Thursday, February 12, 2015

Undeniable by Shannon Richard

Undeniable (Country Roads, #2)* * * *

"Funny, sassy, and sexy. Reading Shannon Richard is pure pleasure!" -Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author 


Grace King knows two things for certain: she loves working at her grandmother's café and she loves the hunky town sheriff. She always has. As she bakes him sweet treats, Grace fantasizes about helping him work up an appetite all night long. But whenever she thinks she's finally getting somewhere, he whips out some excuse to escape. Growing up, he never looked twice at her. Now Grace won't rest until she has Jax's undivided attention.

Jaxson Anderson can't deny that his best friend's kid sister is the sexiest woman in Mirabelle, Florida. Unwilling to burden Grace with his painful past, Jax keeps the sassy blonde at arm's length. Yet one heated kiss crumbles all of his carefully built defenses. But when a town secret surfaces, threatening to destroy everything they believe in, can the man who defended Grace from bullies as a child protect her now?


Somehow, along the way, I missed the release of the second book in the Country Roads series.  That will teach me to pay better attention.  But the up side to that is I had a new-to-me Shannon Richard book and a cup of coffee to cuddle up with while hiding away from the below zero temps we had in January.   

Grace was 6 year olds when Jax Anderson became the love of her life.  Maybe not in a romantic way.  But he was certainly her hero.  How could he not be when he scared off the bullies and insisted that she was a princess?  But she grew up and 18 year old Grace was fully aware that her feelings for Jax had grown with her.  Unfortunately, no matter how hard she tried to get his attention, he always seemed to be oblivious.  Recently Grace has stepped back and has decided there’s no reason she should be waiting around for someone who doesn’t return her affections.  Not that she’ll stop taking care of Jax by making sure he has his morning coffee and plenty to eat.  It’s what she does. 

Jax won’t lie to himself and pretend that he doesn’t want Grace with every fiber in his being.  But he will deny himself pursuing her in any way, shape or form.  Jax grew up with a physically and emotionally abusive father.  One of the more lasting effects of that abuse is Jax’s lack of self-worth.  He’s truly feels that he isn’t good enough for Grace.  But Grace’s quiet persistence over the years is starting to get to Jax.   And he’s finally getting to the point (thanks, in part, to the help of meddling friends) where maybe, just maybe, he can let himself have a little bit of happiness.  Just a little.

There is a lot going on in this story besides the dancing around (yes, that can be construed as a euphemism for….something) that Grace and Jax are doing.  One of the things I loved most in this story is that Jax and his friends are re-modeling Jax’s future home.   It is apparent to everyone except Jax that he is subconsciously building his house with Grace in mind.  Not that all his buddies didn’t notice.  But they were too nice to say anything.  Until they feel their interference is needed, of course.  Seriously, the Men of Mirabelle are such meddlers.  It’s hilarious.

Then there are plenty of frightening things to get in the way of Jax and Grace’s developing relationship.  An unsolved string of burglaries and thefts have kept Jax constantly busy.  Then there is the continuous harassment Grace is experiencing from some creeps who went to high school with her.  And then throw in a hate crime against one of Grace’s closest friends.  Mirabelle is a hot mess and Jax and Grace are feeling the pressure. On top of all of that there is also that horrid gossip blog run by an angry and bitter woman named Bethelda.  No one is safe from The Grim Truth.  Not even a town Deputy, Jax.  And certainly not, Grace, who for some reason has always been held accountable (by her very existence) for her late mother’s love life.

This romance is sexy and fast paced.  There is plenty of the angst I enjoy so much but it’s perfectly balanced with plenty of humor keeping me entertained at every turn of the page.  If you are a fan of contemporary small town romances, definitely give Undeniable a try.  You won’t be disappointed.


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