Title: Starting Over at Blueberry Creek
Series: Sweetwater Springs #4
Author: Annie Rains
Format: Paperback/eBook, 449 pages
Publication: Feb. 25, 2020 by Forever
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 2 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Should they fan the flames or douse this fire before someone gets seriously burned?
Firefighter Luke Marini moved to the small town of Sweetwater Springs with the highest of hopes - new town, new job, and new neighbors who know nothing of his past. And that's just how he wants to keep it. But it's nearly impossible when the gorgeous brunette next door decides to be the neighborhood welcome wagon. She's sugar, spice, and everything nice - but getting close to someone again is playing with fire.
Brenna McConnell put college on hold to raise her little sister. Now that Eve is grown, Brenna is ready to leave Blueberry Creek and finish what she started. Moving on isn't easy, however, when her gruff new neighbor gives Eve a dangerous firefighting job. And yet, even as Brenna is telling him off for putting her sister in harm's way, she can't deny the sizzling chemistry between them. She put her dreams on hold once. Is she willing to make that sacrifice again for a chance at forever?
After Brenna's parents were killed in car accident, she gave up college and lost her fiance to take care of her younger sister. Running her mother's bakery has made her a nice living but it is not her dream. After her sister moves out and starts her dream job, Brenna can't help but think it is time for her to get a second chance at her dreams.
Luke is new to Sweetwater Springs but he's already acting fire chief, finding himself in the middle of a sister fight, and falling for his neighbor.
Brenna and Luke think they know what they want in life but they're going to find out what they need.
“So we agree. Neither of us is kissing the other,” he said.
New to the Sweetwater Springs series, others could start comfortably here, like I did, and not feel lost in the series. I enjoyed the easy pace and lead in to this small town and Brenna and Luke's lives. These two have been neighbors for a couple months but Luke has been a bit standoffish because of a relationship that went sour that he had with his previous neighbor in a different town. I thought there could have been more background on this relationship as I didn't really grasp the emotional importance of it and why it made it so Luke didn't want to even become friends with Brenna. His reservations don't last very long though and he finds himself with Brenna pretty soon.
They were taking things slow but his racing heart had somehow missed the message.
Brenna's character had a quiet composure, even when she snaps a bit and throws banana pieces at her sister. She came off solid as she stepped up to take care of Eve, her sister, even while Eve acts immature and bratty to her. I would have liked to have more scenes with her aunt and friends to draw her character personality out more. Brenna and Luke were pleasant together, this was a kissing but bedroom door closed story, so their friendship on the road to love was highlighted more than their physical relationship. They have some hurdles to get over, Brenna thinking a long distance relationship would never work and Luke not wanting to open up about the burns on his back that he received in a fire that killed his brother, but for some ending quick dramatic fighting, they were a pretty relaxed couple.
He leaned toward her, pinning her with his gaze. “So what is it you want in this moment, Brenna?”
“You,” she said simply.
I thought the story could have benefited from utilizing of the setting, involving the town and townspeople more, the most shown secondary character was Eve and she was more irritating with her immaturity than young growing pains. The fire station scenes didn't provide a lot for Luke's character as most involved Eve and another firefighter who disrespected Luke, to the point that they mouth-off when Luke catches them about to make-out at work, the scenarios lacked a feeling of professionalism, thus realness. The characters also seemed to jump from point A to point B, without a connecting thread between. Brenna was at work then home, Luke was at work then home, the writing flow was fine but substance that makes a story fulfilling was missing for me.
The bedroom door closed and more low-key story and couple could be elements others would enjoy. If you're a reader of the Sweetwater Springs series then you'd probably enjoy revisiting the town and residents more than a new to the series reader like me.
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