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4.3 out of 5
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    This is the first book by in the Rivers Edge series by the talented Lacey Black. This is her debut novel, and I was very impressed with the quality of Ms. Black's writing. She has a natural story teller's ability, and she was able to weave a very believable romance with likable characters that the readers easily become invested in. I am a total sucker for small town romances and for the older brother's best friend/best friend's little sister storyline, so Ms. Black hit two of my favorites in one swing with this opening story to what promises to be a great series. Avery Stevens is a 22 year old single mom to 4 year old, Brooklyn, and the youngest sibling to four over protective older brothers. Brooklyn's father is not in the picture, wanting no part of being a dad or a partner to Avery. She hasn't had much luck in love, and she's got some issues with trusting men. She's had an unrequited crush on her brother, Jake's, best friend for years. "I don't want to do this alone forever." Maddox Jackson is Jake Stevens' childhood best friend. They were in the Marines together, and they are now partners on Rivers Edge's police department. He isn't looking to settle down, he's happy playing the field with no commitments to any woman and can't imagine his life any other way. He may admit to himself that he is very attracted to Avery, but he lives by the "bro code" that she is off limits. "Avery Stevens is the most stunning woman I've ever seen." Avery and Maddox have a few run-ins and strike up a friendship, which, of course, blossoms into more than either was looking for or expected. There attraction to one another is strong, and it isn't long before they can no longer fight that pull. Maddox is having feelings he's never felt before about Avery and about Brooklyn. He's surprised to find that he doesn't want to fight those feelings either. "Do you want this? This life with me?" Avery has always been attracted to Maddox but never believed there she had any chance with him. When they start spending time together, she realizes that she's not just attracted to him, she has feelings for him. Of course, she has to find a way to get past her trust issues, and that doesn't come easily for her. Added to all of this is the fact that they're hiding their relationship from everyone, including Jake. This is a great story about two people so obviously meant for each other, finding their way towards a life together they never expected. There is nasty drama from outside forces, interference from well meaning big brothers, and distrust and doubt for them to navigate. Will Avery let go of her distrust to embrace a future with Maddox? Will Maddox realize that everything he never knew he wanted is right there for the taking? How will Jake react to their relationship? Ms. Black has penned an absolute winner with this impressively well written, romantic and steamy small town tale. She's laid the groundwork for a great series with characters that you cannot help but want to know more about, and she has painted a wonderful backdrop of family, friendship and small town goodness. I'm glad to have discovered this author, and with this book alone, she's easily become a favorite. I loved this story so much! I'm very excited for the next book in this series, and all the others that will follow. Congratulations on a fantastic debut, Lacey Black!

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    3 person found this review helpful

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  • Trust me

    Rooted for Avery and Maddox from the get go. Felt the undercurrents grow as the relationship grew.I could not stop reading! Discovered my new favorite author!!

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • It was ok

    I thought the plot line was good, even the flow, but the wording was to slow maybe juvenile like. Loved the steamy hot romance, and characters.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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