Title: Spring Secrets
Author: Allie Boniface
Series: Pine Point #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: May 17th
Be careful where you dig for secrets…
Sienna Cruz left Pine Point at age fifteen after her mother’s untimely death. Eleven years later, a job teaching special needs kids has brought her back. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to believe.
Raised in a poverty-stricken, single-parent household, Sienna is earning her PhD with a dissertation proving even too-perfect-to-be-real Pine Point is a hotbed of small-town secrets and scandal.
Leaving Pine Point turned out to be the biggest mistake of Mike Springer’s life. After eight years on the West Coast, coming home to open a local gym is the first step toward a fresh start, this time with the support of friends and family.
Sparks fly the moment Sienna walks into Mike’s gym, and it isn’t long before they’re workout partners with benefits. Then her research not only hits too close to Mike’s fiercely guarded past, it exposes a sordid truth about skeletons Sienna didn’t know she had in her own closet.
Warning: Contains a class of cute kiddoes that will melt your heart and a sexy tattooed gym owner who can pump more than just iron…
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
This was an easy, enjoyable read about second chances and starting over. It might have been nice to have seen Sienna and Mike’s first actual meeting, rather than have them meeting again having gone on a few dates a month or so earlier, but there’s a nice dose of chemistry between them that more than makes up for it. They’re very cute together, despite being quite different, and I liked the way their relationship is grounded in a good friendship.
Sienna has something of a chip on her shoulder. Not in an obvious way, but her childhood has definitely shaped the way she views the world, and small towns in particular. She has no intention of sticking around in Pine Point, nor of making friends while she’s there, she just wants to pick apart people’s secrets and use it for her dissertation. Which isn’t the nicest of goals, but I liked how her views slowly start to change as the town and its people sneak through her guard and leave her with more questions than she ever expected.
Mike is a good guy – looks after his mother, runs two successful businesses, can be relied on in times of trouble, is great with kids, and also has massive trust issues around women, thanks to the behaviour of his ex-wife. He has several secrets that he plans to keep hidden, which is one of the reasons why he’s so hot and cold with Sienna. Considering neither he nor she want anything long term, their both strangely reluctant to enter into a temporary fling, and Mike’s flip-flopping behaviour could have been a bit annoying. Except that’s he’s really kind of sweet and I mostly forgave him.
Then there are those kids. I love Sienna’s class, with their distinct personalities. I think they, even more than Mike, give Sienna the best reason to want to stay. Sienna has an awful lot to learn throughout, and I have to admit I would have liked to have known a bit more about her life with her father and how she ended up doing two degrees. I would also have liked to have known more about how Mike started up his two businesses, and made such a success of himself. I liked them both, but outside of their lives in Pine Point, the details are hazy at best.
At its heart, though, this book is about community, friendship and the ties that bind people together, and whether people’s secrets are all bad or whether sometimes they come from a good place. (Or, you know, sometimes they’re kept because it is no one else’s business.) It’s a tale about people and the many differences that make us all unique, often in unexpected ways. The characters are interesting, the plot is steady and the romance enjoyable. In all I liked my second trip to Pine Point, and would happily read more about the place.
Spring Secrets is out May 17th!
Visit Allie Boniface for more details.