After a decade away, Jacie Rose has returned with her daughter to Cherry Lake to renovate a historic hotel…and to lay some ghosts to rest. She knows she’ll have to confront mistakes she made in the past, but she didn’t expect to be living right next door to the guy she once asked to be her husband.
When Brett Jackson was approached ten years ago by Jacie Rose with the wild scheme of marrying her to help her out of a jam, his white knight instincts kicked in and he agreed to be her emergency groom. The only problem was that the bride didn’t show up for the wedding. How’s he supposed to get used to seeing the woman he’s never forgotten every day now that she’s his neighbor?
Determined to provide the secure home life for her daughter that she never had, Jacie is not about to bring a man into her life—even one that she sometimes thinks should have been there all along. But Brett and Jacie soon discover the spark between them is even stronger than before… Now that their paths have crossed again, will they lead them back to the wedding that almost was?
Secrets of Cherry Lake Series
Prequel/Book 1: Small Town Secrets by Roxanne Snopek
Book 2: The Secret Son by Joan Kilby
Book 3: Her Secret Love by Paula Altenberg
Book 4: Her Secret Protector by Roxanne Snopek
Book 5: The Secret Bride by Jeannie Watt
Jacie is a strong character. She makes it in a profession usually held by men, she has raised a good daughter, all by herself, to avoid the mistakes she thought her mother made, while she was young. Her mother married a man, who was a bully and abusive, not surprisingly the mayor of Cherry Lake, Clinton.
When Jacie's rebellion against the heavy handed step dad gets her pregnant, she asks her good friend Brett to marry her. But instead of going through with the wedding, she runs away. And now she is back, for the first time in ten years, in Cherry Lake.
Brett is as kind, supportive, understanding, and solid person, as he has always proven to be. And he admires Jacie as much as he did when they were in high school.
While Clinton, the mayor, is doing everything in his power to ruin Jacie job in town, Brett is doing all he can to convince Jacie to give them a chance, try to make it work, to have a relationship with him.
I liked Brett, he is nearly impossible not to like. I adored the relationship he was able to build with Jacie's daughter, no matter how much Jacie was trying to avoid that from happening.
Even though I admire Jacie's commitment to rear her daughter differently than her mother, I think she went too far. To compare, to put Brett on the same line as Clinton, the abusive former stepfather, just... I don't think he did anything to deserve that.
I would have liked to see much more growth, deeper conversations, and more focus on the end, to understand why did he take her back, after the insult, and the way it seemed she had used him.
I also missed the old cast from the previous books. I understand that this is a different family in town, still Nate's grandchildren, and he did appear shortly couple times, but the Cherry Lake feeling was less in this story, and because of that, didn't bring so much more into the series as the previous books. It was still a good read, but more stand alone novel than the rest. So maybe this wasn't the end for the Cherry Lake Series?
A homecoming that turns out to be more than just a summer job, small town politics, lots of broken vehicles, horses, and construction problems... Another good story from Cherry Lake
~ Three Spoons