I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
The First Time at Firelight Falls
Single mom Eden Harwood has a lively daughter, a blooming business—and a juicy secret she’s hung on to for ten years. She doesn’t mind a bit that there’s no room for romance in her whirlwind life . . . until six-foot-infinity, smoldery-eyed, bass-voiced Gabe Caldera reminds her of what she might be missing.
The principal of Hellcat Elementary is usually knee-deep in fawning PTA moms, but Gabe only has eyes for the fiery, funny, skittish redhead who barely knows he’s alive. But this ex-Navy SEAL never fails to get what he wants. And what he wants is to fan those sparks between him and Eden into the kind of bonfire you can see two counties away.
The passion is explosive . . . and the tenderness has them thinking about forever. But when Eden’s past waltzes into town for a reckoning, her secret blows them apart. Still, Gabe will never back down from a fight . . . especially if the ultimate prize is Eden’s heart.
Julie Anne Long is technically not a new author for me. I’ve enjoyed her Pennyroyal Green Historical Romance series before. But her Contemporary Romance was an unexplored area. I can easily say that I love her Contemporary style a lot better!
Top 5 reasons why I loved First Time at Firelight Falls, in no particular order.
1. Book Boyfriend Alert!!
Are you in a reading stump? Can’t find the next book boyfriend to crush on? Look no further because I’ve got two words for you: GABE CALDERA.
Just like his last name suggests he is HOT like lava. And sweet to boot too. I haven’t come across a hero like this one in a while. A humbled fellow with a sweet disposition and the cutest conversationalist ever. *swoon*. (I haven’t swooned over a character in a LONG time and yes, I haven’t used all caps in my reviews in a while either).
2. The hard to get factor
I’m not just talking about the relationship between Gabe and Eden. I loved the fact that their relationship did not zoom straight into bed. It was a long drawn out process of back and forth and conversations that would stop abruptly. The “to be continued” flirtation was so adorable. It totally made me impatient for the end result, for sure. So yes, the author played hard to get with the reader as well.
3. Eden’s fight or flight personality, but mostly flight.
Okay, so normally, I’m not into heroines who are squirrely. Eden might have come off like that, but I totally get her reasons. She has a teenaged child. Priorities and all. The fact that she didn’t jump into bed with the totally hawt guy crushing on her, made me respect her as a character more. Hint: That aspect made Gabe totally respect her too.
4. Secrets: Relationship Destroyer?
Eden’s secret plays a special role and as the reader the clues start adding up and we figure it out. However, true to romance story form, that secret might just destroy trust. This secret however, was a legitimate one that even I couldn’t get angry at. Usually, secrets between characters can get a bit overwhelming. It really was just one, and I could totally handle it. So yes, to sum this up: juicy drama.
Leesy was one of the cutest kids in fictional form. (Technically, I did get tired of the “colty legs” adjective every now and then to describer her TBH). But, her personality was not teenage angsty *whew* yet. So glad that she wasn’t a teen character. It just added a certain charm factor to the whole story. Lightened it up even more.
This can be read as a standalone.
There you have it! My top 5 reasons. Would this be a book you would read?
(Clicking on image takes you to Amazon series page.)