For Amanda Jacobs, dealing with the pain of losing her beloved Dad is the toughest thing she's ever gone through, and it comes with a lot of complications, as well - like taking over the family business, Mountain Ridge Outdoor Adventures. It makes her miss the simplicity of being a teenager, when she was surrounded by her amazing friends, The Fabulous Four, and she was madly in love with her Dad's right hand man, Justin Barnes. His sexy smiles and deep brown eyes had made her heart race in a way she's never felt before or since. When the Fabulous Four unexpectedly show up on her doorstep to support her through this complicated time, things seem to be looking up for Amanda. But that's not the only surprise visit in store for her...
Justin Barnes left Hope Falls ten years ago, in the dead of night, and didn't think he'd ever set foot there again. That was just fine with him, except for one little complication: Amanda Jacobs. He had fallen in love with her unruly blonde curls and sparkling sapphire eyes, but she had been a teenager then, five years younger than he - too young for him to act on his attraction. Still, he'd missed her every single day of those ten years. When Justin receives a phone call that his former mentor has passed away, he knows he has to return to Hope Falls. Justin just has one question - will the girl that once adored him have grown into a woman that can't stand him? Or will she still be the only thing in the world that feels like home?
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Sweet Reunion by Melanie Shawn
When her father passes away, Amanda is left feeling completely alone. Loved by the whole town, her dad was always the one she could count on, and now she’s left to figure out the family business on her own. But her best friends aren’t leaving her to loneliness and solitude, and the man who stole her heart before disappearing years ago is back and looking to make amends.
Judging Covers: I thought the previous covers for this series were great, but it seems someone has decided to give them an unnecessary and inferior makeover. Now the heroine looks like she’s maybe fourteen years old, and the way-too-bright title is a mess. Had this been the cover when I first picked up the book… Well, I doubt I’d have picked it up in the first place.
The Verdict: The story started out strong, with Amanda grieving the untimely death of the father she was so close to, and just as she’s starting to fall apart, her best friends from her younger years show up to help her through it. They’ve been scattered to different states and careers for years now, but their friendship hasn’t faded, and they bring some much needed love and levity to an otherwise depressing situation.
However, Jason Barnes has now returned as well. Once her father’s right hand man, not to mention the guy who stole her heart years ago, Jason’s back after disappearing in the dead of night, and if he’s going to make things right with Amanda, he’s got tons of work to do. Not only is she going through a tough time, but she’s not so sure she can trust her heart to Jason again.
This is the first book by Melanie Shawn that I’ve read, and if I remember correctly, I picked it up in a freebie sale, so while I hoped it would be good, it wasn’t something I was absolutely dying to read. But once I’d finished a few other books, I opened it up and didn’t put it down. Classic plot, brilliant characterizations, and enough laughter to temper the emotional drama that romance novels bring. Amanda’s friends were fun, a mix of personalities and lifestyles that kept things interesting, and both Amanda and Jason were very easy to understand and relate to. Jason’s personal story was especially compelling, and I loved the way the authors didn’t resort to trite caricatures and instead delivered characters that, despite their shortcomings, I couldn’t help but root for. Sweet Reunion by Melanie Shawn has just about everything I look for in a good romance novel, and it looks to be a strong start to a great series.
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