Title: Twisted Up
Author: Erin Nicholas
Series: Taking Chances #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: 23rd Aug
Avery Sparks is a master at controlling chaos—and she gets plenty of opportunities as fire chief and head of emergency management in her hometown of Chance, Nebraska. The only thing she can’t seem to control are her feelings when she’s around Jake Mitchell, the man who was her first everything the night of their high school graduation. But Jake was so quick to leave Chance—and Avery—behind that she swore she’d move on.
While Avery’s job is to minimize drama, Jake embraces the chaos of an emergency. After enlisting in the Army National Guard, Jake became a nationally recognized leader in disaster recovery. Yet a life on the road has left him restless. So when a class-four tornado wreaks havoc on Chance, he’s eager to return home—and to the woman never far from his mind.
Now, Avery and Jake must team up to help their hometown weather a siege of violent storms. But it’s clear to them both that nature isn’t the only force they’ll have to reckon with. Will Avery and Jake’s whirlwind love affair be an all-new disaster—or can they recover from their stormy past to build a future together?
Source: ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley
There were a few times at the start of this book when I wondered if I’d somehow wandered into the middle of a series again. Avery and Jake have so much history, some of it in the distant past, but also more recently that gets referred to a lot, that left me feeling there had to be another book that I’d missed. There isn’t, this book just takes it a bit of time to fill in all the gaps and actually introduce everyone.
Which is a bit of a shame, because while all that confusion was going on, I started to dislike Jake quite a bit. The way he knows Avery doesn’t really want him, regardless of what her body says, and finds it fun to push her anyway kind of grated on me. He’s a jerk at first, to be honest, and I didn’t care how much everyone else said they loved him, the way he treats Avery isn’t all that brilliant. I’m not sure how much respect he actually has for her skills, since she only works in Chance, while everyone knows he’s this big hotshot of national importance, so of course his expertise are more valuable than hers – despite the fact this isn’t her first time cleaning up the town.
I also really hated that in the past he kept coming back, stirring her up and then leaving. That’s one of the biggest problems Avery has with him, since he’s done it to her so many times in the past. I completely agreed with her on that, yet he never gives a decent apology, or reason for why he did it so many times. Is it any wonder she couldn’t trust him?
On the flip side, I really liked Avery. She’s strong and competent and excellent at her job. She has a few issues of her own – with very good reason – and I really felt for her, not just because of the way Jake treats her at times, but over her history – especially with his parents. She’s also smart enough to know when she’s wrong, and work out solutions, even when her stubbornness threatens to get in the way. She’s great, and possibly deserved someone who valued all her strengths more than hero-complex Jake always did.
On top of all this are the tornadoes. The natural disasters definitely add a nice touch of drama to everything, as well as providing a reason for the whole town to pull together in a fun and engaging small town way. It also provided plenty of hints and clues about what may or may not be happening between Jake’s cousins and Avery’s friends somewhere behind the scene.
Overall this is a good, enjoyable read that leaves plenty of scope for more from these characters and this setting. Jake did grow on me, but I never quite liked him as much as I did Avery. Still, I’m intrigued enough about the rest of the potential romances to want to return for more soon.
Twisted Up is out August 23rd!
Visit Erin Nicholas for more details.