“It seems the more I try to convince myself to steer clear of you, the more I can’t stop thinking about you.”
Published: February 25, 2020
Pages: 310 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Sweetwater Springs #4
He didn’t do things halfway. He liked her, and there was nothing casual about it.
Should they fan the flames or douse this fire before someone gets seriously burned?
Firefighter Luke Marini moved to the small town of Sweetwater Springs with the highest of hopes – new town, new job, and new neighbors who know nothing of his past. And that’s just how he wants to keep it. But it’s nearly impossible when the gorgeous brunette next door decides to be the neighborhood welcome wagon. She’s sugar, spice, and everything nice – but getting close to someone again is playing with fire.
Brenna McConnell put college on hold to raise her little sister. Now that Eve is grown, Brenna is ready to leave Blueberry Creek and finish what she started. Moving on isn’t easy, however, when her gruff new neighbor gives Eve a dangerous firefighting job. And yet, even as Brenna is telling him off for putting her sister in harm’s way, she can’t deny the sizzling chemistry between them. She put her dreams on hold once. Is she willing to make that sacrifice again for a chance at forever?
I’m back again with another glowing review for Annie Rains and her Sweetwater Springs series! I was never a big contemporary romance fan before partnering with Forever, but I cannot get enough of this series!
This installment follows Brenna McConnell as she tries to handle her headstrong younger sister, her bustling catering business, and her slipping dreams of going back to school. Enter Luke Marini, her new neighbor and the new firefighter in town. Devilishly handsome, yet cold to her for no reason. She brought him donuts, for crying out loud! But the cold shoulder can’t keep the attraction between them from growing and burning. But what starts smoldering into a friends-with-benefits situation could turn into more…
I really enjoyed this installment! Brenna was such a down to earth, honest, and relatable character. As someone thing a younger sister, I know that balancing act between wanting to be their friend/sister and wanting what’s best for them, even if they don’t see it themselves. Luke was cold at first, but you grow to love him, too. He’s strong, he’s smart, he’s loyal, and he’s caring. He was the perfect match for Brenna. This has kind of a small enemies to friends with benefits to lovers transition; from that first cold interaction between them, the friction about the firefighting position for her sister, to their attraction heating up that they can’t ignore. It was such a believable transition! I don’t read a lot of friends to lovers romances because they don’t carry the level of angst I want, but this one still had some drama/angst and I was so happy to see it! It really added to the emotional side of the novel.
Luke technically falls into the “scarred hero” trope and has quite the tragic backstory, but it wasn’t overly done or overly talked about, which I appreciated. He was positively swoony. Brenna has a desire to go back to school and finish the dreams she put on hold, and Luke is all for it. I loved how much he encouraged her and supported her dreams, even if it meant leaving town and leaving him.
I loved the realistic sibling relationships portrayed in this novel, I enjoyed how absolutely cozy it was, and I loved the little hints of drama and action. This was a great contemporary that’ll be perfect to cozy up with this Fall, if not every season! You can check out my other Sweetwater Springs reviews by searching under the romance section or searching in the search bar!
The Sweetwater Springs Series