Some stories are written with so much heart, they leave you in the kind of happy daze that makes you cling onto every last remnant of it for as long as you can, and every one of Devney Perry’s novels to date has made me feel that way. But this book—this delightful, feel-good, at times incredibly moving tale of second chances—owned my heart cover to cover. There’s something about small town romances that never fails to strike a chord with me, their romantic backdrop creating the picture-perfect setting for timeless love stories infused with hope and promise, and the Jamison Valley series is the very epitome of epic love wrapped in small-town charm. This is one of my most beloved books of the year—a story I simply could not get enough of—and this author is quickly becoming a top favourite of mine.
I had spent far too long learning to guard my heart. I was a master at pretending I was fine on my own. I was famous for striking back with attitude whenever I felt pain. And I had become an expert at leaving others before they could leave me.
After a sixteen-year absence, Felicity Cleary has finally returned to her small hometown of Prescott, Montana in the hope of making amends with her past. As someone who’s always felt everything deeply, but learned very early on in life to guard her heart by pushing people away before they could hurt her, she knows that the only way to show people she has changed is by shedding her armour completely and revealing her true self to the world around her. But apart from rebuilding relationships with family and friends, her greatest reason for coming back home is a man she has loved for most of her life, but who has every reason to hate her for the rest of his.
I had hoped that by moving home I could repair some of the relationships I had broken when I’d left sixteen years ago. That I could get to know my niece and nephew better and strengthen my relationships with my family. That maybe, just maybe, Silas and I could put the past behind us and start over.
Silas Grant has only ever loved one woman, a woman who walked out on him after a single night of unbridled passion and a lifetime of longing, and even though he knows he should stay away from her, from the moment he sees her again, he can’t get her off his mind. But while the whole town remains somewhat reluctant to welcome a former ‘mean girl’ back into its fold, Felicity’s fiery personality is one of the things Silas has always loved the most about her—her passion sparking his own—and he is determined not to let her smother her own spirit while he does all he can to win her heart once and for all.
I’d be her friend and then press for more. Because now that she was back in Montana, I wasn’t letting her go. I’d play it slow and steady. Put in the time. But one day she’d be mine. Just like she was always meant to be.
They agree to become friends again, to set aside their attraction and ignore the fireworks that fly between them every time they lay eyes on each other, but secretly they both remain hopeful that their friendship would one day grow into something more. Ghosts from the past, however, keep holding them both captive, filling their minds with decades-old guilt and insecurities, and stopping them from moving forward. Only stripping themselves bare before one another and facing their fears together could give their relationship the clean slate they so desperately need.
When would it stop hurting? I hated that I’d broken Silas’s heart. Just thinking about it made me sick, but I couldn’t change the past. When was it going to stop being thrown in my face? I had been trying so hard. When would it be enough?
Felicity is a heroine whose personal journey of redemption and forgiveness endears her to us from the start. I felt her pain, I felt her desperation, but I also felt her endless courage and strength, making for an irresistible cocktail of emotions that ties us to her on a visceral level, and that connection only intensifies as we get to know her better. And in Silas we find a selfless, steadfast hero who is willing to patiently wait for the woman he’s loved unreservedly all his life to love him back. This is one of those epic love stories that makes you smile every time you think about it, your heart growing a little warmer and happier from the mere memory of these characters…until you find yourself re-reading their story again and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.
He always knew what I needed, even when I didn’t.