Series: Ardent Springs #4
Published by Montlake Romance
Publication Date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy Online: Amazon ♥ B&N
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
As a newly single mother, Carrie Farmer isn’t quite ready to jump back into the dating pool in Ardent Springs—especially since her last marriage was such a disaster. But if anyone could entice her to wade in a bit, it would be her hunky neighbor, Noah Winchester. He’s the perfect man: strong, protective, and smoking hot. But her eyes have deceived her before, and she’s no longer willing to hand over her heart so easily.
After completing several tours in the Middle East, Noah returns to his hometown a very different man. The former soldier’s plan to rest and relax is soon waylaid by the intriguing woman next door and her heart-stealing little girl. Something—or someone—put shadows in Carrie’s lovely eyes, and he’s determined to clear them away. But when hidden demons can no longer be ignored, the couple gets a reminder from an unexpected source that love truly can conquer all.
This is the third book I’ve read in this series and I have to say that I admire Ms. Osborn’s deft handling of the subject matter. The story was emotionally intense, very well written and enjoyable, with enough emphasis placed on the issues, but also mixed with lighthearted and humorous dialogue as well as heartwarming moments. The author also serves up a nice dose of life lessons, like acceptance, understanding and open-mindedness.
Carrie Farmer has made her share of mistakes and bad choices, but she is slowly getting her life back on track after the death of her abusive husband and she is not going to let her surly, judgmental new neighbor derail her plans, especially as she will be working with him on getting the building for the new women’s shelter finished up.
Noah Winchester is back home after multiple tours in the Middle East, honorably discharged after suffering PTSD and all he wants is some peace and quiet, but he keeps getting distracted by his attractive neighbor and her adorable daughter. But she’s not just any woman, she’s his late friend’s wife and his reservations about her come from her history with his friend and his own personal experiences. The only thing is that as he gets to spend time her, he realizes that there is more to both the story and the woman than meets the eye.
I’ll admit to having my own reservations about how a relationship between Carrie and Noah would fare with their baggage which felt a lot like an overload of issues, but to my surprise it turned out well. I really admire Carrie for using the lessons from her past to propel herself to a better place and even offer encouragement to Noah to seek professional help for his PTSD. In an emotionally charged atmosphere like this, overreaction from both characters due to the meddling of others was expected but their handling of these issues as they came up was honest and well done.
I also liked that there was no unnecessary drama better Carrie and Noah. They were just two people trying to figure out how to deal with their issues while falling for each other.
Carrie’s friendship with her ex-husband’s new fiancée was a bit strange because of their past but in the end, the forgiveness and solid friendship they showed her was evidence of their good character. I enjoyed the close relationship among the other couples and how protective they were of Carrie, too. Overall, this was a delightful story and one I highly recommend.