Title: A New Hope
Author: Robyn Carr
My Rating: B
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Thunder Point #8
Main Characters: Ginger and Matt
Release Date: June 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy
After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, and with the help of her cousin Ray Anne, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she's excited to start her first big assignment, assisting with the Lacoumette wedding.
In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger finds herself swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride's brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own recent divorce, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself and Ginger when he tries to make a pass at her, forcing Ginger to flee the scene in embarrassment.
But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Discovering they have a lot in common, they form a solid friendship, though everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.
I have to say...this is one of the most unlikely starts to a romance ever and I loved it for that.
Matt has been having a hard year since he and his wife divorced. His family now calls him Mad Matt and his unhappiness overflows onto Ginger when they both attend his sister's wedding and he gets too drunk to function respectably. In an effort to make amends they end up in a friendship...tied by their respective bad marriages and resulting unhappiness.
It doesn't really start out that way, but I love that these two had a friendship before their romance really developed. In the end, the romance feels fast, but they really established a good base of friendship first...with their nightly phone calls and texts. I like that. And I couldn't help but feel for these two. They both were fully committed to their marriages so when they ended so horrifically, they are both understandably horse-shy to try that ever again. The joke when they're just friends is that they might give their romance a try when they turn 50. It's a sweet, slow-moving romance set in a really romantic vista...the back of the truck, on the farm, in the blooming trees...the visuals are amazing and so romantic.
Matt is from the Basque family that remind me of gypsies. I did love the moments on his family farm and the traditions within the family. They farm pears, grapes, livestock and it seems like there was one other crop. I loved how Ginger just jumped right in to life on the farm and it just fit...especially with her interests in plants. I also love that while yes, Matt is a farmer, he has the scientific degrees to back that up. That was a good detail.
And the whole story takes place in the normal, sweeping stories of Thunder Point. As there has been in all the other books, there are several stories happening in the background. Ginger works for Grace (heroine in #7) at the flower shop. Grace is getting married in this book while trying to settle her demanding mother who has ALS into her new life at TP. So with that story line, we also meet two new characters...LinSu, the nurse, and her son Charlie. They will be featured in Book #9, which I didn't realize until after I finished the book. I definitely look forward to that story, because I did enjoy their interactions in this book.
Overall, it was a good read. As the series goes on, I'm getting to where I enjoy the sporadic story lines and mishmash of characters better, and I do enjoy to revisit the other characters from the other books.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.