Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Hooked (River's Sigh B&B #2) by Ev Bishop

From Goodreads:

Knocked around by life—and then knocked up by a man she won’t speak of—Sam Kendall gives her baby for adoption.

Envisioning herself a lone cowboy, she avoids any relationships that might risk her heart or cause pain. There’s wonderful fun to be had if you don’t fall prey to the ludicrous notion of true love!

Lately, however, Sam is niggled by doubts. She’s not as content as she was. Plus her daughter Aisha has tracked her down—seventeen-years-old and pregnant. Despite misgivings, Sam checks into River’s Sigh Bed-and-Breakfast to meet her.

Then widower Charles Bailey, Aisha’s adoptive father, shows up, and Sam can’t control her outrage. What was her sacrifice for? She could’ve raised the kid to follow her stupid footsteps all on her own. And topping it off? Charlie’s a neurotic, stodgy jerk—even if he is ridiculously hot.

The longer Sam stays at River’s Sigh, exploring the wild outdoors—and her own inner desires—the more her terror grows. Maybe Charlie isn’t so terrible after all. Maybe his approach to life is actually refreshing. Maybe all this family stuff is something she could get hooked on.

Yet they’re opposites in every way, and worse: he’s her biological child’s adoptive dad. A romance between them would be too weird, wouldn’t it? Every part of Sam screams play it safe, run.

But what if, in spurning Charlie and Aisha, she’s turning her back on everything she never knew she wanted?

My Take:

It was great to be back at the River’s Sigh B&B for this story. Jo’s sister Sam gets the spotlight this go around. We finally get to see her well polished facade stripped away, and the pain and hurt beneath is so raw. I totally understood why she had run away and lived the life she had until that point. She’d been hurt, but did the best she could to make something good out of it. That made the situation all that more difficult. Had her sacrifice been for nothing?

Charles clings to his dead wife’s memory like a shield. He needs the protection against his attraction for Sam because even his worry she will steal his daughter isn’t enough for him to keep his distance. 

Sam has such inner strength even when you think she’s broken beyond repair. I grew to love and respect her, cheering when she finally decides to fight for what she really wants. A family.

I liked this one even more than the first book, so 4.5 with a PG rating. (I actually think both of Bishop's books were rated clean, but am marking PG just in case I forgot something)

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

Movie Ratings in relation to my review:
Clean--Hallmark movies, some kissing, no nudity, no sex on or off "screen"
PG--Some innuendo but nothing kids don't hear every day, sex is all closed door
PG-13--some language (swear words not related to sex), more talk about sex, heavy petting, removal of clothing on screen, but sex is closed door.

R--swearing (can be related to sex), feels like the whole story is about the sex and not the relationship or some other plot

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