First love. Second chance?
As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him—especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next!
Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob's father isn't exactly welcoming.
Riley doesn't trust Phoenix, doesn't want her in Jacob's life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he's about to find both—if they can forgive the mistakes in their past…
Beautiful story with great, truly original, and fresh plot. The images in the tale pulled me right in, set me in the middle of this small town, and took a hold of me. I wanted to inhale the whole story at once. It is an emotional story that made me cry a little, sigh a little, and smile a little.
It is hard to imagine what all Phoenix has gone through - pregnant at 17, accused of killing your baby father's girlfriend, giving up your child right after the birth to his father who refuses to bring him for visits at the prison... The list seems endless with the hardship and adversity. She has had 17 years to imagine the return to her hometown, to see her son for the first time, and to get over of her first love, Riley.
Determent to have a chance with her son, and not to make waves in the town, more than necessary, she is apologetic, meek, and kind to all. She is working hard to make a home for herself, and a place for her son, Jake, to visit, working on the business she started while in prison, and taking care of her mother, learning to live outside of the prison.
Jake's struggle to understand his mother and accept her in his life was touching. He is a model seventeen year old boy, with a big, caring heart, backbone, and good upbringing.
The growth and change in Riley's opinion about Phoenix, and the events from the past, happens slowly but surely. The old feelings towards her take on a new flame, but to convince Phoenix to trust him again is a task in itself.
The beautifully flowing story is heartwarming, alluring and captivating. There's sorrow, remorse, and pain, but also love, kindness and acceptance. It was a delight to see Phoenix get on her feet again, find her place in the town, build a relationship with Jake, and with her mother, to see Riley's change and desire to fight for a new chance with her. I wish there would have been a little more about the development of the relationship, and a little less of Phoenix's martyrdom. And even though the events with Penny did come to a satisfying conclusion, and the possibility of Phoenix fighting for her rights in the future was flashed, I did have a desire, if not need, to see that happen for her, and for her family.
But those were not major deal-breakers for me, and overall, I absolutely adored this original, raw, real and touching story
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side