by Reese Ryan
Publisher: Rose Gold Press LLC
Publication Date: April 27, 2021
I received an advance review copy of this book from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
There is just something about sexy, confident Lita Woods that commands Trey Hampton's attention the moment he encounters her. Until he discovers his son plans to marry her daughter and they're both about to become grandparents.
Lita's knee-jerk reaction to the news drives her daughter away. She's left with no choice but to team up with the charming, handsome grandfather-to-be on their common goal of stopping this wedding. When Trey invites Lita to join him and the kids at his beach house for the summer, their connection is too powerful to deny. And as they conspire to prevent their college-age children from derailing their futures-the way they once did-they find themselves falling in love.
There’s something wonderfully relaxing reading about mature adults. It’s not that they don’t have problems, but the problems are different than that of new adults and they tend to have more experience of how to handle them. The characters are each secure in who they are and what they want in life – at least until they meet. This novella is an amazing example of all of that!
Lita’s looking forward to seeing her daughter Meeka, who’s just finishing up the spring semester at college. So even if a particularly hot man is flirting with her, she’s eager to talk to her. Until she finds out Meeka has a boyfriend – the hot man’s son – she’s never told her about. And they’re engaged. And she’s pregnant. Understandably, Lita doesn’t handle that information well, and before long, Meeka’s stormed off with her boyfriend and Lita’s left with the man she’s soon to share a grandchild with. Trey’s sympathetic, as while he knew about the relationship, he’s just as surprised – and devastated – by the rest. As Jamil and Meeka are already planning on spending the summer at his beach house, Trey invites Lita along as well in hopes of helping the two women reconcile. But spending the summer with Trey is its own type of temptation…
“Trey Hampton really was a very sweet guy. A week ago, the last thing in the world she wanted to be was a grandmother. But if she was going to be one, she was glad her grandchild would have a grandfather as kind and generous as he was.”
Trey’s been raising two sons by himself for the past twenty years. They’d originally moved to Pleasure Cove, a sleepy beach town in North Carolina, to try to make his wife happier, but that didn’t work and she left. He’s no stranger to hard work or dealing with tough conversations, but this situation is more than he bargained for. Since Trey at least knew about Jamil and Meeka’s relationship, he handles it a lot better than Lita. They’re both disappointed that they’re following in their parents’ footsteps – getting pregnant and marrying young – and Lita’s especially upset that Meeka plans on putting college on hold while the baby’s young. They’ve both worked so hard to provide a good life for their kids, and seeing them make what seems like the same mistakes is devastating.
I loved both Lita’s and Trey’s relationships with their children. Though they may make different parenting choices, they’re both loving parents and they both eventually understand that their kids are, as they remind them, grown-ass adults. So while they’re always there to love and support them, it’s ultimately up to their kids to live their own lives. While my kids are much younger, I could definitely empathize with how much they both worried about their kids and how they wanted the best for them.
“Because no matter how attracted he was to this woman—and he was insanely attracted to her—she was the mother of his future daughter-in-law. And Lita was right; the two of them hooking up would only make the situation messier. Relationships were complicated enough on their own.”
On top of all of this, Lita and Trey are dealing with an overwhelming mutual attraction to each other. Their first meeting at the bar showed exactly how much chemistry they have between them, but both Lita and Trey have been burned before and understand exactly how badly things could go. Like it or not, they’re going to be bound together forever by their kids, so adding in another relationship to an already messy situation is the opposite of of a good idea. Luckily, sharing the beach house gives them time to get to know each other and see how they interact with the ones they love most.
I mention this in all my reviews of this author’s books, but I love the authenticity of the relationships, from the romantic ones between Lita and Trey (and Meeka and Jamil), the parent/child relationships, and the friendship Lita has with a group of other “living your best life” women. I’m definitely hoping we’ll see those women again! My only con? It’s a novella. While the story works well as it is, I wanted so much more of Lita and Trey getting to know each other, more of Lita supporting Meeka, and more of Meeka and Jamil being so adorably sweet with each other.
Overall, this is a delightfully sweet and relaxing read. Highly recommended if you’re looking for a romance with mature characters navigating parenting and love!