Spicy Tropey Romance. Up front: If you prefer no sex/ “fade to black” sex in your romance books… this one isn’t for you. The sex in this one would get an automatic NC-17 if it was ever shown on film exactly as described in the text, even though there are only a couple such scenes in the book. That covers the spicy side of the title, but what about the tropey bit? Well, we’ve got a widower who hates his job, embraces his family legacy… but would love to leave it. He also happens to have one remaining daughter after his wife and older daughter vanished in the period before this story takes place – and yes, he does eventually get his closure on those topics within this story, thanks to cameos from other characters earlier in the series. We’ve got the small town shop owner (a book shop, in this case) who is perhaps a touch secretive about a few things… that she then learns maybe she wasn’t as secretive as she thought she’d been. And our shop owner happens to be the best friend of the missing wife… who harbors hidden feelings for our widower. So like I said, very tropey, very Hallmarkie type small town romance. If that is your jam and you either don’t mind or even actively like the higher heat level here… Snow always manages to slam these types of stories out of the park, and this one is absolutely no different. With the particular events in this book, I would actually recommend newbies start at least at the beginning of this Wild Coast series (even if you don’t go all the way back to the Wild Alaska series it spun off from, which isn’t really necessary to understand the events of this particular book). Readers who have already read the first two books were going to read this one anyway… but I’m fairly positive most will agree with me that this was another excellent entry into the series. And while it almost seems like our story in Port Serenity has finished, particularly with some of the seeming meta commentary built into this tale… that bonus novella advertised on the cover (Love In The Alaskan Wilds, a separate review for me) points to the idea that perhaps Snow isn’t quite finished with Port Serenity after all. Overall, as mentioned, a solid romance tale well told as always, and very much recommended.
To Mothers And Daughters And Best Friends Forever! Yes, the title is a line from near the end of the book. But I thought it summed up the book quite well – this is ultimately a story of girl power, of friends and family and the family you choose. It is a lighter-side Hallmarkie type tale where there is some amount of drama, but most of the tale is women finding their paths at various ages and stages of life. Yes, there is some romance here (though with no sex scenes, for the clean/ sweet crowd), but really the focus really is squarely on the various women at hand. While the men are never *quite* caricatures, there is certainly a fair amount lacking in their characterizations and indeed even ultimate importance to the story, but that is perhaps to be expected with the type of tale crafted here. Foodies – and those aware that Kelley has written at least two fiction tales specifically about a restaurant – will love the descriptions of the meals and drinks here. This is clearly designed, from its storytelling to its cover to even its early June release date, to be designated a “beach read”, and it absolutely feels comfortable in that type of space. Very much recommended.
Unanswered Prayers. This is another solid continuation of this loosely-coupled series where the couples in each book may show up in the others, but the focus of each story is its leading couple. Here, we get a great and fun forced proximity / fake relationship romance… that of course (because it *is* a romance novel) becomes a real one. Solid fun in the Alaskan setting, including getting out on the multitudinous waterways of the region and even some climbing and other more adventuresome activities. For the clean/ sweet crowd… ummm… maybe sit this one out. 😉 For those that like intense sex scenes (nothing particularly kinky, just enough steam to drive a dang electric generator), I think you’ll like this one. 🙂 Snow knows her genre very well, and this is a perfect example of that. Very much recommended.