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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: Spring Serendipity by Stacey Joy Netzel

One author who hasn't disappointed me is Stacey Joy Netzel and with stories like this, I know I'll continue to enjoy her books for a long time to come.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: February 1, 2016

Lora Howell is stunned to find out her husband cheated on her before his death, but drinking too much and picking up a one night stand to get back at him might not have been the smartest thing to do. Facing the stupidity of her actions, the thirty-two year old mother of two recognizes the emptiness in her heart can’t be filled by sex—especially not with the town playboy whose reputation for loving-and-leaving is legendary.

Charismatic SWAT Officer Shane Parker was perfectly happy with his carefree bachelor ways until that one night with the beautiful widow. Now he can’t get the woman out of his head, and the more time he spends with Lora and her young boys, the higher the risk to his heart. Convincing her he’s ready to settle down becomes the most important negotiation of his life—until one last unexpected bombshell threatens everything.

So basically SWAT officer Shane walks into a bar, spies a pretty woman who is too far into her cups and about to be taken advantage of so he swoops in and saves her. Then he recognizes her. Lora Howell, and a year before he had been one of the officers to tell her that her husband had been killed in a car crash. Lora is out to get back at her dead husband for cheating on her but she doesn’t quite get the nerve to pick up a one night stand and instead is cared for by local playboy Shane . Now Shane can’t get Lora out of his mind and while he was previously carefree, he finds that spending time with Lora and her two kids brings him a different kind of happiness he isn’t sure he wants to let go of.

Now who says a romance can’t be both sweet and seriously hot?

Spring Serendipity did more than just make the world fade away, it tugged at my heartstrings and that’s not an everyday occurrence. Plus, in true Stacey Joy Netzel fashion, there was plenty of humor to be found at the oddest times! This is why she remains one of my favorite romance authors!

I’m always apprehensive about a romance with a single mom as a heroine because if the author devotes too much time to mom/kid scenes and involves the kids in every scene then it kills the romance and the development of the relationship between the heroine and the hero. Then it starts to feel like a bad reality show that might be called “Find my Kids a Daddy.” However, if the heroine is always passing her kids off to friends and family while she goes off and burns up the sheets with the hero then I won’t like her for being a neglectful mom.

But Lora was a great mom and she wasn’t portrayed as this super mom character that would have gotten on my nerves. She was floundering at times with two young boys and yeah she did get frazzled and needed her adult time. Never did she ever paint this perfect Utopia where being a mom was the see all, be all of lifestyles. I loved seeing her overwhelmed and at her wits end because it made her more real and likable to me. And while her sons were a very important part of her life they didn’t take over the entire story. They provided the reality check to Lora’s life and reminded her that while she deserved her “me” time, the kids still depended on her for the most basic things in life.

Shane was such a softie it wasn’t even funny. He had such a reputation as a playboy but I never got to see that side of him since the story began with him meeting up with Lora in a bar and that was fine. Showing his playboy antics would have brought unnecessary drama to a story that already had enough conflict brewing. My favorite thing about this guy though was that he didn’t have the “Grr, I’m a macho man/tough guy and I am here to save you” mentality towards Lora. He pursued her sure but he didn’t do it in an overly aggressive way and he let Lora set the pace of their budding relationship. To me it felt like a real partnership between him and Lora and those are the kinds of couples I like, not a He-Man who solves all the woman’s problems because he thinks he knows better. Shane had such a quiet confidence about him that made him sort of an anchor for Lora during those chaotic moments that come with having kids.

Yet for all the quiet tender moments between Shane and Lora there was also an abundance of heat. Whether it was a look, a touch, a few words or clothes flying everywhere, once Shane and Lora overcame the “I don’t want to/shouldn’t be attracted to you” phase the temperature of Spring Serendipity sure went up!

Along the way there were appearances from previous characters but given that I have yet to read the previous books I wasn’t familiar with them. However it isn’t necessary to read the first seven books in order to enjoy this one.

Final Verdict: Stacey Joy Netzel always manages to bring the heat, the humor and the heart to her stories and that’s what makes me come back for more. Shane and Lora were great characters and an even better couple. It was a little sad having to say goodbye to them.

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