Title: Could’ve Said Yes
Series: Thistle Bend #3
Author: Tracy March
Format: Kindle, 214 Pages
Published: December 13, 2016 (Loveswept)
ISBN: ASIN: B01AES543K
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
The truth paves a path for a second chance at love in a captivating Thistle Bend novel from the award-winning author of Should’ve Said No (“A small-town gem of a read, sparkling with humor and warmth.”—Zoe Dawson).
Having recently returned to Thistle Bend, Colorado, Ellie London is working hard to make a living as an artist, and to get over her broken engagement. She’s focused only on guarding her heart and healing her mind . . . until a cocky, undeniably sexy out-of-towner rides in on his motorcycle. Turns out, Ellie might have just found the perfect opportunity to prove to herself that she’s over her cheating fiancé.
After his own engagement falls through, EPA Inspector Collin Cooper is eager for a change of scenery in Thistle Bend. His principle rule of the road is not to get too involved with a new woman—and yet he can’t resist beautiful, outdoorsy Ellie. But when a local river becomes polluted under Collin’s supervision, resentment floods the entire town, running even deeper with Ellie’s family. With his job on the line, Collin needs to find a way to set things right—and hold on to the woman who has captured his heart.
Could’ve Said Yes by Tracy March is the lovely, but bittersweet, conclusion to the author’s Thistle Bend series. It is a great addition to the series. The series is set in the small whimsical town of Thistle Bend, a restored Victorian mining town surrounded by majestic mountain peaks. Tracy has posted that Crested Butte, Colorado served as her storybook inspiration for Thistle Bend. I thoroughly enjoyed Could’ve Said Yes, but am saddened that it is the last book in this series. I’ve really come to love the characters and the wonderful close-knit community featured in these books.
This is the story of two genuinely likable characters: EPA Inspector Collin Cooper and artist Ellie London. They first met on a scenic overlook appropriately named Stallion Ridge. She was taking pictures. He was sitting on his motorcycle pondering the ride he needed to traverse down the mountain. They had an instant connection and exchanged some funny flirty banter.
The two were each broken in a similar way in that they had both suffered from a previous shattered relationship which left them reeling and uncertain. Ellie had recently moved back home to recover, regain her confidence and open her dream of an art studio. She does freelance photography work on the side for the town’s newspaper and assists Milly and Merri Montgomery, sisters who are a cross between Bewitched, Charmed and the Golden Girls, when needed. Meanwhile, Collin no longer trusted his own judgment choosing to only indulge in meaningless encounters. He had career plans with the EPA and had long motorcycle trips on his docket between his EPA stints. Was it too soon for their hearts to give love another chance?
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Could’ve Said Yes:
“I’d offer you a ride, but ---“ …
“Maybe next time,” she said.
He nodded and gave her a sly grin. “Then I have something to look forward to.”
Ellie’s eyes glinted as she turned, and headed toward the spruce forest. After covering several yards, she glanced over her shoulder, and caught him staring.
“I’d say we both do.”
She wasn’t the only one with an eye for sexy men – especially ones licking ice cream.
Collin’s playful look turned serious, and he stood, took Ellie’s hand, and eased her up to join him. He pulled her into his arms, pressed her close against his hard body, and swayed to the music. Combing his fingers through her hair, he swept it away from her ear, and whispered huskily, “This feels right.”
I savored a multitude of favorite scenes but this is a snippet from one that had me swooning:
“You sing?” she asked.
“Mostly in the shower.”
“Then I should’ve had my ear to the bathroom door when you were in there.”
He pinched the beads at the end of the tie on her blouse, and rolled them between his fingertips. “You should’ve been in there with me.”
Could’ve Said Yes was a charming and warm-hearted romance set against idyllic scenery. The plotline was engaging from the first word to the last. I loved the environmental aspect of the story spearheaded by Collin as a caring EPA Inspector. As a fan of the series, I was double-delighted to be able to catch up with previous favorite characters. However, please know that each story can be fully enjoyed as a stand-alone, if that is your preference. I would recommend Could’ve Said Yes – and Tracy’s entire Thistle Bend series – to anyone who enjoys heartwarming, sweet and steamy contemporary romances with terrifically cool characters set amidst the beautiful great outdoors.
Suggested Reading Order:
ASK ME AGAIN (Free Prologue )
SHOULD'VE SAID NO (Book #1)
JUST SAY MAYBE (Book #2)
COULD'VE SAID YES (Book #3)