Secrets have a way of revealing themselves….
Right after a fire breaks out in her diner, a phone call changes Cherry Hill’s life. The tragic death of her cousin leaves Cherry sole guardian of her eight-year-old nephew. But the upper crust side of the Hill family deems her unfit and is determined to take Sam away from her. The only one on her side is the sexy sheriff, Taylor Johnson, the man who broke her heart nine years ago when he left town.
Taylor Johnson has sworn to protect the citizens of Broken Falls, but should that extend to a fake engagement to the woman who captured his heart so long ago? It doesn’t take long for his pretend feelings to turn real for both Cherry and her adorable nephew, Sam.
But Cherry’s been hiding a secret from Taylor that could rip this new family apart…
Source: ARC from Entangled: Select Contemporary via NetGalley
Cherry Hill is not having a good day. In fact, some might say it’s the worst day in her life. Because if her diner catching fire wasn’t bad enough, ruining her business and leaving her homeless, perhaps the fact that her car just died might do it. Nope, because on top of that her best friend/cousin and her husband have just been killed in a car crash, leaving Cherry sole guardian of their eight-year-old boy. All of which is pretty traumatic. Add in her awful, bullying family who are determined not to let her take Sam, and the fact that her first love (and major heartbreak) has just announced that they’re getting married is, well, the cherry on the cake.
Despite that pretty heavy beginning, this is actually a very sweet, feel-good read that I really enjoyed. Cherry hasn’t had things easy, but she’s hard working and nice and deserves good things. Including a second chance with Taylor, even if it was hard to tell exactly how things fell apart between them. And she has a whopper of a secret she isn’t sure how to share.
Taylor is a nice guy, who sees Cherry’s desperate need for someone to help her and steps straight in. He also falls instantly for Sam and is willing to do almost anything to make that boy feel safe. And yet, because he’s so nice, it made the idea of him running off without a word and staying away for so long seem really out of character. Especially as his dad is also really great. Yes, Taylor’s mother died and he didn’t handle it well, but still, with the type of guy he seems, I’d have expected better from him than running away. It’s no wonder it hurt Cherry so badly. I was also a little disappointed in his inability to see things from Cherry’s side when he finally discovers the big secret. It makes his whole reaction seem sadly petulant.
Then there’s Sam. Adorable, sweet, little Sam, who has lost so much and yet seems to accept the seismic changes in his life with amazing calm. While it was nice that he wasn’t utterly traumatised by his experience, everything with him does seem perhaps a little too easy. Then again, with Cherry spending so much time torn up by her secrets, there wasn’t really time to deal with Sam-dramas as well.
Overall this is a lovely read. It’s sweet and easy, and though it does have some emotional moments, it never gets too dark or deep. Yes, okay, some things are a little too easy and Taylor seems to have way too much time on his hands so he can be helpful all the time, but I didn’t really care. I just settled in and enjoyed the ride. If you’re looking for a small town read that’s full of comfort and happy, squishy feelings, then you should give this a try. Especially if second chances between two (mostly) good people are your thing.
Hidden Away is out November 16th!
Visit Jennie Marts for more details.