Re-released in a second edition with new content.
The town of Bliss, Colorado, offered Hope McLean a second chance at life, a gift she cherishes every day. Her past was dominated by dark secrets and regret, most of which centered on a man named Christian Grady. All of that was behind her now, years of horror distilled down into the occasional nightmare or a random feeling of being watched. Surrounded by new friends, she tried hard to leave the past where it belonged—in the rearview mirror.
Raised together, James Glen and Noah Bennett were the best of friends. They dreamed of growing up in Bliss, finding love, and settling down to share their lives on the Circle G ranch. James would manage the day-to-day operations of the ranch while Noah served the town as the resident veterinarian. Everything was perfectly planned out, until a woman came between them and their future shattered. Noah left Bliss for New York City and James was left to struggle to keep the Circle G alive on his own.
Noah returns to Bliss on a mission to rebuild his life. When he sees Hope, he knows his return home was meant to be. Hope’s kindness shines like a beacon calling him to her. Unfortunately, he isn’t the only man interested in Hope. James is also interested in the beautiful girl with a mysterious past. He can’t be forced to choose between the woman of his dreams and his best friend again.
As romance begins to bloom, a dark specter from Hope’s past returns to claim her. To save Hope, and themselves, James and Noah will have to rebuild the relationship they lost and fight for their future with Hope together.
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What I’ve learned throughout my times in Bliss, Colorado, and its inhabitants is that it’s a place where people can go to start over…to get a new lease on life…to leave the past behind and focus on a present and a future much different than the hell they’ve been through. And each person who enters this safe haven finds sanctuary there, but it also never fails that the darkness follows them as well, placing the townspeople in rather precarious positions but also illustrating just how bonded this small community is when they step up for those who have become some of their own.
I always feel like readers get a better understanding of the characters when they have a history together, and while James Glen and Noah Bennett’s past ended with harsh words and a destroyed friendship/brotherhood, the good memories they shared and all that they endured together always remains amidst the pain.
The lesson that a woman should not come between two friends/two brothers was one that James and Noah didn’t seem to learn the first time around, but now that Noah has returned to Bliss and they, once again, seem to be vying over the same woman, if these two don’t find a way to bridge the divide between them and stop treating Hope like something to possess instead of someone to cherish then these two men might lose the best thing to ever happen to them and to their shattered relationship.
It always seems like the added suspense involved in this series is something that forces the characters’ hands, in a way, to acknowledge their true feelings and to push through the bullshit in order to not only protect the ones they love but also to truly address their issues, making strides to fix their broken parts and fuse them back together knowing that while the memories are still there, the wounds have finally healed.
Noah, James, and Hope are three characters who have their own personal demons to address, but none of them will be able to work through them unless they reveal their secrets and their true feelings, and this is what they struggle with, along with the danger that surrounds Hope when her past pays a visit, throughout the course of the story, and while I would have liked a bit more time spent with these three when they had everything figured out because there was so much to process and heal from, it makes sense that the focus would be on going through the steps to restore Noah and James’ brotherhood and figure out a way to share Hope, knowing that her feelings for both of them are strong enough to sustain them all.
4 Poison Apples
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.