Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Second Chance Season by Liora Blake

Title: Second Chance Season
Author:  Liora Blake
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Grand Valley #2
Main Characters: Garrett and Cara
Release Date: May 2017
Publisher: Pocket Books
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Return to Liora Blake’s Grand Valley series with Second Chance Season, in which an avowed country boy with a family duty meets an ambitious city girl with even bigger goals and who shows him just what he’s been missing.

Garrett Strickland is unapologetically country, fiercely loyal, and perfectly happy with his job at the Hotchkiss Co-op. Garrett is all about living in the present and not dwelling in the past—even if he was once on his way to a lofty agricultural sciences degree that would guarantee the brightest of futures, only to end up back home when his old man died, leaving behind a debt-ridden family farm that was impossible to keep afloat. After that, it was easy to see why dreaming big wasn’t worth the heartache. And until he crosses paths with a city girl who’s hell-bent on kick-starting her own future, he’s sure that good enough is just that.

Cara Cavanaugh is ready for more from life, even if that means changing everything; including dumping her boyfriend of ten years, turning down a lucrative job at a major newspaper, and leaving behind the upscale suburbs of Chicago where she grew up. Now, she just has to pray that temporarily relocating to the middle of nowhere in Colorado will be the first step in building a career as a freelance journalist—all she has to do is prove she’s got what it takes to make a name for herself. Unfortunately, her tony country day school is as close to “country” as she’s ever been. But when a goodhearted guy who looks like he just stumbled out of a country music video offers to help, she ends up falling hard…and discovering that the perfect story is a love story. And it’s theirs.

Second Chance Season, book two in the Grand Valley series, is a charming, feel-good romance, perfect for fans of Jennifer Probst and Kristan Higgins.

My Review:
We met Garrett in the first book in this series so I already knew his backstory...he had to give up the family farm when his dad died unexpectedly when he was only 21. He'd had a full academic and sports scholarship to college that he also let go. Now, he works at the coop and everyone in town agrees that he deserves so much more. He's the guy who's always there for every other farmer and rancher in town, but he doesn't have his dream...his own plot of land. It's a heartbreaking story. 

Cara is a freelance writer from a wealthy family. She's on the cusp of changing her life. She broke off her engagement to the guy she was "supposed" to marry and left her job at the newspaper to do more meaningful writing as a freelancer. Her first assignment is reporting on the changes in the landscape of the Colorado farmer and she's in Hotchkiss for 2 months to do her research on the piece. She meets Garrett pretty much immediately and the chemistry is off the rails. 

There are so many reasons I love this book. I live in ranching country in Texas and our introduction to Garrett in this book is his monologue about how you can read a guy from his truck. This is my life...LOL. There is so much about the ranching/farming community and the way people think that Liora Blake just absolutely nailed. I found myself reading passages from Garrett's pov to my husband just because they were so spot on and so funny...Braden talking about the hunting chick...pure gold. Hubby asked if the author was a guy...seriously a high compliment there. 

The characters in this series are so engaging. I loved every one of them...from Cara with her being out of her depth to the old farmer, Gerald, who I fell in love with in only a few pages. She writes believable, relatable characters that I thoroughly enjoyed spending my time with. I had no idea how the author would fix things so that Cara and Garrett could find their HEA, but I adore what she did with them. The book was amazingly good!!

Note... where Liora Blake really excels is her breadth and depth of knowledge for all things farming. The little tidbits that came through the text gave this book an air of "so much more" than a normal romance. I felt immersed in this world, but it was never done in the cheesy 'aw shucks' style that drives me insane when authors take on a country themed book. 

And now I'm salivating with need for Braden's book. His scenes...I love this gorgeous, grumpy curmudgeon and can't wait to read his book. The glimpses into the conflict between him and his heroine were gold. I already adore him. I just can't wait to see how she deals with his grumpy self. It promises to be another fantastic read. Come on October!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review, but I had to order a print copy for my keeper/reread shelf because I adored this book and will definitely want to revisit it.

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