A young woman runs into an old flame in her Texas hometown in this romance.
Once a Texan, always a Texan—or so the saying goes. This is certainly true for 28-year-old Hannah, who’s just moved back to her hometown of Sweetwater in October after a botched attempt to make it in Los Angeles. At first, she has no job prospects in sight and nowhere permanent to live—until she runs into her ex-boyfriend Roarke Frost. Although Hannah’s memories of how he broke her heart come rushing back, she can’t help but notice how handsome he still is, and the way that he says her name makes her weak in the knees, just like it did all those years ago. But as she starts to make a life for herself and hone her photography skills, she vows to avoid entanglement with Roarke at all costs. This proves to be easier said than done, though, as it seems that he’s everywhere she goes—and she can’t stop thinking about him. Will she be able to stay focused while avoiding the mistakes she once made? The dialogue is snappy and funny throughout, and Hannah’s encounters with Roarke generate some satisfying sexual tension, which only escalates as the story goes on; at one point, Hannah observes that Roarke’s “brown eyes are still that warm milk chocolate, but I was always the one who melted in the heat of any moment spent with this man.” It’s easy to sympathize with the protagonist in her attempts to start afresh, and the concept of running away from a painful past is relatable. Although this romantic narrative is a bit predictable, an intriguing conflict develops halfway through the story that feels realistic and consistent. There are also thought-provoking themes of forgiveness and second chances, and the later Christmastime setting gives the story an upbeat tone.
A light, enjoyable novel with pleasant holiday cheer.