*I received a free copy of Once and Again from Loveswept via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Growing up in Eastbridge, Connecticut, Carolyn Rivington was a young debutante who did whatever her parents asked. So when her father demanded that she break things off with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks or else, she did. Now Carolyn’s family is deep in debt. She’s no longer a member of the Briarwood Golf and Yacht Club, she’s an employee. And the tanned, tattooed, dangerously handsome stranger who saunters into her lobby isn’t just her new boss . . . he’s also her first love.
The last time he saw Carolyn, Jake Gaffney was in the back of a police cruiser, handcuffed and humiliated. But seeing her again stirs other memories: a blanket on the beach, the moon above their heads, and the most expensive bottle of wine he could afford. Now the tables have turned. As a real-estate magnate and Briarwood’s new owner, Jake doesn’t have to answer to anyone. But now that he’s back home, he’s finding it hard to live down his old reputation.
Before they can move forward, Jake and Carolyn must face their pasts. But it’ll take more than sizzling chemistry for them to heal old wounds and return to the love they once shared.
Second-chance romances are the absolute best! And Once and Again was both nostalgic, sweet, hot and well done!
Once and Again is filled with nostalgia, but there is also an underlying tension that isn’t all positive, especially in the beginning. Carolyn had a pretty easy childhood, her parents were well off, and if she visited the golf club, it was as a guest. One summer, she fell for one of the caddie’s and they had a short, but hot relationship – until her father caught them and sent the young man away in handcuffs. Years later, Carolyn is down on her luck, her father has lost all their money, and she’s working as an event organizor at the golf club to make ends meet. What she didn’t know is that that caddie from a long ago summer is the new owner, and neither of them have forgotten the stolen moments they spent together.
There was quite a bit of emotions in Once and Again, especially for Carolyn, who was going through a hard time, having to reconcile her father with what the newspaper had written about him once money disappeared from the company. When her lawyer turned out to be a sleaze, Jake came to her rescue, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to be in her orbit ever again. They both had regrets, and they weren’t sure if they could trust each other again, even if they were on the same team for the time being.
I enjoyed the setting of Briarwood, the characters were well fleshed out, and I am already intrigued about Jake’s friends who helped with some capital when needed. A contemporary romance with adult characters who know who they are, but not necessarily what they want in life, or exactly the direction they are going, Once and Again was a compelling story that kept my interest. Definitely looking forward to the next book in this series.
Carolyn had segued from her introduction of the event to the logistics, and he forced himself to concentrate. Not on the long line of her neck and throat. Not on that little skirt she wore, fitted in all the right places. And definitely not on the mouth he used to spend hours devouring. Thinking about her any way but professionally was just trouble.
“Oh, so my house is a ‘site’ now?” she teased, lightening the mood.
“Was for me, this morning.”
“I should be honored – the well-known real estate developer Jake Gaffney helping out on-site, at my house, raking leaves and rebuilding my dock.”
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: