new love.
A year after being laid off from the Smithsonian, Lindsey Simms says yes to a job offer as curator of a heritage museum in Thistle Bend, Colorado (population 1,519). It could be worse—and it is. Because the new museum has escalated a dispute between the Karlssons, Lindsey’s relatives, and the Crenshaws, a blood feud which goes way back to a land deal that changed the fortunes of both families. Trying to stay objective, Lindsey can’t tell anyone about her conflict of interest—especially not the ruggedly handsome handyman fixing up her cabin, who seems to be keeping secrets of his own.
Although he’s the executive director of the family trust and one of Colorado’s most eligible bachelors, Carden Crenshaw prefers getting his hands dirty in town and on his sprawling ranch. Staying busy has given him an excuse not to risk heartbreak, but getting to know the beautiful “museum lady” makes him reconsider. Little does he know, the heat between them will only add fuel to the fire—unless this unlikely couple can prove they’re lovers, not fighters.
SHOULD’VE SAID NO is a cute, sweet and fun series beginner about family, love, secrets and a feud spanning several generations, very much in the vein of the Hatfields and the McCoys, only without the bloodshed. From the first page, it’s very clear the direction of the story but the journey to the happy ending for Lindsey and Carden is so much fun that it’s easy to hang on for the ride with them. I really enjoyed this story but my favorite thing about it has got to be the location. The breathtaking views and lush vegetation described here almost make me want to move to Thistle Bend.
Curator Lindsey Simms is determined to make the best of the opportunity she has to work on the Thistle Bend museum and plans to leverage that opportunity into a job in a big city. Unfortunately, the job comes with some conditions. She cannot disclose to anyone that she is connected to one of the feuding families and is expected to use her position to suss out the real story behind the feud, while painting her family in a favorable light,of course. Well, no big deal because she doesn’t plan to hang around for long, but she does not expect to be bowled over by Carden Crenshaw, the most eligible bachelor in Colorado and a descendant of the other side of the feud. Now Lindsey is caught between her obligation to her family and her feelings for Carden.
Carden Crenshaw has had his share of romantic entanglements but after experiencing a crushing betrayal, all he has to offer any woman is a good time. With Lindsey however, he can’t seem to keep is his heart locked up as usual, which complicates things in a big way because the reason behind his involvement with her is to sway her opinion in favor of his family.
As you can imagine, their feelings for each other take precedence over the family drama and they fall headlong into a relationship, in spite of their resolve to avoid one. Ms. March did a great job with this story. She took two almost too good to be true characters and a predictable story line and added a sizzling attraction, deeply rooted family history, a decades-long feud as well as quirky, eccentric and unforgettable characters and turned it into a very engaging story that is sure to have readers coming back for more in the series.