Series: Sweetheart Nevada (Book 1)
"A Time To Rebuild"
It's gone--everything Annie
Hennessey, and two generations of Hennesseys before her, had worked so
hard to build. The devastating forest fire didn't just claim her
family's Sweetheart Inn--it also burned half a town whose livelihood is
wedding tourism. Now the struggle to rebuild is just beginning, and Sam
Wyler's sudden reappearance isn't going to make things any easier on
Nine years ago, Annie and Sam were deeply in love. When he
left to seek his fortune, Annie couldn't forgive him. Now Sam, widowed
with a young daughter, is back and eager to help the town recover. But
Annie needs more than bricks and builders to heal her proud and wounded
heart. Could the love they once shared hold the key?
Good book. After the fire that destroyed half the town, Annie is struggling to rebuild her life and that of her family. She is focused on trying to get the Inn rebuilt when she discovers that Sam is back in town. They had been in love nine years ago but split up when he left Sweetheart for a new job. She was devastated and wants nothing to do with him now.
While I really enjoyed the story I had some problems with Annie. Sam had asked her to go with him all those years ago but she refused to leave her hometown even for a short time. She was so sure that Sam would never be back that she immediately moved on to another guy that she settled for. Now that he's back she wants nothing to do with him and the memories he stirs up. She doesn't understand why he came back and why he is so intent on helping the town recover. Even when she finds out his reasons she refuses his assistance. She gets angry at him when he steps in to help her mom and grandmother. Because of their daughters and other events they end up spending some time together and it becomes obvious that their feelings are still there, but Annie still lets her pride interfere with her future. I really wanted to shake her a few times and make her see what she was doing to herself and Sam. She was too unwilling to bend or compromise. I was glad when she finally got it together but she made it way too hard on herself and Sam.
I liked Sam. Even though he had made his mistakes in their relationship, he was willing to try again. I liked the way that he came back to Sweetheart to help even though he did it out of misplaced guilt. I really enjoyed seeing him with his daughter and how he was determined to reconnect with her. I loved what he was doing with the ranch and how he was using his windfall to help the people of Sweetheart get back on their feet. He really wanted to get back together with Annie but was frustrated by her stubbornness. I liked the way he was so good with her grandmother and how he helped her without being nasty to Annie about it. There were some great scenes with him and the various animals. The animals were one of the ways he used to spend more time with Annie. I felt so bad for him as he tried so hard with Annie and she kept pulling away from him. I didn't blame him at all for nearly giving up.
I liked the town of Sweetheart and the way the story shows the devastation following a fire like that. It looks like there are a lot of good people there. I'm looking forward to more stories about the way they recover from and move on after the fire.
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