I was so excited when I heard about Jill Shalvis’s new Cedar Ridge series. I’m actually still working my way through her Lucky Harbor books, which I love, so I had hopes that this new series would have the same type of feel as Lucky Harbor. I absolutely loved Second Chance Summer!
The book takes place in Cedar Ridge, Colorado, a resort town. Lily Danville moves back home after her stint as a cosmetologist in an upscale San Diego salon ends in disaster. She’s hesitant to come back, as she left Cedar Ridge ten years prior, following her sister’s accidental death and her father’s subsequent death not long after that. But she’s desperate for a job and needs to make a fresh start, so she reluctantly returns to her hometown.
Lily has a history with Aidan Kincaid, who’s now a firefighter and on the local search and rescue team. After the death of Lily’s sister, she didn’t just run away from Cedar Ridge; she also ran away from her relationship with Aidan. Now that she’s back, it’s obvious that their mutual attraction is still there and stronger than ever.
The corner of his mouth quirked. “Did you just kiss me to shut me up?” he asked. She blew out a sigh. “It made a lot more sense in my head.”
But there are complications in each of their lives. Lily struggles with a combination of grief and guilt over her sister’s death, even to the point of somehow blaming herself–even though it was an accident. In turn, Aidan feels his own guilt over the fact that his deadbeat father abandoned the family years ago, creating years of repercussions for everyone he left behind. Lily and Aidan are each suffering from their own type of self-blame, even though neither of them is responsible. Together, they slowly have to come to terms with letting go of their respective pasts and figuring out how to find happiness in the present, with each other.
He’d promised himself he wouldn’t give her a chance to devastate him again. But somehow over the past few weeks he’d lost sight of keeping his heart safe and moved onto wanting to heal her heart.
In Second Chance Summer, Shalvis writes with her signature combination of humor and emotional depth that I love so much about her writing. In this book, we’re introduced to the other Kincaid brothers, who we’ll see again in later books. As with the Lucky Harbor series, this story has a strong supporting cast of characters, especially Aidan’s mom and brothers. I just loved the banter between Aidan and his brothers, as well as the comedic dialogue between Lily and her friend/boss, Jonathan. And of course, the romance between Lily and Aidan is off the charts. Shalvis knows how to write some amazing love scenes and the ones in this book are some of the steamiest I’ve read from her. Loved them!
I’m eager to revisit Cedar Ridge in the next book and I highly recommend this excellent start to the new series.
I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review.