This is one of those books where I could appreciate the quality of the writing but didn’t actually enjoy the story. Though it’s described as a standalone and is the start of a new series, there were so many characters from previous books and so much (unknown) history between the leads that it felt like I was starting at the middle of the story. So while there were times when I was completely intrigued by and engrossed in the story, there were things that held me back from fully connecting.
The story follows Lark, reformed mean girl and current campaign manager, whose life is upended when her ex joins the staff. Lark and Sam spent one perfect year together when she was rebelling against her wealthy parents, but her plans to work for the family business meant their romance had an expiration date. Things got messy towards the end, but five years have passed and neither one seems to have let go completely. As they work together and reconnect, that old spark resurfaces… despite the obstacles in their way.
Let’s start with what I liked, because there was a lot. The writing itself is solid, with a depth to the characters that you don’t often find in romances. I loved Sam, the Southern gentleman who isn’t afraid of commitment. I actually liked him better than Lark – she’s just not my kind of heroine (has done some pretty questionable things in the past and seems to have slept with most of the guys in the book). I also enjoyed that we’re introduced to the couple from the next book and it sounds like quite the story.
Where I struggled is with the abundance of characters, who are all connected by events that took place in previous books. Yes, I like it when characters tie a series together, but I don’t want to feel like I need to read everything the author’s ever written to enjoy a book (I’ve read some of her work but am not current). The first 40% is focused on the group of friends with very little interaction between Sam and Lark, so by the time we got to them I had already started to disconnect. I must also mention that I don’t think readers who are looking for a safe read without OW/OM drama will find it with this – there are some complicated relationships featured that make for entertaining, angsty reads but will likely be problematic for some. My final verdict? Fans of K.A. Linde will love this, but those who are less familiar with her work may find themselves struggling. I received an ARC via Wildfire Marketing Solutions and am voluntarily leaving a review of this second chance romance.
K.A. Linde is the bestselling author of the Avoiding Series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching , traveling, and dancing in her spare time.