Every time I start reading a new Devney Perry book, I am instantly reminded of how much I love her writing style, and how polished her stories always are. We are back in Lark Cove, Montana with a heartfelt tale of loss, healing, true love, and second chances at finding happiness, and quite possibly one of Perry’s most emotional—and sometimes painful—romances to date.
We meet Kaine Reynolds in the aftermath of one of the most devastating moments in his life, and after watching him endure the kind of pain that can destroy a man, the story jumps in time and picks up three years later. We find Kaine living on a mountain, in complete seclusion from the world around him and everyone he’s ever known, his days filled with his work, but his heart and mind still constantly ravaged by memories of an unspeakable loss. His quiet life is suddenly upended, however, when a beautiful woman moves next door and knocks on his door. And then proceeds to shatter his quiet world by immediately beginning renovations on her new home.
“I want the mountain house. It’s just what I need.” Some peace. The quiet forest. A project to throw myself into headfirst.
After a long, agonising divorce, Piper Campbell is determined to turn over a new leaf in her life, and moving to Montana is the fresh start she’s been longing for ever since she began feeling out of place in New York City. Determined to build a whole new life in the quaint little town of Lark Cove, Piper chooses a rundown old mountain house as her new home, drawn to the peace and quiet of the forest all around it, but she soon discovers that her new, blissful mountainside property has one small flaw—a rude, grumpy neighbour who is intent on making her feel unwelcome.
Spending time with him, kissing him and holding on to one another, was something I’d come to depend upon. I reveled in his company, his smell in my bed and his hands on my body. Kaine chased away the homesickness. When he held me in his arms, I wasn’t alone. When he was in the room, I wasn’t the loneliest person there. He was.
What starts off as belligerent sexual tension between two reluctant neighbours quickly switches to no-strings-attached sex every chance they get. And in the midst of it all, a broken-hearted young divorcée begins to smother the flames raging inside a rugged mountain man who’s never had a chance to process his own grief. They begin to heal one another, to loosen the chains they’ve both wrapped tightly around their own hearts, and while they insist on keeping things friendly and casual, neither of them can ignore the growing emotional bond between them.
She didn’t ask about my past, and I didn’t ask about hers. And even though we didn’t know much about one another, the undercurrent between us was familiar… Or maybe we were both just needy. Piper ached for my touch as much as I craved hers. It had been three years since I’d touched another person. Three years of no handshakes. No hugs. No nothing.
But just as their relationship begins to tenderly change, a plot twist catches them (and us) by surprise, reawakening old ghosts and forcing them to face their problems once and for all, rather than sweeping them under the rug time and time again. Kaine and Piper’s relationship is messy and complicated and as fragile as a butterfly’s wings at times, but there isn’t an instant that we don’t feel the sheer power of their connection.
There are so many unexpected, heart-stopping moments in this story, and the author takes her time revealing every single one of them, letting it all unfold at a perfect pace. There are moments that are hard to read, and even harder to overcome, but Devney Perry’s keen-eyed ability to deliver a compelling, multi-faceted human tale through her characters is the very reason her books continue to feed my soul. The emotional rollercoaster that she is able to conjure on the page is so vivid, you’ll think she’s writing about you. And through it all, Perry’s writing is simply flawless. I hate picking favourites in a series, but there is something about Kaine and Piper that makes me want to say their story may well be it.
“I can’t feel anything.” Kaine’s eyes held mine. “But I can feel you.”
“I feel you too.”