Series: Shore Secrets #2
Published by Carina Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Small Town Romance
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Small-town park ranger Casey Hobbes has spent her life under the radar, carefully guarding a secret. "The forest flirt," as her best friend calls her, keeps things casual with men. That way she'll never care enough to be tempted to share the truth about her past. But when she spots a half-naked stranger on the lake's edge, Casey can't resist his muscles or his charm and she's all-in for enjoying both, while keeping emotion out of it. What could be the danger of one summer fling?
Professor Zane Buchanan has built his entire career on exposing the dark realities of cults, but one—the Sunshine Seekers—remains infuriatingly impossible to crack. Zane's shocked to discover its sole anonymous survivor is hiding in his new hometown. It's nearly impossible to concentrate on work, however, when he's derailed by his attraction to the beautiful blonde in khaki uniform shorts.
As things between Casey and Zane heat up, she struggles with keeping her past from him. And Zane's on a quest to expose the truth, no matter the consequences. Will their growing emotions finally unseal Casey's big secret? Or will she turn her back on love to keep the past safely buried?
The second book in the Shore Secrets series, and I have to admit I didn’t like this one as much as I liked the first. I actually really love one of the elements in this series, the town journal. This town writes everything down in a journal, the townspeople, when they need to vent, or get advice, or just talk about something, write in this journal anonymously, and then the entire town writes back. I love that whole premise, it makes the whole small town romance thing much more unique.
That being said, I didn’t like this book as much as I liked the first one. I liked the premise in theory, but ultimately I ended up not liking one of the characters. So Casey has a secret, when she was a child she was dragged into a cult by her father, and ended up being referred to as the lone survivor of the cult. Only her stepmother, the one who rescued her, didn’t rescue her legally, and thankfully for Casey her identity has remained a secret, as well as Dawn’s role in the rescue. So when a new guy comes to town and attraction sizzles between Casey and Zane, it’s shocking to find out Zane has made his money and living out of exposing cults.
While Casey should be trying to keep her secret, well, secret, she can’t resist the attraction she has towards Zane. And the two of them really sizzle on the page, it’s easy to see how these two people fall for each other. Only problem is Casey doesn’t want to keep secrets from him, but telling him would expose her (which she doesn’t want at all) and could result in Dawn going to jail for kidnapping.
Part of my problem with this book is Zane. Okay my only problem with the book is Zane. I don’t like him. Well that’s not 100% true, I like him as a boyfriend for Casey, they seem to fit together really well. but as a person I don’t like him at all. I don’t see how someone so smart could be so dense at how exposing peoples deepest secrets and heartache as some need for the truth is the right thing to do and doesn’t hurt anyone. Sure finding the truth out is important, no problem, I get that. But he doesn’t believe what he does has any impact on other people’s lives. Don’t read ahead of this if you don’t want some spoilers. How Zane reacted to Casey when he found out was horrible, I mean I just couldn’t believe it. She begs and pleads him not to tell anyone, and his response is so vapid and horrible, trying to bribe her with fame and money, and then basically telling her to get over it. It was too much for me, damage was done, I never liked him after that, his whole outlook on things just made it impossible for me to like him.
I do like Christi’s writing style, and I could easily see how people would enjoy this book, and I totally want to read the next book in the series because I want to see what happens with Ward and Piper, but this book was not for me.