By: Lin Stepp
Published By: Canterbury House Publishing
Publication Date: April 1, 2012
Page Count: 256
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult - Appalachian Fiction
Reading a Lin Stepp novel is like sitting on the front porch with a tall glass of sweet tea as the cool mountain breeze caresses your face and the scent of wood-smoke lingers in the air. For me, her novels never cease to bring forth memories of my childhood and visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. This mountain range is a part of my family history and the culture of the region has heavily influenced the person I am today. No matter where I go, these mountains will always be special to me. If you have never had the pleasure of visiting western North Carolina or eastern Tennessee, then these books should be at the top of your reading list. As I've mentioned in my previous reviews of this series - the sense of place is so strong in these novels that you can't help but be transported directly into them. It's such a pleasant way to escape the weekly rat race.
In this edition, readers get to spend time in the Gatlinburg area. I was so excited because this is an area I am well acquainted with due to family trips. Knowing the place in such an intimate way allowed this read to resonate with me on a deeper level.
I have also come to expect a sweet romance to blossom in each one of these books and Stepp certainly didn't let me down. Delia and Tanner's relationship was intriguing, but they weren't quite able to dislodge Alice and Harrison from my favorite couple spot. I did love that the love between Delia and Tanner had been brewing since they were children. I saw a lot of myself reflected in Delia and the way she handled her emotions. She is one of the strongest heroines of the series.
One Last Gripe: I love the relationships in this series, but I am starting to be able to predict them a bit too easily. That's not a huge issue - it just means that I would start picking these up when I was in the mood for a romance read, but maybe not if that wasn't the sort of book I needed at that moment in time.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: As always, the strong sense of place
First Sentence: "Whew, I think I'm finally packed and can head for the beach."
Favorite Character: Delia
Least Favorite Character: Prentice
Delia Eleanor Walker's life is perfectly planned. The wedding date is set, the invitations mailed. Her family is gathered at a North Carolina beach house ready to celebrate when Delia receives Prentice's unexpected Fed-Ex announcing he has married someone else! What on earth will she do?
Delia centered every aspect of her future around her upcoming marriage, and she knows her family will somehow blame the breakup on her. They always do. They'll call it one more immature botch by the baby of the family.
In her lap, among the mail just received, Delia seizes on the answer an invitation from Maureen Cross for a last visit to her aunt Dee's old cottage near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Delia knows it's cowardly to run, but run she does, hoping to find in the mountain getaway time to heal and space to chart a new direction for her life.
Instead of peace and quiet, Delia finds a troubled cousin she's never met hiding out in her aunt's house and a childhood playmate and heartthrob, Tanner Cross.