Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jaded by Anne Calhoun

Title: Jaded
Author: Anne Calhoun
My Rating: A 

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Walkers Ford #2
Main CharactersAlana and Lucas
Release Date: February 2014
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
They can’t hide from desire…

After life as a cop in Denver leaves him burned-out, Lucas Ridgeway returns to Walkers Ford, South Dakota, to serve as their chief of police. He’s hoping to start over with a clean slate and avoid any emotional entanglements—even after his next-door neighbor kisses him senseless. Alana is passionate, dedicated, and most importantly leaving town soon. So why not have some fun?

Alana Wentworth comes from a larger-than-life political family, yet all she wanted was to be a librarian. Then after an embarrassing marriage proposal from Mr. Not-For-Her, she jumps at the chance to live her dream for a few months. She wasn't supposed to get involved with the community—or sexy, troubled Lucas. But when the time comes for Alana to put Walkers Ford behind her, she’s not ready. And Lucas may not be ready for her to go…

My Review:
The title of this book is all about Lucas. He's the police chief in this small town, but he moved there from Denver where he worked with the DEA. He's burnt out and lost hope for actually helping people after so many disappointments both in Denver and locally. He is jaded in every sense of the word and as a result, he's cut himself off emotionally. There are several points in the story where it talks about nobody being able to read him because he's created this mask of disinterest that has come from seeing and getting hurt way too much. 

The other side of the coin is Alana. As the town librarian (temporarily) she shows every single little emotion. She's lived a very high-profile life with her Senator father and working with her high-powered philanthropic sister, but she's been protected and sheltered most of her life and is truly a little naive. She wants to help everyone. Lucas hates this plan. He knows she's there temporarily and keeps warning her that she's raising expectations for things that will never happen when she leaves. 

They both symbolize the two extremes and the book follows their character arcs as they learn that they're both wrong. 

Caught up in the midst of that are two heart-wrenching character stories....
*Cody the young 17 yo caught stealing to feed his younger siblings. He's serving 100 hours of community service at the library. He's also an incredibly talented artist that Alana wants to encourage. Lucas sees him as  just a step away from prison and holds no hope for him. His story hurt my heart...I loved him and hated the situation he was in and the fact that Lucas didn't want Alana to help him. 
*Tanya, Lucas's cousin, who also planned to work law enforcement until an arrest left her with a shattered elbow, shattered dreams, and an addiction to pain medication. Her mental anguish is palpable through the story and she's another person Lucas has given up on. 

The book is great. There is a lot of emotional angst to it, but I never felt like it got too heavy. Unfortunately, I feel like it was probably pretty spot-on to how most cops feel after time. It's so easy to get jaded by life and circumstance. Everyone needs an Alana to come in and bring some positive thinking to the table...everyone. I liked that message and liked the book. 

I also have to note here that something about this cover just makes it so gorgeous. I have it in print and every time I would pass by the table where it sat, it caught my eye. I want to frame it and put it up on the wall because even the cover feels positive and happy....LOVE that! I really am looking forward to more from this series. Maybe Tanya or Nate will get a story next... (crossing fingers)...

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