A sophisticated city girl, a small town guy. Will their differences drive them apart or will they discover that home is where the heart is?
When the only girl Joey Bennett ever loved stole his heart and sped off to the city lights, he swore he’d never again surrender his heart or be measured by someone’s big city ideals. Love is for chumps. Trust is only given to family and locals who care about him for who he is, and what he isn’t. But when a beautiful stranger dances into his bar, he takes up the challenge to prove that his hometown is different.
Brittany Carlson hates small towns after growing up where the old boy’s network turned a blind eye to her father’s abuse, destroying her mother’s life… and her own. She left that hell in the rear-view mirror the minute she turned eighteen. New York City is her new hometown where her neighbors are friends and everyone looks out for each other. They keep her safe. But a weekend visit to Oak Grove and one dance with a sexy local threatens to change… everything.
Joey is not like any guy she’s ever met. And she likes that. Long nights stoke Joey and Brittany’s desire to stay together, but reality is different when exposed to the harsh light of day. If Brittany goes back to New York, she’ll be heartbroken. But she promised herself long ago that she wouldn’t ever again live her life looking over her shoulder, wondering what secrets people are hiding and what ugliness lurks in the shadows with no one there to help.
Can she take the small town out of Joey, or can the love of a good man become her new home?
A heartfelt and delightful story about finding your destiny, finding your place in the world, about love and living, friends and family, life in the small town where people genuinely care for each other and look out for each other.
I am loving the Bennett family, the tight-knit solidarity they have, the unit the brothers form to protect their family and loved ones when needed. The stories do entwine yet they are easily read as stand alone books. The ongoing problems their sister Rachel is having in her relationship gets more insights in One Last Dance, and the abuse she faces might be a trigger to some. The tragic, terrifying situation Rachel lives with is painted with realistic and vivid, heartbreaking images, I have to say I am anxiously looking forward to her story coming up next month.
But One Last Dance is about Joey Bennett and Brittany Carlson. Joye, the former happy go lucky from fling to fling guy is looking at the happiness his brother has found and is longing for something more to his life as well. His business is going well, he volunteers his time to a great cause, and his dedication to help veterans and raise awareness of their needs is admirable. Joye is easy to like, he has charm, wit, and charisma. His protectiveness towards his sister is fierce, and eventually, his temper gets him in trouble. He had his heart broken once by a girl longing for the city lights, yet he is learning that some risks are worth to take to find your place in life.
Brittany has thick walls around her, to protect her secrets and hold herself together, to keep going. She has a temper to match Joye's, but her heart is golden, her desire to serve and help others is genuine, and her feelings towards Joye are unavoidable. The abused girl in her sees the reality Rachel is living in, by looking in her eyes. With Brittany's help, the situation with Rachel starts finally unravel as the family finds more about her life.
There is a lot going on in the story, with the family, and with Joye and Brittany. The connection between them is adorable and passionate. They are so perfect together, perfect for each other, despite the seemingly opposite lifestyles. I loved how they supported each other, how well they fit with each other and their interests in life. They do things together that they both enjoy and that brings them even closer together. The development of their characters, the healing and the growing they absorb through their journey is remarkable. Even though the events in the book all happen within a short time period, a lot of living and learning is done during those days. The feelings, the emotions, the relationship developing between Joye and Brittany is believable, solid, sweet, and taking deep roots.
I'm really liking this series and the range of emotions and life the stories hold. One Last Dance is a great addition to the saga of the Bennett family and left me excitedly waiting for the next installment.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Before long, Joey pulled the truck into a dirt-covered patch in front of a metal gate. A path extended beyond the gate and wound into the woods. He shut off the truck and then turned to her. “ We’ll walk in from here.”
“ You’ll see.”
Boy, today was going to be a riot if all their conversations consisted solely of two-word sentences.
Before Brittany had a chance to climb out, Joey threw open the door, wandered to the back of the truck, and fiddled with something. She scrambled out, tugging her T-shirt down. “ Can I help with anything?”
“ Nope, I’ve got everything covered. I’d planned to come out alone anyway.”
“ Obviously, so why didn’t you just tell Karen no?”
Joey shot her a look that told her maybe she didn’t want to hear the answer. He mumbled under his breath again. “ All right, that’s it. Go ahead and get it all out.” Joey ran his hand through his hair, spinning away from her for a minute before turning back. “ You’re right. I didn’t want you to come hiking with me. I’d been looking forward to this time alone all week.”
“ Then why did you agree to let me come?” She threw her hands in the air and stomped her feet like a petulant child. She hadn’t meant to yell, but her peaceful feelings were quickly being replaced with unsettling ones, reminders of the past she’d rather stay there.
“ I don’t know, okay?” A clear look of exasperation crossed his face, and then his eyes locked on hers.
With his eyebrows raised and his jaw tight, he looked as ridiculous as this situation was. Neither of them were happy that Karen had roped them into this.
The corner of Brittany’s mouth quirked, and the pressure built in her gut until she couldn’t hold it in any longer and burst out laughing. Not a quiet, simple one, but a full-out belly laugh. She doubled over, clutching her stomach as she continued to laugh. Eventually she stood and wiped the tears from her eyes, only to see Joey had joined in her laughter.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be taking this out on you,” he said.
“It’s okay.” Tears still flowed down Brittany’s face.
“Let’s relax and have fun for a few hours.”
“ Sounds good to me.”
The creases on his forehead relaxed and his jaw eased. His features softened and she was reminded of the man she’d met last night, not the tense man who had driven her here.
Nancy Stopper is an award-winning debut author. She writes contemporary romance with strong women and sexy heroes that tug at your emotional heartstrings and leave you with a warm feeling that lingers long after the last page. Her favorite escape is small-town romance and even when set in a larger location, her books have that small-town feel.Her first novel, One Last Risk, won first place in the Short Contemporary Romance category of the Fool for Love Contest and was a Maggie Finalist in the unpublished Single-Title Contemporary Category. Dreams Come True in Laguna, Nancy's first novella, was published in the Laguna Beach Kindle World in 2016. One Last Risk, her first full-length contemporary romance novel was published in April 2017. Nancy lives in Virginia with her husband, two of her three kids that are still at home, and one cat who regards her with disdain daily. When she's not behind her laptop, you can find her at a ballfield, cheering on her favorite team (Washington Nationals) or her favorite player (her son, who pitches for his local high school), or at a dance performance with her daughter.
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