|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.67(d)|
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A Hearts of Montana
By Jennie Marts, Allison Collins
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Jennie Marts
All rights reserved.
The siren wails of the fire engine were a welcome sound as Cherry Hill shot another burst of white foam from the extinguisher. Panic welled in her chest as she watched the flames creep up the diner's wall above the griddle.
What started as a small grease fire was rapidly turning into a desperate situation.
Cherry swore as she battled to save the only thing she had left.
"Make sure everyone's out of the building," she yelled at Stan, the diner's cook. Thankfully the breakfast crowd had thinned, and only a few people had been left in the restaurant when the grease flamed on the griddle and the fire began. "You should get out, too. I got this."
Stan attacked the fire with a dish towel, keeping the flames from spreading across the kitchen counter. "No way, dude! I'm not leaving you."
The door to the kitchen swung open, and three large firemen filled the small room.
Well, two large fireman and one skinny guy, the best you could hope for on a small-town volunteer fire squad. One of the men dragged a fire hose through the door, and Cherry groaned as she heard glassware hitting the floor, unlucky bystanders in the path of the thick hose.
"I thought you weren't supposed to use water on a grease fire," she said, dredging up old advice her granddad had given her when she'd taken over the diner.
One of the fireman stepped toward her. He held a fire extinguisher in his hands. "Don't worry. You can trust a fireman to always have the right equipment."
Recognizing the voice, Cherry's head snapped up, and she looked into the grinning face of Taylor Johnson.
What in the hamhock is he doing here?
Still not used to having him back in town, Cherry's heart did a flip each time she saw him. She gulped. He had the right equipment for just about anything.
But Taylor was the new Sheriff — since when did he fight fires?
Before she had a chance to ask, another flame shot up, this one catching the side of her arm, and she cried out.
The grin disappeared as Taylor stepped forward, now all business, and put his body between hers and the fire. He yelled at the cook and pointed at Cherry. "Get her out of here before one of you gets hurt even worse!"
The whoosh of the water jetting from the hose drowned out his words, but Stan must have got the idea because he wrapped an arm around Cherry's middle and pulled her out the front door and onto the street in front of the restaurant.
Gasping, Cherry took in great gulps of clean air and prayed that the fireman could save the diner.
Even if they saved the kitchen, the diner would be shut down for days, maybe weeks, as she battled the insurance company and made repairs.
Mentally calculating the lost earnings, she wondered, not for the first time, if the inheritance of the diner from her grandparents had been a blessing or a curse.
Within fifteen minutes, the fire was out, leaving only gray wisps of smoke rising into the air above the building. An ambulance arrived shortly after the fire truck, and Stan had guided Cherry toward the vehicle.
An EMT had just finished wrapping a large bandage around Cherry's burned arm. She looked at the white gauze, bright against her smoke-stained skin, and smiled at the woman. "Thanks, Marge."
She'd known Marge for years. Just like she knew almost everyone in the small town of Broken Falls, Montana.
If she hadn't gone to school or church with them, they were her neighbors or her store clerks or bank tellers. Anyone she might not have known growing up in this town, she'd met through the diner over the last ten years that she'd worked there.
She looked toward the café, the curvy pink letters of Cherry's Diner emblazoned on the windows, and saw Taylor emerge from the smoky building.
He peeled off his fireman jacket and tossed it on the truck. He wore his standard brown uniform shirt and jeans, and the sun winked off the gold sheriff star pinned to his chest.
Why had he moved back here?
She'd seen him a few times since he'd been back, in the diner and once when a friend of hers had needed his help.
Each time she saw him, she was taken aback at the change from the skinny light-haired boy who'd taken her to the prom and stolen her virginity.
Okay, so maybe he hadn't exactly stolen it. Maybe she'd given it. Freely.
And with abandon.
But she didn't want to think about that.
Taylor's hair had darkened to a dirty blond, and the years in the military and the police academy had hardened his body and strengthened the muscles that so nicely filled out his uniform.
He strode toward her now, a look of concern in his eyes.
Those were just the same. His eyes hadn't changed. They were the same deep blue color.
And they bore the same intensity that she remembered from all those years ago when he had looked into hers and pledged to love her forever.
To always be there for her.
The same blue eyes that haunted her dreams after he left. Leaving her alone with a broken heart and a handful of empty promises.
Well, not quite alone.
"Are you all right? How's your arm?" Taylor asked, drawing her out of the years-old memories. He picked up her arm and looked down at her bandage as if inspecting the quality of the work.
"You don't need to concern yourself with me. I'm fine." She pulled her arm back, wincing at the pain of the burn but not really caring.
An injured arm was the least of her worries right now.
How was she going to pay for the repairs to the diner? Did she have enough insurance to cover the damage?
The upkeep of the restaurant had eaten into her savings for years, and she wondered even now if she had enough to cover the looming electric bill.
At least she didn't have to pay rent. She looked at the blackened windows above the diner where she lived in a small apartment.
Like everything else about the building, the apartment was old and a little run-down.
But it was free, and she didn't have a commute to work.
Taylor followed her gaze. "I imagine you're gonna need to find a place to stay for a few days. The fire burned a hole through the ceiling, and I'm sure your apartment's gonna have some pretty extensive smoke damage."
How did he know that was her apartment?
Oh right, small town.
"You can stay with me," Stan offered. He sat on the curb at her feet. "My place is small, but I've got a comfy couch."
Cherry smiled down at her employee and friend. Stan always found a way to look at the positive side.
He'd left Chicago three years ago, tired of the city and seeking an adventure out west. He'd wandered into the diner one day looking for work and had been with Cherry ever since. Of Chinese descent, his name was actually Qingshan Lee.
After several attempts at trying to teach the townspeople the correct pronunciation, old Doc Beam had thrown up his arms and declared, "Oh forget it, I'm just going to call you Stan."
Liking the nod to the Marvel hero creator, Qingshan accepted the moniker and had been Stan Lee ever since.
Cherry looked down at her soot-covered uniform, the pink color of the dress barely recognizable, and groaned.
A layer of black dust lay across her pale skin, the light freckles camouflaged under gray smudges. Her substantial cleavage threatened to pop free of her uniform, and she adjusted the bodice of her dress.
She looked at Stan's normal attire of skater shorts and a tie-dyed T-shirt. "Forget the sofa, I may have to borrow some clothes."
Taylor brushed a hand over his chin as he contemplated the apartment, and Cherry had a flash of memory of his hand on her face, caressing her chin before he'd leaned in to kiss her. "She may not be joking, Stan. I don't think you're getting into your apartment any time soon. With the hole in the floor, you'll have to wait until the fire inspector clears it to make sure it's safe for you to be walking around in there."
Great. Now she not only didn't have enough money to keep the power on, she was going to have to find a place to stay and buy some new clothes.
She glanced down, thinking tie-dye and skater shorts might look good on her. She could pull it off. Except all those colors might clash with her red hair.
What didn't clash with her red hair?
As if the name Cherry Hill wasn't bad enough, she'd been gifted with a mass of strawberry-colored hair to go with it.
She reached up, trying to collect the loose strands along her neck, gathering them up and stuffing them back into her ponytail. Her hair must look a mess, and she hoped the stretched-out elastic of the band securing her massive shock of long, curly hair would hold out for another few days.
Her phone buzzed in her front pocket. Thank goodness she'd had it in her pocket instead of floating around the kitchen.
She checked the display and sighed at the number she recognized as her Great Aunt Bea.
Bea was the matriarch of the Hill family. Her grandmother's sister and complete opposite. Bea was stingy and rude, a female mixture of Scrooge and the Grinch. But with gray hair, a raspy voice, and a keen intellect whose words could slice through you quicker than a knife.
Gram had been kind and generous and had a heart the size of Montana.
And was the closest thing Cherry had to a mother.
She waved her phone at Stan and Taylor. "I've gotta take this. I'm sure my family has heard about the fire, and my aunt is calling to remind me what a colossal screw-up I am."
She stepped away from the curb and the crowd gathering around the diner, the townsfolk anxious to see what had caused all the fuss and if it was gossip-worthy.
She imagined someone had already started a prayer chain, and the ladies of the church were probably baking casseroles and pies to bring to her aid.
Although where they would bring them, she had no idea.
After pressing the screen to accept the call, she put the phone to her ear. "Hello."
Her heart stopped as she heard her aunt gasping for breath, trying to speak through shuddered cries.
And with a few simple words, Cherry's world fell apart.CHAPTER 2
Taylor watched Cherry's face crumble.
The sudden look of pain in her eyes almost broke his heart.
How could one woman affect him so deeply? And after all these years?
He'd dated a few women over the years. Even had a long-term girlfriend or two. But never anything that he let get too serious.
How could he when his dreams were still haunted by pale skin and handfuls of red hair?
He'd thought he was over her. Thought coming back to his hometown would be no big deal. They'd practically been kids the last time he'd seen her.
He knew her grandparents had given her the diner to run and thought he could nonchalantly drop in for a piece of pie. Prove to himself that his memories were unfounded. That she wasn't all he'd remembered.
Unfortunately for him, she was more.
The years had been good to her. She looked older, but in a good way. More confident, secure in herself as she raced between tables, shouting orders and casually flirting with the old farmers lined up at the counter.
Her hair was still long, and she'd filled out since her teenage years.
Lord, had she filled out.
"Well, I'll be jiggered! If it isn't Taylor Johnson. Hometown hero come back for a visit," she'd said, right after she caught him checking out her cleavage.
What an idiot.
He could feel the heat rise to his cheeks. "Yep. Back for good, I guess. I took over the Sheriff's position after Bud Flanagan retired."
How could one word from her take away the normal, easygoing charm he usually had with women and turn him into an empty-headed fool?
Because she wasn't just any woman.
She was Cherry, his first crush, his first love.
And the last woman he had truly given his heart to.
"I guess I'll be seeing you around then." She'd smiled at him, and his heart shattered into tiny pieces.
Her smile had always been his undoing.
But her smile was gone now, replaced by an expression of grief and pain as she took off at a run, racing for her car, a late-model blue VW bug.
She yanked at the car door, slid into the seat, and gunned the engine. With a spit of gravel, she tore from the parking lot and headed toward the highway, narrowly missing the yellow fire hydrant on the corner.
What the hell? Where was she headed in such a hurry? And why would she leave the diner right now?
It must have been that phone call.
She said it'd been her Aunt Bea. Could something have happened in Cherry's family?
It was none of his business. He'd let that right go years ago when he'd left Broken Falls.
She was no longer his concern.
All of these thoughts ran through his head as he crossed the street to where his cruiser was parked in front of the Sheriff's office. Opening the door of the car, a blast of hot summer air engulfed him as he slid into the seat.
She would have told him if she needed his help.
Still, she was a citizen of the county. He was only doing his duty to check and make sure she was okay.
It was his job, after all.
The engine sputtered and died.
Cherry pulled the car to the soft shoulder of the highway.
"No! No! No!" She beat her fists against the steering wheel. "Not now! You stupid car!"
She took a breath, shot up a silent prayer, and turned the key, desperately hoping the engine would spark back to life.
The car had been giving her trouble lately, and the local mechanic had even offered to look at it the last time it had broken down in town.
But she never had the time. Or the money.
"Please start," she whispered.
Nothing. Not even a spark of life.
That was it. All she could take.
She leaned her head against the wheel and let the tears come. Giant sobs of pain tore from her body as she replayed fragments of her aunt's words in her head.
"There's been an accident. Stacy's car went off the side of the road. She and Greg were killed. Only survivor was Sam, who'd been asleep in the backseat. Stacy left a will. She named you the boy's guardian. In the hospital. You need to come."
How could Stacy be gone?
She'd just talked to her on the phone yesterday.
Though they were five years apart in age, the two cousins had been more like sisters. Stacy was the one she could always turn to when she needed advice or someone to complain to.
Or when she was in trouble.
Like the summer she graduated. After Taylor had left.
Her cousin had been there for her. They'd been there for each other.
Stacy was the only one she'd confided in when she realized her period was late. Feeling desperate and alone, Cherry had nowhere else to turn.
They'd gone to their grandmother who had formed a solution that would help them both.
Stacy and her husband Greg had been trying to have a baby for years. Stacy's body had betrayed her again and again as it failed to hold the life she and Greg lovingly created. The last time had been the worst, and they had given up trying and were looking into adoption.
Broken-hearted and distraught, Cherry knew that she had nothing to offer a child. No money, no future, not even a home where she could take care of it.
Wanting desperately to do what was right for the baby, she made the ultimate sacrifice for the wellbeing of the baby and agreed to her grandmother's plan.
Stacy had been great about keeping Cherry in her son's life. She'd been there for every birthday and special occasion, and Sam loved her as if she were a favorite aunt.
But now Stacy was gone.
And Sam was in the hospital, scared and alone.
Red and blue lights flashed in her rearview mirror. Cherry looked up to see a squad car pull in behind her broken-down Bug.
She groaned as she saw the familiar face behind the wheel. What's he doing here?
She swiped at her face, trying to brush away the tears. She rummaged under the passenger seat of the car, unearthing a napkin to wipe her running nose.
Taylor cut the lights as he pulled in behind the ancient blue Bug.
I can't believe she still drives that old thing.
Cherry'd had the little VW since they were in high school, and memories flooded his thoughts of dark nights parked by the river.
He could remember the stickiness of the vinyl seats and the feel of his hands on her body as she squirmed under him in the tiny space of the car.
They took that stupid car everywhere. Road trips to the mountains and to Great Falls. To football games and church on Sunday. They'd spent hours in that thing, talking, laughing, and more.
So much more.
He shook his head to clear his mind of thoughts of Cherry's skin and the way her hair always smelled like strawberries and sunshine.
Get a grip, buddy. What the hell does sunshine smell like anyway?
Excerpted from Hidden Away by Jennie Marts, Allison Collins. Copyright © 2015 Jennie Marts. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Marts takes small town romance to a new level with this novel. She sets the scene well, lending itself to the intricate story of the characters’ lives. I enjoyed how Marts takes the general form of a second chance romance but gives it a twist, making it all her own. I enjoyed the way that Marts combines a second chance romance with a new start for her characters. It was a unique mix that lent extra complexity to their lives. Marts developed their personalities individually, creating two extremely well rounded people that I loved getting to know. At the same time, neither were perfect. I enjoyed the jagged edges that Marts not only leaves, but actually points out in her characters. It made them so much more real. This was a fun and emotional second chance romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was my first novel by Marts, but it won’t be my last. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
This book was a true gem of a story. I love books that can play in my mind like a movie, picturing each scene perfectly. Taylor and Cherry's story was full of emotion, laughter, serious flirtation, grief, friendship, community, family, betrayal, forgiveness, and love. The way they were reunited was a strange occurrence that led to something real and special. Their journey to each other and their fight for Sam was filled with bumps along the way, but taught the lessons of never giving up, life is too short, and love matters most. I absolutely loved their story from beginning to the end. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
*ARC received from Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review* Hidden Away is a heartwarming second chance romance with great characters, set in a small town. Cherry and Taylor were childhood friends and high school sweethearts and when Taylor left town he broke Cherry's heart. Nine years later circumstances bring them back together as they unite to keep Cherry's orphaned nephew in her custody. The old feelings are still there. Now she has to decide if she can trust him to stay and he has to decide if he can forgive her for keeping a life altering secret from him. There is something very real and endearing about this story and I loved it.
This novel has sexual chemistry as well as a Romantic longing that is palpable. "Hidden Away" is definitely a "tear jerker" but there are some incredibly funny bits as well. The main characters, Cherry and Taylor, have a long history, and lots of ground to make up in order to gain and get the trust they once had. Both still have a lot of emotional stuff to work through at the onset of the novel but by the end they have matured and grown into characters with more depth than what they started out with. There are some great secondary characters that have a solid presence and purpose. However, Jennie Marts provides some other secondary characters that seem to be put in just as foils with no true reason for their antagonism. There are some explanations made, but nothing that truly justifies the level of spite that is leveled at the heroine. Despite that complaint this novel drew me in and had me invested in all of the characters. Even though this is one of the novels in the Hearts of Montana series it is a stand alone novel. This novel portrays a small town life extremely well - as I picture it to be anyway. The characters of Taylor, Cherry, Sam, and even Russ and wonderfully engaging. Cherry's "right hand man" at the diner, Stan is a great comic relief. And the old high school friends, and new friends, that surround Cherry and Taylor are wonderful as well. Jennie Marts makes the "villains" extremely reprehensible although I feel the reasoning is weak, and the wrap up to the ending is too quick and neat. But the Romance of long lost love is fantastic. The tragedy, and shared stories of loss gutted me - I needed a hankie. "Hidden Away" left me feeling a little like when I opened the door to my house I would find myself in that small town in Montana. That's an impressive feat. To read the entire review please visit: http://bit.ly/1laeCLH This novel was provided by the Publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Cherry runs the local diner and she's just a normal hard working gal in a small town. After one crisis at the diner she discovers her cousin died in a car accident and she's been named guardian of her eight year old nephew. On top of everything her high school sweetheart, Taylor, has moved back and thrown her whole life for a loop. Taylor moved back hoping for a second chance with Cherry. I love Cherry and Taylor together, their connection was undeniable. As they reignite their flame their relationship is tested with secrets from the past. Taylor is amazingly loyal especially when Cherry's family works their tails off trying to prove her an unfit guardian. I seriously found myself cringing and wanting to skip the parts with Cherry's family show up in the story. I was left with questions as to why her cousin was so determined she not get custody other than ego and being a bully. If you're looking for a good romance with a bit of suspense this would be a great story to check out.
What an Emotional AND Complex 2nd Chance Love Story What an emotional read, with heart and hope. The book starts out with Cherry having a horrible day- things aren’t going well and she gets a terrible phone call that has her watching as a grease fire goes out of control, and goes through the ceiling to her apartment above the diner. Fireman are putting out the fire when she gets a phone call that changes her life forever. She runs away from the scene and jump into her car and drive away, drive to where her life has changed forever. Taylor Johnson is the new sheriff in Broken Falls and is also a volunteer fireman. He pulls up just as Cherry gets the call and he sees her take it and run off. They had a past, a history. He and Cherry were each other’s 1st for everything and then Taylor left Cherry behind when he decided to get out of Broken Falls. He enlisted in the military and left Cherry behind. He has come to realize that no one has meant more to him than Cherry does and he wants a chance to see where he stands with Cherry, to try and reconnect with her. He ends up following Cherry to the hospital and sees just in time her family treating her so horribly . Cherry finds out her cousin who is her best friend and her husband have just died in a car accident. Their 8 yr old son is now all alone. Cherry is now his guardian but her family doesn’t want her to have him. They tell her she is unfit and all a bunch of stupid nonsense. They treated her like she wasn’t even family but suddenly Taylor stepped in and spoke up for her and stated they were engaged , spoke about it being a secret and they would be living on his family’s farm. Poor Cherry, all the shocks coming at once. Then this is where the twists and turns coming in. She has secrets that pertain to Taylor and it can break them up because Taylor wants to make up to her his leaving but once her secret comes out, he may leave her again and for good. The flow is good in the story and I felt Taylor shouldn’t have left her 9 years ago but the emotions are real and you can understand the pain of both MC. The ending is fantastic and I will definitely read this author again. My rating: 4.0 stars ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher via NETGALLEY for my honest review****
3.5 stars Hidden Away was a heartfelt second chance love story. I was a little torn on how to rate this book, there were parts I liked then others not so much. I felt towards the end the drama was a little much and to be honest not needed. The storyline was good, it held my interest right from the start and the characters were very relatable. Over this was a good afternoon read.
O' My!! This book was so good. I love how Jeannie Marts made this a second chance love for more than just the main characters seems like to me. Yes, this is a second chance love for Taylor and Cherry, but there are other parts of this story that just tear at your heart and leave you will all the feels that I love in a story!! Great read and well written! Cherry was raised by her grandparents and they left her with the diner that they had. Chery is trying hard to make it all work and one day a grease fire catches the diner on fire which in turn effects her apartment that is above the diner. While Cherry is trying to take all this in, she gets a devastating phone call that no one wants to get. Her cousin, which is her best friend, has been in a car accident that left her and her husband dead and Cherry the soul provider for their son. The whole time all this is happening, Taylor is there watching Cherry and sees her take off. He knows that something worse than the fire has happened and he decides to follow her. Taylor is Cherry's old fling and her first for everything. They were childhood friends that grew up together but lost contact when Taylor left Cherry and their small town to enlist in the military. Taylor has decided that he misses his hometown and gets a job as a sheriff there to try and see if he can rekindle what he and Cherry had at one time. When Taylor catches up to Cherry, she is in the middle of a confrontation with her family that says there is no way that she is in a situation to be the soul provider for any child so they fight her on taking custody of her cousin's son. Taylor acts quick on his feet and says that he and Cherry have been secretly dating and are engaged so he is going to help her with all of this now. What Taylor doesn't know about the whole situation is that Cherry is hiding a huge secret from him. This story is so sweet and I fell in love with the characters, except for Cherry's family, from the very beginning. So many emotions in this story!! Thanks Jennie Marts for a great read and I can't wait for more from you in the near future for us as readers!
When your world comes crashing down, who will be there to help you? Cherry lives in a small town and is making a life out of what she has. A diner left to her by her grandparents with an attached apartment above , a beat up old VW bug and a town of friends that will do anything for her. One day, her diner goes up in flames and her best friend and cousin dies in a horrible accident leaving her a spunky 8 year old to take care of. With everything crashing down around her, a knight in shining armor named Taylor offers his help. Taylor, the town sheriff, a man she has a past with and is not ready to forgive. They both can't fight the feelings from the past, but will a secret she has kept hidden from Taylor cause those feelings to end for good? This is the second book in the Hearts of Montana series. This was a great , fun-loving book, with some surprises and suspense to keep the pages turning. I read this in one night and could not put it down until the end. The characters are fleshed out nicely and they become real in my mind. I can get a clear picture of them and they make me feel emotion. Essentially if a book can't get me to feel anything it was a wasted effort and this book did not disappoint. A must read for anyone looking for love, small town antics, laughter and some suspense. I received an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
A second chance romance, with two characters that have matured since their earlier days. Cherry has had the worse day of her life, her diner caught on fire and then to find out the her cousin and her husband has died in a car accident and has left Cherry guardian for their son, Sam. To top it off, her high school flame, Taylor has returned to Broken Falls, Montana as the new town sheriff. The chemistry between Taylor and Cherry is hot. Cherry has a big secret that she has kept from Taylor since he left town nine years ago. This book kept me turning the pages. Love the small town atmosphere of how the town comes together helping Cherry. Cherry has become a very strong person, she works very hard for what she has. Plenty of drama and emotions, keep your kleenex handy. Loved Sam and Rex. I received this book from netgalley for an honest review.
This is an AWESOME romance read that will keep you gripping the pages (or your reading device) so hard that your knuckles turn white. I was really rooting for the characters and VERY pleased to see that everything turns out good in the end. I love me an HEA and this one has exactly that! While I have never read a book by Jennie Marts before, I will definitely be picking up her other books (especially those in this series) in the near future. The book centers around a woman named Cherry whose life has been pretty difficult. Her family have no faith in her abilities and they do not accept her for who she is. The only family that truly cares for her feelings is her cousin Stacy. So when she passes away and leaves her son in the care of Cherry, her world turns upside down. Is this due to her family difficulties? Yes, that and other things. Things that she has kept secret for 8 years. Taylor is a charming, small town sheriff. He is also Cherry’s high school sweetheart, the one who ran away when his life got tough when he was 17. So when Cherry pops back up in his life old feelings suddenly resurface and spark ignite. There is no denying the love they once had and both are thrown back together. But will the two be able to make it work this time? Will secrets and family issues keep them apart? Well, you will have to read to find out. Just be warned, you will swoon, you will get angry, and you may shed a few tears. This is certainly one book you don’t want to miss out on! It is unique, beautifully written, and smart. I cannot wait to pick up another book by Jennie Marts. Pick this one up!
Cherry Hill life changes in course of 24 hours. The diner she owns has been damaged by a fire, which also leave her homeless, and less than 12 hours later she learns that her cousin and husband have died in an accident and left her sole custody of their son Samuel. The only person to help her is her ex Taylor Johnson, who returned to town to become the sheriff. He supports Cherry and when her family threatens to challenges Samuel’s custody, he and Taylor become “engaged”. Cherry and Sam move into Taylor’s home and her biggest secret is revealed. Will Taylor and Cherry overcome the past to build a happy ending with Sam? This was a good book whose plot is a classic romance troupe. The characters are realistic and well written and I enjoyed slow build up to the big reveal. I would recommend this book to fans of small town and second chance romances. I was given a free copy of book for an honest review by netgalley.com
Oh boy – talk about everything seeming to go wrong in your life, that certainly seems to be true for Cherry Hill! Nine years ago, as a teenager, she went out with Taylor Johnson – till he disappeared to enlist and then never got in touch again, despite her texting him asking him to call because she then discovered she was pregnant. Pregnant, alone, she took her grandma’s advice and let her cousin and her husband adopt the son she gave birth to, not letting anyone else know that Cherry is his real mother. When her grandma died she left the family bakery to Cherry and that’s just caught fire when the story starts . . . and one of the folks that turns up to help put it out is the same Taylor Johnson who has now returned as the Sherriff. Then Cherry’s phone rings with news that her cousin and husband have tragically been killed in a car crash – and Cherry is now the guardian of their adopted son. Her car breaks down and Taylor ends up taking her to the hospital where we are introduced to the rest of her family – oh boy are they awful!! They are also determined that Cherry won’t get custody of Sam, unaware that she’s actually his mother, and Taylor steps up to defend her and claims they’re engaged! Now there’s a fake engagement, she grieving for her best friend and cousin, her home and business are fire wrecked, her child is now her own unless other members of her family make good on their threats, her ex, who is still the love of her life, is pretending to be her boyfriend and he doesn’t know that Sam is his son! This is a tangled web that makes a delightful page turner. I was rooting for things to actually start going right for Cherry from the start but they just keep going wrong! Don’t expect this to be a straight forward read to a HEA, it is anything but! There’s a cute dog, a shoot out, threats, verbal and physical abuse from family, a runaway to find and even kidnapping to deal with! A gripping, fast paced, enthralling and entertaining read that I have no hesitation in highly recommending! Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
At seventeen years old Cherry Hill made the hardest decision of her life, and since then she has been met with struggle after struggle and failed to find her life ever really moving in a positive direction. But no matter how much adversity she faces, she digs deep, and keeps on trying. After her grandmother passes away she finds out that she has been left the family restaurant and she is bound and determined to keep it going. Things at the restaurant are running smoothly, and Cherry thinks things might be finally looking up, but her hope is dashed once again when she's dealt with another devastating blow, her restaurant kitchen goes up in flames and seconds after that she finds out cousin and her family were involved in a car accident that has left her nephew an orphan, and her a new mom. But soon after her upper crust relatives find out she's been named as the new guardian of Sam, they begin to do all they can to prove she's unfit, which doesn't take much with her lackluster lifestyle. Just when Cherry starts to feel deflated, the sexy sheriff she lost her heart to years ago, steps in to save her... Taylor Johnson has returned to Broken Falls with a mission, not only to serve and protect as the town sheriff, but also try to work his way back into the good graces of the woman he left behind with a broken heart. He has regretted walking away from Cherry everyday of his life, and wants nothing more than to be a part of her life again, so when she's left devastated after a kitchen fire and the loss of her cousin he steps in to provides her with the support she so desperately needs. Initially he only plans to offer her support and friendship, but when her and her nephew are left homeless he offers them a place to stay things quickly turn to something more...something he's desired for a really long time. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Tucked Away, the first installment in the series, because it was packed with so many unexpected surprises, and I'm happy to report that Hidden Away definitely kept me on my toes too! Ms. Mart's, along with her wonderfully crafted characters, have created a truly entertaining literary treat for readers, it's DEFINITELY small town romance at its BEST! If you haven't made a trip to Broken Falls yet, you are totally missing out on meeting some amazing characters that are sure meet, and exceed, all of your reading expectations! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Hidden Away is book two in the Hearts of Montana series by Jennie Marts. This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the author. Cherry Hill has lived her whole life in Broken Falls, Montana. She was cared for by her grandparents and in turn, took care of them in their final days. They left their diner to her in their will and Cherry has put everything she has in to trying to make a success of it. But on this day, things aren’t going very well. A grease fire has broken out in the kitchen that went through the ceiling to her apartment above the diner. As she is standing there watching the firemen put out the fire, her phone rings and her world simply stops. Taylor Johnson is the new sheriff in Broken Falls. He is also a volunteer fireman. He and Cherry have a past. They were childhood friends which turned into high school sweethearts. They were in love. They were each other’s first everything. But as soon as he graduated, Taylor needed to get out of Broken Falls. So he enlisted, and he left Cherry. That was nine years ago. Now he is back. He has never forgotten Cherry. No one has ever meant anything to him like she did. When the job opened up in town, he decided it was time to come home. His dad still runs the family ranch and Taylor misses his life there. But more than that, he has hopes of reconnecting with Cherry. “How could one woman affect him so deeply? And after all these years? Because she wasn’t just any woman. She was Cherry, his first crush, his first love. And the last woman he had truly given his heart to.” He saw her take the phone call on that day, and saw her run away and jump into her car. It was instinct to follow her. Something was obviously wrong. Cherry’s cousin who is also her best friend, has been in a car accident, killing her and her husband. Their eight year old son is now an orphan. Cherry has been named legal guardian of little Sam. Wait until you meet this little boy. I fell in love with Sam immediately. This little boy is an eight year old with an old soul. He completely stole my heart. Now we meet the rest of the Hill family. This family’s cruelty completely shocked me. The way they treated Cherry was horrible. They let her know immediately that they were in no way going to allow her to take guardianship of Sam. That they deemed her unfit and unable to provide for him. Taylor had accompanied Cherry to the hospital and it’s a good thing. He gave her the strength to stand up to these awful people. But what could she say to all of their accusations? They were right. Her diner just suffered a fire. Her apartment was also damaged. Where would she live? How would she provide for Sam? In steps Taylor when he informed them all that he and Cherry had been secretly engaged and that they would be living on his farm! This book!!! I was completely hooked from the first page. Taylor and Cherry together were so perfect. But can Cherry ever trust Taylor again after he left her nine years ago? And Cherry has a secret, a very big secret. If she tells Taylor, will he ever forgive her? Or, will he just leave again? “Nine years ago, she’d lost the two things she’d loved the most in the world. And now both of them were in the same room with her, back in her life, and she didn’t know what she was going to do with either of them.” This book was just fabulous, from the first page to the very last.
Awesome story!! Filled with emotion it had me crying, laughing, and awwwing all over the place. The dynamics between Cherry, Taylor, and Sam are beyond heartwarming and I was cheering for them to find their HEA all the way through the story. Cherry's family and the nastiness they brought just had me angry! As with any good romance though, love can get you through the toughest times! I just love this small town series and can't recommend it enough and if you haven't read the first one in the series (they are both completely standalone) I recommend that one too!
Cherry Hill's life changes drastically in one day. A fire in her diner and then a phone call notifying her of a death in the family leaving her the sole guardian to her nephew it just was not a good day for her at all. On top of that her ex has moved back to town. Taylor Johnson has moved back home to be the sheriff of his home town. He is called to the diner about the fire and is there as more bad news is placed on Cherry's shoulders. Following her when she drives off from the diner he is there when she has a break down from everything happening at the same time. He takes her to see her family and witnesses first hand how her family treats her. The family makes it clear that they aren't going to allow her to take her nephew and that they plan to fight for guardianship. Taylor steps in and claims that they have been seeing each other again and that its serous again. So serous in fact that they've been secretly engaged. Surprised by what Taylor has said Chloe does nothing to correct him. As they work together to maintain their fake engagement things start to change making what started out as a temporary fix to a bad situation into something more and real. Will secrets keep them apart or will they stronger from them. I loved this story it has strong characters and a great story. A very emotional story that will draw you in until you can't put it down. I would recommend this to any of my book friends.