FTC DISCLAIMER: I RECEIVED AN E-ARC COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM THE PUBLISHER IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST REVIEW!
Having read the author's I-Team and Blakewell/Kenleigh series, I was excited to hear about this new series. That being said, this first installment wasn't quite where I wanted it to be, even for a first book in a new-to-the-author genre.
It is clear that the author's writing interests lie in writing romantic suspense, because while this was supposed to be a contemporary romance, it had mild romantic suspense elements in it as well. It also featured an appearance by one of the characters from the I-Team world. Both of these felt forced to me, and almost tacked into the plot, as if the author felt she had to do this to appease her fans.
Austin and Lexi both were interesting characters, but their history kept being shoved at us throughout the entire book. Family members who didn't approve of their getting back together, jokes and jabs about how they each played a part in their separation at the end of high school, and mentions of Lexi's return to Chicago got rather stale by the end of the book. It was also this past history that led to them jumping into bed rather quickly for this reader's tastes, as if they were trying to just turn back the clock and erase 12 years of separation. Their romance went rather fast, and there really wasn't much to their "fall back into love".
What really shown through all this was the town. The descriptions were very well detailed, as if they were very well researched or known. The townsfolk were what I enjoyed the most about the book, each one offering just that slight twist to make them stand out within the small-town romance genre.
While this wasn't quite where I wanted it for a contemporary romance, it was still a very well written and enjoyable read. I would personally recommend this book as a first read to someone new to the Author's work, as it is a good showcase of her skill and attention to detail, before pointing them on to the author's I-Team series.