Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Montlake Romance Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Author, Netgalley
Miranda Cruz isn’t just the best darned waitress in town anymore; she’s Red River’s newest innkeeper. But first, she has to find the contractor who’s disappeared with her life savings so she can start renovations. Not so easy for a woman who never depends on anyone, especially a man. And when a gorgeous old flame shows up, the fire between them is reignited and threatens to send her dreams up in smoke.
Acclaimed environmental architect Talmadge Oaks returns home to Red River on family business. He plans to get in and get out quickly because a professional catastrophe is waiting back in Washington. When an unforeseen snag keeps him in Red River longer than expected, he finds himself entangled in the renovations of his late grandmother’s Victorian inn. Handy with a hammer, he offers to help the beautiful new owner, but his motives aren’t completely selfless. Will his secret demolish everything they are building? Or can their undeniable passion keep them together?
It’s In His Smile (A Red River Valley Novel)
By Shelly Alexander
His smile was good, but taking his shirt off was better…
What’s attracts you to your mate? When I met my hubby it was his legs that caught my attention. He has really great muscly legs. In It’s in his smile, Miranda is definitely attracted to Talmadge’s smile…and his eyes…and his hair…and his body… In the end though, what put her over the edge and sent her straight into pheromones overload was when he took off his shirt. All those muscles, under firm skin…and the muscles…and the skin…and the muscles. Well, you get the drift. Miranda was even warned by the mommy mafia, that if he ever took his shirt off in front of her, she’d be a goner. No, no she said. I’m stronger than that, she said. Hahahahaha!! She should have listened…
We meet Miranda at a very sad time in her life. Her mentor Bee has just passed. Miranda had just bought Bee’s old and in disrepair B & B to do up and bring back to life. She was hoping that Bee would be around to guide the journey and set up her business. Currently, she has no mentor, her refurbishment is way behind schedule and her contractor is MiA with the funds Miranda had set aside for roofing supplies. Her mother is on to her next boyfriend and her younger brother, Jamie, who she practically raised, wants to get a job and become independent at the age of 20…THE HORROR!! All of these things compound to make Miranda’s life a little crazy, but the biggest headache of all turns up at Bee’s funeral. Miranda’s old crush, the first and only man she’s been intimate with, Talmadge, has come back for his beloved Grandmother’s funeral. This man makes her knees weak, mouth dry and brain turn to mush. She must avoid him at all costs.
Talmadge is back in his old hometown. He doesn’t plan to be here long because he has way more important things on his plate. His high pressure, lucrative and fame-worthy career as a green architect needs him back in Washington. A very important job has come to a standstill because of a catastrophe that happened on-sight and only he can save the day. Talmadge is a VERY important man. Unfortunately, with his return to Red River his feelings of guilt and sadness return. This is the town where his parents died and now his loved grandparents are gone too. A very beautiful woman from his past is making it a point to remind him that he abandoned his grandmother in these last few years and that SHE was there when he wasn’t. That very beautiful woman has a point but makes sure to point out that his job kept him too busy. He also tried to justify himself by explaining that his grandmother understood and was proud of his accomplishments.
To be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Mr Highfalutin, I’m so special, Talmadge Oaks. With time, my opinion improved and once I got to hear his story, I couldn’t help but like him.
Bee was one sneaky old lady. She had plans to have her grandson and Miranda together. Her way of doing this is to have her big, strong and capable grandson help Miranda with the renovations for the B & B. At first, both Talmadge and Miranda butt heads. Soon Miranda realises she needs Talmadge’s help if she is to succeed, and Talmadge needs to get the job done if he wants to get back to his career. In the end, their biggest battle is keeping their hands off each other.
I really enjoyed this sweet tale. Both Miranda and Talmadge were lovable but definitely not perfect. Miranda is stubborn and too worried about what the townspeople think of her. Talmadge just has his priorities wrong. Yes, his career has made him famous, but it definitely has not made him happy. Returning home and seeing Miranda again, he realises what he’s been missing in his life.
There are some steamy scenes towards the end and I was definitely able to see the connection between Miranda and Talmadge. The angst may have been a touch overblown. I have never lived in a small town, but after reading a few books with small towns, I’m not sure I’d want to. Some of the old biddies and their narrow-minded views would drive me insane. The way that everyone knows about everybody’s business was another thing that would make me pull my hair out.
Will I read more from this author? Definitely. Shelly Alexanderwrites sweet stories that are romantic, sexy, and humorous.