He wanted to stay stoic about it, but there was something about the free-spirited Bailey Moore that grabbed him by the heart he’d thought long dead.
Published: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Forever Publishing
Pages: 318 (Trade Paperback)
Series: Cedar Ridge #2
He liked her. There was no denying that. But he didn’t like the feelings she invoked from deep inside him.
Bailey Moore is finally getting to live on her own terms. After a fierce battle with cancer, she’s ready to do all the things she never dared to before, like sail the Greek Islands and explore Europe’s castles. Her first new adventure brings her to Cedar Ridge Resort, a ski lodge in the Colorado Rockies.
Bailey quickly discovers that following her No Regrets List won’t be easy. It doesn’t offer instructions for how to deal with a suffocating mother or an ex-fiancé who doesn’t want to let her go. Her list also doesn’t include falling for the lodge’s swoon-worthy head of ski patrol, Hud Kincaid, and his boisterous, kindhearted family.
As much as she longs to travel the world, Bailey soon realizes it will be hard to leave the small town of Cedar Ridge and the people in it. And when her past comes calling, she’ll have to summon more courage than ever before to live the life she truly wants.
Holy wowza! This was my first Jill Shalvis novel, and my last official read of 2019! This year saw me as a complete newbie to contemporary romance, but I can already tell Jill Shalvis is going to be a quick favorite! This novel had so much heart and wit and sass and romance it was nearly impossible for me to put down at one point! Thank you so so much to my friends at Forever for sending this one my way, what an absolute gem of a book!
The novel follows Bailey and Hudson as they work through their separate issues (health, family, work, etc.) and then come together as a couple. On the surface this seems like your typical contemporary romance set at a picturesque ski lodge. Wrong! This novel interlaces that sweet romance with biting wit, hilarious family interactions, heart wrenching moments, and it’s fair share of steamy sexual encounters. Bailey is recovering from her fight with cancer while Hud is recovering from his past family trauma, and both end up together in the most beautiful fight for love and happiness.
I think that some contemporaries like this can fall into the trap of being a touch overly dramatic, or even melodramatic, but not this one. There was never a moment of either character sprouting ridiculous tears and then running off in a heap somewhere, which I greatly appreciated. Of course, the characters had a hard time discussing their emotions and feelings, but in the end were able to lean on one another for strength and support.
The writing style here was what really caught me at first, it had the perfect balance between light-hearted banter/wit and those deeper elements this novel discusses like family dynamics and illness/healing. There’s a great pacing to this novel, too. The romance is actually the central plot line here but it reads very quick, it doesn’t drag the way I’ve seen some other contemporary romances do. It was such a quick read and the little intermixed plot lines with Hud’s job and mom, and Bailey’s mural project and her relationship with her ex really made the book exciting. It felt like a lot more than just two people falling in love, I absolutely adored it. I can’t wait to pick up another Jill Shalvis book!
Cedar Ridge Series