Title: Redemption By
Author: RaeAnne Thayne
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Haven Point #2
Main Characters: McKenzie and Ben
Release Date: June 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild
McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her beloved hometown of Haven Point. It may be small and struggling, but it's never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now he's back—his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.
What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? He left Haven Point behind years ago, for good reason. Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it's least expected.
This is the first time I've ever read this author and I was pleasantly impressed. I really thoroughly enjoyed this story and getting to know the little town of Haven Point.
RaeAnne Thayne has expertly woven a story with two wonderfully deep characters with hidden scars that tie to this one small little town where they grew up. But their view on the town and those scars are very different.
For McKenzie, she came to town at the age of ten after her single mother died. With no one to care for her, she came to the father who never knew she existed because he cheated on his wife. His wife let McKenzie into her home, but was never fully accepting of her. I can't imagine dealing with that situation as the wife, but she seemed extraordinarily cruel to take this grieving girl in and change her name. No, before that time, McKenzie was not her name. But McKenzie is an incredibly strong, positive person and she's always looked at that time as a blessing. Her stepmother may have been a trial, but she gained a loving father and sister out of the deal. And she got to move to Haven Point.
Ben's story has threads of similarity. He grew up in this town in a loving family. But when he was ten years old, they found out his sister had cystic fibrosis and the resulting medical testing ruined his life. His loving father turned cruel to both him and his mother, and to a young boy, he couldn't understand why. When his sister died when he was 18, he left his hometown and never ever wanted to look back. He resents that his mother didn't stand up for him and still has no idea what he did to the man who used to love him.
I loved the complexities of the story. McKenzie is the mayor of the town now. She wouldn't have chosen this job, but she wants only what's best for her small town and I loved her passion for doing her best. McKenzie has to deal with difficult citizens all the time, but her empathy knows no bounds. She can always see the pain below the complaints and manages to not take them to heart even when people are flat-out attacking her. She's so strong. She made for a great heroine! Ben has been tasked by the tech company he works for to find a new location for their latest endeavor and the owner of the company wants Haven Point considered. Ben hates that he has to come back to this small town. But I loved getting to see his views change as the book progresses.
There are so many little details that were great about this book. I loved McKenzie and Ben's dogs and how they were instant friends. Their joint properties were gorgeous to visualize as well as Ben's antique wooden boat. I loved the characters that make up the town and just the overall atmosphere of the town and the scenes/events where the book took place.
This author has found a new fan. Now, I'm excited because book #1 and #3 are both Christmas stories which are a favorite of mine. I plan to go back and read #1 since it's already out and am looking forward to #3 which comes out in September. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for this author in the future. I definitely recommend this one. And no worries, if you're like me and want to jump into this series with this book, it's perfection as a stand-alone. The characters from #1 are in this, but not once did I ever feel lost or like I was missing something by not having read that first book before this one.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.