Book 2 of the Seven Shores series finds coffee shop owner Autumn deciding to forge a life outside her beloved coffee shop, The Cat’s Pajama’s. Meanwhile hero firefighter Kate needs to get away from the small town that is smothering her with their praise, so she hits the road for a short trip to California and some fun. When the spark is obvious between Autumn and Kate we have a classic set up for the “will she wont she” decision and another solid romance from Melissa Brayden.
Autumn is the rock of the Seven Shores gang, the most grounded and the natural mom. When she decides to take control of her life and have a baby, alone, it might seem a rash response to news of her ex, but it’s a long-term decision she knows is right for her. Embarking on the process of artificial insemination she doesn’t expect to fall for a gorgeous tourist with no plans to stay. Firefighter Kate has a tragic backstory, and the slow reveal, she is a hero who hates the limelight. Her attraction to Autumn is strong, but her home is elsewhere and she knows it will only be a short-term thing.
The ensemble cast continues to develop into a wonderful set of friends. Hadley takes the crown as the dominant secondary character in this one, but all play their roles in both the main plot and the emotional development of the whole. These friends have quickly become some of my favourite people.
Melissa Brayden is literally the master of this genre. She writes great characters with depth and feeling we can relate to… Her stories are on the one hand light and fluffy feel good romances, and we all know there will be a predictable HEA.. but they all have a twist, there is substance to the lives and histories of these women, and enough complexity to make even a jaded romance reader like me enjoy the reveal. Well written as always, with moments of laughter and a deep affection for her cast, Brayden’s books might follow a prescribed arc, but never feel rote or repetitive.
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(publisher review copy received)
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