Monday, October 13, 2014

#BookReview: Finding Home by Roxanne Snopek - 3 Wine Glasses

23204078Title: Finding Home
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Published: September 25th 2014 by Montana Born Books
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Linda
Rating: 3/5
Fourteen years after her abrupt departure, Samara Davis is back in Marietta, Montana. Now a widow, all she wants is to give her anxious four-year old daughter, Jade, a happy, stable home. Unfortunately, the heritage house she purchased is nowhere near ready for occupancy. And the man responsible for the delay is none other than high-school golden boy and love of her life Logan Stafford, available, interested and just as swoon-worthy as ever.

But this single mother has one priority. She’s all Jade has, and she’ll do anything, make any sacrifice, for her child’s future. And getting distracted by a long-lost boyfriend is not on the agenda.

Logan Stafford never forgot the lonely girl from the wrong side of the tracks who broke his heart. Not only is she as irresistible as ever, but her delightfully odd little girl has him wrapped around her finger in no time. Believing they’ve been given a second chance, Logan’s determined to pull out all the stops on the house to prove to them both that he’s a guy they can count on. But, despite how easy it is to love Logan, a second chance is still a gamble Samara can’t afford to take.

Their love story had ended long ago, and yet one smile from him brought it all back, the joy, the heartache, everything.  True love stories never have endings.

FINDING HOME by Roxanne Snopek is a sweet, second-chance-at-love romance.  I love Roxanne's books;  her books are must-reads for me.  FINDING HOME is the second book in Roxanne's Montana Born Homecoming series, but it can be easily enjoyed as a standalone.  This is the story of Logan Stafford, Marietta, Montana's most eligible bachelor, and Samara Davis, a widow with Jade, her autisic daughter.

The story opens as single-mother Samara is moving back to Marietta, the only place she remembered being happy for a short time in her unstable childhood.   She wants her daughter to grow up in a close-knit, small town community where people know and care for their neighbors.  She didn't expect her high school sweetheart to still be there, much less single and available.  

Logan is recently divorced and keeps busy with his job as a teacher.  His heart is devoted to a relatively new program at the school where the students learn construction skills by renovating older homes for those who financially qualify.  Their current project is behind schedule but will be a showplace when it's finished.   Logan can't believe it when he discovers that the new owner is a girl who broke his heart when she abruptly left town fourteen years ago.  

I fell in love with Logan from the get-go.  He was an inspiration throwing his energies into such a great program.  He had never forgotten Samara and he immediately took to her daughter with emotional/behavioral issues.   His experience as an educator came in handy in his interaction with Jade. He was unbelievably patient and understanding - a real treasure! 

I struggled with Samara.  She had not had an easy life.  I could certainly sympathize with her current plight - a single mother with a special-needs daughter who challenged and exhausted her.  But... as she turned off people who tried to help her, I had trouble liking her.  She was wound tighter than a kite.  From the brief descriptions of her life with her deceased husband, she had also had trouble allowing him to be there for their daughter so she had a long-standing issue accepting help even from those close to her.  Logan was amazing; he never gave up on her and just kept beating at her barriers.  He was determined to unlock the love that they used to have and, by the end of the book, she was beginning to accept his help and advances. 

Their romance was heartwarming and sweet.   Even after fourteen years, the mutual attraction was still strong, but, understandably, Samara's daughter had to come first.  I loved that Jade had Bob, a service dog; they obviously had a strong connection.  Secondary characters were wonderful from the students working on Samara's home to the mother and daughter who ran the boarding house where Samara stayed waiting for her home to be ready.   I really enjoyed the segments in which the house was being worked on, Logan's seemingly innate ability to handle Jade, Jade, Bob and Mabel. Perhaps with more background on Samara's former life, I could have warmed to her earlier.

Following please find a collection of my favorite quotes from this book illustrating the winsome romance within:

"You should stop by the shop. I'll make you up a special Welcome-To-Marietta chocolate basket for Samara.  She'll love it."
Of course.  He should have thought of it himself. 
"She's got this salted caramel thing that will earn you major points," said Dawson.  "the ladies love it."
"I shouldn't say this in church."  Sage looked down, and dropped her voice to a whisper.  "But it's been called orgasmic."
With that word, for a split second, everyone around him disappeared.  Logan imagined putting a tiny square of rich, smooth candy onto Samara's tongue, watching her lips move as she savored it, kissing her, sharing the sweet, silky heat.  What sound would she make when the flavor hit the back of her mouth?  Would she moan?  Would she ask for more?  "It's a gift that keeps on giving," added Dawson, waggling his eyebrows.

He could hear her ramping up and rather than letting it happen, he silenced her the best way he knew how.
He lowered his head to hers, slowly, so she could see him coming.  Her lips parted, in anticipation, in fear, out of breathlessness or a need to speak, he didn't care.  He pressed his against them and heard her quick intake of breath.
Her hands went up to his neck and she pulled herself closer, her mouth softening against his, opening, until they were necking like the pair of teenagers they had been, urgently, desperately, the rest of the world falling away until it was only them, no one else mattering, nothing necessary to their survival but that they hold on, hold on, hold on to each other and never let go.

She missed having someone at her back, knowing that it didn't all fall on her, every hour, every day, every month, every task.
But it was the everyday intimacy that left a gaping hole.  The teasing you wear-the-black-teddy-I'll-kill-the-giant-arachnid and the I'll-clean-the-showerdrain-if-you-drape-your-hair-over-my-belly negotiations.  Samara swallowed hard against the thickness in her throat.  
"The Spider-Killing Factor.  You didn't appreciate it until it was gone.
She bet Logan would be a great spider-killer.

"Thank you," she said.  "For making me have dinner with you."
He laughed.  "Next time maybe I'll really torture you and take you to a movie."
Next time.

Roxanne's writing is first-rate, as always.  The plot is solidly crafted.  The happy-ever-after ending will leave the reader with a contented smile.  I would recommend FINDING HOME to anyone who enjoys small-town, second-chance-at-love contemporary romances.

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