Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Review: "Sweet Reunion" by Melanie Shawn


For Amanda Jacobs, dealing with the pain of losing her beloved Dad is the toughest thing she's ever gone through, and it comes with a lot of complications, as well - like taking over the family business, Mountain Ridge Outdoor Adventures. It makes her miss the simplicity of being a teenager, when she was surrounded by her amazing friends, The Fabulous Four, and she was madly in love with her Dad's right hand man, Justin Barnes. His sexy smiles and deep brown eyes had made her heart race in a way she's never felt before or since. When the Fabulous Four unexpectedly show up on her doorstep to support her through this complicated time, things seem to be looking up for Amanda. But that's not the only surprise visit in store for her...

Justin Barnes left Hope Falls ten years ago, in the dead of night, and didn't think he'd ever set foot there again. That was just fine with him, except for one little complication: Amanda Jacobs. He had fallen in love with her unruly blonde curls and sparkling sapphire eyes, but she had been a teenager then, five years younger than he - too young for him to act on his attraction. Still, he'd missed her every single day of those ten years. When Justin receives a phone call that his former mentor has passed away, he knows he has to return to Hope Falls. Justin just has one question - will the girl that once adored him have grown into a woman that can't stand him? Or will she still be the only thing in the world that feels like home?

Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Review:

Sweet Reunion is another wonderful first love, second chance / forbidden love story. I was captivated from the very first chapter until the end of this delightful love story. From early in the book, we see how both Justin and Amanda are holding on to long-held feelings for each other and the scene where Justin returns, without Amanda's knowledge, is priceless. As the story progresses and Amanda and Justin navigate their present  together, I found myself hurting right along with them as they realize exactly how they have found themselves where they are in life - apart for ten years. Some simple misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and a forbidden love meant that Amanda and Justin lost so many years together. Perhaps, however, it took that time and those circumstances for them to be ready for their relationship; perhaps they both needed to travel the roads that they did to find themselves at the end together. Amanda and Justin are both strong, independent individuals but neither have gotten over their feelings for each. I really enjoyed how the author took us through their reunion and tough path navigating themselves back to each other while they both deal with the grief over the loss of Amanda's father, and unexpected complications in Justin's family. Also, by giving such a spotlight on the "Fabulous Four" - Amanda's friends from high school - the author also creates, for the reader, a compelling interest in subsequent books that we know will feature these strong, quirky, delightful characters. This is a great first book in the Hope Falls series.


About the Authors:
Melanie Shawn is the writing team of sister duo Melanie and Shawna. Originally from Northern California, they both migrated south and now call So Cal their home.

Growing up, Melanie constantly had her head in a book and was always working on short stories, manuscripts, plays and poetry. After graduating magna cum laude from Pepperdine University, she went on to teach grades 2nd through 8th for five years. She now spends her days writing and taking care of her furry baby, a Lhasa Apso named Hercules. In her free time, her favorite activity is to curl up on the couch with that stubborn, funny mutt and binge-watch cable TV shows on DVD (preferably of at least eight seasons in length – a girl’s gotta have her standards!).

Shawna always loved romance in any form – movie, song or literary. If it was a love story with a happy ending, Shawna was all about it! She proudly acknowledges that she is a romanceaholic. Her days are jam-packed with writing, being a wife, mom aka referee of two teens, and indulging in her second passion (dance!) as a Zumba instructor. In the little free time she has, she joins Melanie in marathon-watching DVDs of their favorite TV programs.

They have joined forces to create a world where True Love and Happily Ever After always has a Sexy Twist!

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