Molly Mayberry left Shadow Creek nine years ago, inexplicably breaking up with the love of her life, Ben Matthews, by telling him an awful lie. Now she’s returned as the hospital’s new pediatrician, both reluctant and anxious to face him, knowing he probably still resents her betrayal. Ben is a captain in the Shadow Creek Fire Department, looking to be promoted to chief soon by the man currently in that role who’s ready to retire. However, he’s looking for someone more settled and less inclined to take high risks. When Ben’s brother unexpectedly announces that Molly and he (Ben) have not only reconciled but are engaged, both decide to continue the ruse until Ben gets the promotion and his mother’s health improves.
This is a sweet story that served up some extremely serious themes. Molly’s secret is shocking and there were far more devastating impacts than at first perceived. I was drawn into a story with many more layers than I’d anticipated, which made this a page turner. The title suggests a certain frivolity that’s just not here (thankfully). I’d trusted the author to deliver as she’s done with the other books in this series and she came through. Ben and Molly are complex characters beneath the surface and their issues don’t have easy resolutions. Their families play pivotal roles, which added many more layers. I liked that it evoked a wide range of emotions to keep me engaged.
I very much enjoyed the story, though there were a couple of dangling plot issues involving secondary characters that weren’t more fully explored. It ends with a cliffhanger involving one of them so I’m hoping I don’t have a long wait for the next book.
- Release Date: September 10, 2018
- Series: Shadow Creek, Montana #5
- Page Numbers: 174
(I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review)