Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe--a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?
Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later.
As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love.
I thought this was a Christian novel, but it is not. It does have God mentioned a couple of times, even few prayers are said when in trouble, but the characters, their lives or the story does not demonstrate a personal relationship with God. Also, there is pre-marital sex with consequences, yet that is not ever talked about it regarding their faith and it is applied that it has happened, with others, after the youthful incident. Just to get that message clear out there.
I always review the books in their own category, so if this is not Christian romance novel, am I going to treat it as a contemporary romance novel?
The story was engaging, there was some family drama, life lessons, problems with the ex, and trying to find their place in life mixed with the second chance romance.
I liked the main characters, Cruz Huntley is a strong male lead with admirable character. He was a bit of a hothead as a young man, but he has grown to be a responsible, caring, generous man of good principles and forgiving mind. I loved his dedication to 'Bella' and his open heart and mind towards the sudden changes in his life.
Zoe Collins had made some serious mistakes in her life yet I understood where she was coming from, how her father's behavior had driven her to doubt her own worth, and how low she was at the time when she found out she was pregnant. She is her own worst enemy with the doubts and worries of her character and abilities. Her growth through the story is remarkable, yet it takes a big step back right when I thought she had gained some ground.
The constant shadow of Kyle and the lies that were easily believed shadow the new start in Zoe's life. The danger the threats from Kyle provided some spice and intensity to the tale, bringing it all to a high climax towards the end, with lives in danger.
I liked the story, the plot had some surprises that not only gave this tale new turns but took the whole series forward. I just kept waiting for the revelation that would have come from the characters finding faith in God, growing in faith, and seeing the errors of their past. Since that moment never really came, I was left wanting at the end. Maybe if I would not have expected this, I would have enjoyed the story more, but as it is now, I give it
~ Three Spoons
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me