By: Lia Riley
Published By: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Page Count: 235
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Adult - Contemporary Romance
The Kane brothers are back! This time we get to meet the elusive oldest brother, Wilder Kane. Wilder has been harboring a deadly secret since he was six. He hates himself for what happened that fateful night that changed his life and the lives of his brothers forever. To cope, Wilder has always lashed out at those around him and kept his emotions buried so deep he has forgotten the feel of everything except self loathing. He has thrown himself into being a fire jumper in Montana, but everything changes when he has an accident trying to help squelch a raging wildfire and his parachute malfunctions. After the incident, Wilder is forced to move back home to Brightwater, California. He buys a small house near the falls and isolates himself from his family.
In another part of town, Quinn Higsby is dealing with her own problems. She's trying to take care of her father who suffers from early onset Alzheimer's while stressing that she may be a carrier of the disease. Quinn lives each day on the precipice of good health and worries that at any moment she could fall into the same issues as her father. To quell her fears, she undergoes testing to determine her risk. On top of her health concerns, Quinn is trying to dodge the unwelcome advances of local firefighter, Garret, who can't seem to take the hint that she isn't interested.
One fateful evening, Quinn's father slips away from his care facility and is wandering the countryside as a snowstorm bears down on the small town. Quinn is beside herself with worry, but learns that her father has been found by a certain gentleman who has been ordering books from the bookstore where Quinn works. She rushes to the home of Wilder Kane to pick up her father, but when she arrives the storm begins to rage, making it impossible for her to leave. She realizes that she and her dad will just have to hunker down and wait things out - with Wilder, who is less than enthused by his sudden houseguests.
Quinn and Wilder soon realize that the other offers a balm to their wounded soul and romance blossoms. Yes, I admit that instal-love makes my stomach churn, but for some reason I didn't mind it as much with these two. I instantly related to Quinn because of her love of reading and tea. Wilder took a little more time to warm up to due to his grumpiness, but I soon found myself with a new book crush. By the end of this one, he had solidified his spot as my favorite Kane brother. That's saying a lot because I also adored Sawyer and Archer.
The emphasis on reading and books in this one was one of my favorite aspects. I might have even swooned a bit when Wilder read from Jane Austen. What woman wouldn't love that?
In addition, this novel has a holiday air to it as Thanksgiving and Christmas make appearances. I love indulging in stories in the same time frame as the current season. I just wish Edie was around to bring dessert to my Thanksgiving!
Lastly, I love the town of Brightwater. Lia Riley has done a fabulous job of painting such a vivid portrait of this town that I can see Main Street and the inhabitants as they go about their day. It's a place that I will be sure to revisit from time to time.
I've enjoyed my time in Brightwater with the Kane brothers, the women who own their hearts, and their cantankerous grandmother. I'd highly recommend a book vacation to fans of contemporary romance or those looking for some new book boyfriends. Each of the novels got better and better. This one is my favorite of the three.
P.S. - I am really hoping that Kit, the Kane cousin, gets his own book. I'm not quite ready to let this series go.
One Last Gripe: As with the other novels, there were some scenes that were a bit too detailed for me, but typical romance readers will not be bothered.
Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved watching the evolution of Quinn and Wilder.
First Sentence: During the dawn of the twentieth century, an alleged phantom haunted Castle Falls Gulch just beyond the Brightwater city limits.
Favorite Character: It's a tie between Quinn and Wilder.
Least Favorite Character: Garret
Sometimes the worst mistakes turn out to be the best…
Smoke jumper Wilder Kane once reveled in the rush from putting out dangerous wildfires. But after a tragic accident, he’s cut himself off from the world, refusing to leave his isolated cabin. When a headstrong beauty bursts in, Wilder finds himself craving the fire she ignites in him, but letting anyone near his darkness would be a mistake.
After her Hollywood life went up in smoke, Quinn Higsby decided to leave Tinseltown behind and return to Brightwater to care for her ailing father. She spends her days in a small bookstore, until her peaceful existence is up-ended by a fascinating but damaged man. Quinn is determined not to be scared off by Wilder, not once she’s experienced the heat of his passions.
But when an arsonist targets the community and Wilder is accused, he must confront the ghosts of his past. Will his desire for Quinn burn him up or will he be able to tame the wildness inside and rekindle a hope for their future?