~ About the Book ~
Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family’s small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin–and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.
Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he’s never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he’s determined to make her give him a second chance.
When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they’re forced to confront their past and who they’ve become–and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.
Series: #2 Bradford Sisters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release date: 1 May 2018
Bublisher: Bethany House
~ Excerpt ~
Willow could feel Corbin behind her as he followed her down the inn’s central hall to the kitchen. Once they reached the space, she steeled herself and faced him. An audience of modern appliances, granite countertops, and the scent of allspice surrounded them. The two yards or so of hardwood floor separating her position from his may as well have been a continent.
On their final night together before she’d left for assignment in Morocco, and then Germany, she’d brought Thai food to his house. The weather had been gorgeous, and they’d eaten and kissed and kissed and eaten in his backyard under the stars. He’d whispered velvet words into her ears, and she’d been filled with ecstatic intuition that he was the one. Her one.
Prior to him and after him, she’d dated guys for longer periods of time. But none of her other relationships had scarred her the way that her relationship with Corbin had because the only man she’d ever been wildly, stupidly, disastrously in love with—was him.
“Thank you for seeing Charlotte,” he said.
She nodded stiffly and crossed her arms.
He assessed her as if they were opponents at chess. Coolly. Competitively.
She’d once pressed her lips to the small scar that faintly marked the skin below his bottom lip on the left side. She’d once touched her index finger to his slightly crooked incisor tooth on the right side and told him how his almost-but-not-quite perfect smile made her swoon. She’d once inhaled the piney scent of his soap when wrapped in his arms.
“John and Nora are happy together,” he said.
“Since we keep running into each other because of them, do you think we should find a way to get along for their sake?”
“You asked for a word with me because you’re wondering if we can get along for John and Nora’s sake?”
“That, and to apologize.”
Was he actually going to say he was sorry? He was more than welcome to grovel—
“I’m sure it’s been hard for you to get over me.” Cold humor glinted in his eyes. “I’m sorry you’ve had to suffer.”
Anger shot heat through her bloodstream. “It hasn’t been hard to get over you. And we didn’t run into each other this afternoon. You asked me for a favor—”
“—on behalf of Charlotte.”
“Which I foolishly granted. Because I let you bring her by, I’ve had to disappoint a very sweet girl. And now I find myself faced with you and your—your. . . .” She couldn’t find a word dire enough. “Nonsense.”
He cocked his head. “Is that a no to getting along with me?”
“I’m waiting for you to go back to Texas so that we’ll both be spared the effort of getting along.”
“I’m not going back to Texas.”
~ Review ~
If you enjoy witty repartee, you’re going to love Willow Bradford and Corbin Stewart. They’re like a modern-day Beatrice and Benedick (Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing)—they have a history, a healthy disdain for one another, and a wit that’s determined to have the last word. And boy does that make for an entertaining read as Corbin’s scorn softens to deliberate provocation and then determined flirtation! I also happen to love a guy who pursues his woman with single-minded purpose and a gleam in his eye. Is it any wonder I enjoyed this story as much as I did?
Willow and Corbin have twelve-year-old Charlotte Dixon to thank for bringing them back together. Charlotte is the daughter of Corbin’s cousin, and when she discovers evidence that her grandmother had an older sister who went missing forty years ago, she convinces Willow and Corbin to help her find out what happened. And that’s another thing I’m really enjoying about this series: the ‘mystery’ that brings the characters together. For John and Nora (True to You) it was the search for John’s biological mother. In this book, we have a cold-case investigation conducted by a model, a former NFL quarterback, and a seventh grader. Unconventional? Yes. Believable? In this case, also yes!
But for all the banter between them, Corbin and Willow’s previous relationship has left its mark on Willow in particular. I won’t spoil anything here, but I could definitely identify with Willow’s struggle to open herself to a relationship with Corbin again. Not only was her struggle authentic, but so was the way in which those issues were confronted and worked through. As much as I loved Becky Wade’s previous series with the Porter family, I really feel as though both her story crafting and her writing in general are maturing through this series, giving even more depth and colour to her romances.
All that makes me super impatient to get my hands on Britt and Zander’s story!
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ Previous Books in Series ~
~ About the Author ~
Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.