⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unexpected and enjoyable

The Way We Loved

What a great debut from this author. I have to admit, based on the cover and blurb I was expecting this to be a very different book, but I really enjoyed this second chance romance. While the heroine does use social media in her work, there’s no tweeting or texting in the story. It’s a modern love story set in a small town, with characters that are easy to like and a hero who can’t be described as anything other than a great guy.

The story follows Blake, a woman who fled her hometown in Alabama the moment she turned 18. While she found the love of her life as a child, she always knew she’d be leaving town at some point – and when Calvin didn’t follow, she shut him out of her mind. Eleven years later, she has a successful business and what seems to be a great life… until she catches her fiancé cheating. It’s the wakeup call she needs to open her eyes and realize everything might not be as great as she thought. Blake decides to take some time to regroup and head home to Alabama for a while, working on an old friend’s ranch. She’s knows it’s inevitable that she’ll run into Calvin again, but until the two come face to face, she doesn’t realize how much that will effect either of them.

I don’t always love second chance romances because they can be heavy and angsty, with one of them inevitably using sex to bury their feelings. It was so refreshing to discover that’s not the case here; Blake and Calvin act like two people who once loved each other completely, and while there’s some resentment for the way they left things, they both acknowledge that it needed to happen. There’s tension and some feuding, but also a whole lot of love. I will say that I was sometimes confused by Calvin’s intentions, but I think he was also working things out for himself along the way. If there’s one thing I didn’t like about the book it’s the pacing, but that’s a minor complaint. Overall, it’s a solid debut with a writing style that’s easy to read, characters I was rooting for, an interesting plot, and a secondary character I’d love to see find his own happily ever after. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout (then purchased it for my collection) and am voluntarily leaving a review.

The Way We Loved by Tinley Blake. My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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