Title: Deal Me In
Author: Cheri Allan
Series: Betting on Love #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
If only they’d been dealt an easier hand…
Grace McIntyre never planned to lose her virginity in a seedy motel to the hottie with the eagle tattoo, but she knew Jeff Dayton was The One–until a heart-wrenching goodbye proved he wasn’t. But staying behind in small town Sugar Falls, NH, doesn’t mean Grace hasn’t moved on. She’s a business owner and member of the Civic Pride committee–a responsible adult no longer given to impulsively showing all her cards.
Jeff Dayton left Sugar Falls determined to make something of his life. But after three tours of duty, this Army veteran no longer dreams of faraway places. He’s a small town cop now, keeping the lid on his past and his eccentric family so his sister can win a seat in the state senate. Jeff’s tattoos are covered, his rock-n-roll father is under wraps, and everything is aces… Except his feelings for the free-spirited Grace are anything but contained.
Grace and Jeff have managed to dance around their rocky past since Jeff returned to town. But when they’re thrown together to plan the Harvest Festival, their attraction sparks to life, igniting both old passions and burning regrets. It’s time to let go of the past and search for the strength to begin anew. Because half the fun of the game of love is winning… and the other half is deciding to play.
Source: Review copy from the author via email
This is a second chance romance tale that involves plenty of past hurts, a handful of present embarrassments and lots of friends and family to keep things moving along. I really enjoyed it. The overall feel is warm and heartfelt, while the story itself is enjoyable. This is about more than just the romance, though, and things between Grace and Jeff are quite slow going at times. But if you’re looking for a small town romance that includes an interesting array of characters, then give this a go.
I liked Grace, with her new age shop and her healing circle of friends. It doesn’t filter into every aspect of her life, but I liked the way her differences enhanced her personality – especially when she used it to hide from certain inner truths. She’s a complicated woman who suffered losses at a young age and is rarely truly honest with herself. She is also terribly accident prone and, as funny as some of her mishaps were, I did feel for her when it meant Jeff kept coming to her rescue.
As for Jeff, he’s a less interesting personality, but he’s also a good guy trying to do the right thing for his sister and who has never got over Grace. The romance between them is very wary, with neither wanting to risk their hearts again, yet unable to help themselves. I couldn’t help wanting them to sort out their problems, but appreciated the lack of instant fixes. The tale somehow manages to be emotionally compelling without ever getting too heavy and I found myself reading much later into the night than intended in order to finish it.
So, if you’re looking for an enjoyable romance that balances humour with the hurt, then give this a go. Especially if you like small town tales, second chances and scenes to make you smile. Even though this is the fourth book in this series, this is my first read and I didn’t feel lost at all, so you can jump right in here without any worries. Overall I enjoyed it and I’ll definitely be looking out for more books from this author.
Deal Me In is Out Now!
Visit Cheri Allan for more details.