Fun, Fast Read With Lots of Heart. This is a shorter novel at around 150 or so pages, and that actually makes it near perfect for a quick escape from family during the holiday season. You know, for those who may desire such an escape for some reason or another. 😉 Small town second chance romance that deals with some pretty weighty issues including bullying and attempted suicide, but in the typical Evans fashion of tackling them head on yet still sensitively. Excellent foundation for the series, with several secondary characters introduced – enough such that one gets the sense this series could go for a while, but none standing out quite so blatant as to be the obvious main character in the next book. Very much recommended.
Solid Debut Romance. This is a solid second chance romance that happens to apparently be the author’s debut. It does touch on some difficult subjects – sexual harassment in the work place primary among them – but it does a good job of working that element into the overall romance. (No, the harasser is not one of the couple.) Very much looking forward to more from this author. Very much recommended.
The book itself is, as I titled the Goodreads review below, a “solid romance”. It hits billionaire, cowboy, and second chance tropes all in one book, which is a feat unto itself at times. And it works well as an entry point into the series, even though it is Book 3.
But really what I want to talk about here is that dichotomy between the genres Lane writes in and how brave – and skillful – she is for doing so. Some authors may shy away from risking splitting their fan base or not wanting to take the effort to grow a “second” fan base, and let’s face it, far too many readers will absolutely refuse to read outside of a given genre. I’ve spoken with those types online numerous times, and honestly I just don’t get them. A good story is a good story, no matter the genre or language or anything else. And Lane has conclusively proven to me that she can give me a good story in at least two different genres – so I for one would *love* to see her try even more. 😀
I absolutely love when authors are willing to take risks, whether that means staying within one genre but doing nearly every subgenre possible within it, ala the “Modern Day Master of Science Fiction” Jeremy Robinson or pushing the bounds of their given genre ala Laura Heffernan’s Gamer Girl series or outright writing in multiple genres as Lane does. And I genuinely wish more authors had the balls to do it and more readers had the balls to follow authors they know can give them good stories no matter where that author decides to push themselves. Everyone involved in publishing, from the authors through the publishers through the sellers and all the way to the readers themselves would be stronger for it if authors would challenge themselves in this way. I get playing it safe and the reasons there, and let’s face it, there is arguably a steadier income stream from the author/ publisher side when authors choose to go that route. But, well, I’m a guy that has always lived by the words of Garth Brooks’s Standing Outside the Fire: “Life is not tried it is merely survived if you’re standing outside the fire.”
Take the risk. Live a little. If you’ve never read romance before, give this one a try. If you’ve never read Lane’s work before, this is as good a place as any to start. Stop reading this review and go buy the book already. 😉