Wild Iris Ridge: A small-town romance

Wild Iris Ridge: A small-town romance

by RaeAnne Thayne

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Lucy Drake and Brendan Caine have only one thing in common…

And it's likely to tear them apart. Because it was Brendan's late wife, Jessie—and Lucy's best friend—who'd brought them together in the first place. And since Jessie's passing, Brendan's been distracted by his two little ones…and the memory of an explosive kiss with Lucy years before his marriage. Still, he'll steer clear of her. She's always been trouble with a capital T.

Lucy couldn't wait to shed her small-town roots for the big city. But now that she's back in Hope's Crossing to take care of the Queen Anne home her late aunt has left her, she figures seeing Brendan Caine again is no big deal. After all, she'd managed to resist the handsome fire chief once before, but clearly the embers of their attraction are still smoldering….

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373778591
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 06/24/2014
Series: Hope's Crossing Series
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 121,801
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Read an Excerpt

This was, without question, the craziest thing she had ever done.

Lucy Drake stood on the front porch of her great-aunt's house, shivering at the cold, damp breeze that slid under her jacket.

She ought to just find a hotel somewhere in Hope's Crossing to spend the night, instead of standing here on the dark and rather creepy-under-the-circumstances doorstep of a massive Victorian mansion after midnight in the middle of an April rainstorm.

If she had an ounce of brains or sense, that is exactly what she would do—climb back into her BMW and head for the nearest hotel. Hope's Crossing was overflowing with them, and on a shoulder-season April night when the ski tourists were gone, she could probably find hundreds of empty rooms.

Then again, if she had either of those things—brains or sense—she wouldn't be in this situation. Right now, she would probably be at the end of an eighteen-hour workday, heading back to her quiet condo on Lake Washington with another few hours of work ahead of her before she finally crashed.

Another gust of freezing wind whined fitfully under the eaves and sent the branches of the red maple beside the porch clawing across the roof like skeletal fingers.

She zipped up her coat and reached for the doorknob of the house. Crazy, she might be, but she didn't need to be cold and crazy, too.

The door was locked, of course. What else had she expected, when Iris House had been empty since December and Annabelle's shocking death? Even though she had known it would be locked, she still felt a hard kernel of panic in her gut at one more obstacle.

What if she couldn't get in tonight? What if she could never get in? Where would she go? She had come all this way, two days of driving from Seattle. She had subleased her condo, packed all her belongings, brought everything with her. She would be stranded without a home, without shelter, in a town where the two people she cared most about in the world were both gone.

The lateness of the hour and her own exhaustion from the stress of the past week pressed in on her, macerating her control. She felt it slipping through her fingers like fine-grained sand but she forced herself to take a deep breath.

Okay. Calm. She could handle this. She had fully expected the door to be locked. No one had lived here for months. If she had showed up on the doorstep of the old house and found it wasn't secure, then she would have cause to worry.

This wasn't a problem. She knew right where her great-aunt always hid the spare key—assuming no one had changed the locks, of course….

She wasn't going to go there yet. Instead, she turned on the flashlight app of her phone and used the small glow it provided to guide her way around the corner of the wraparound porch.

The chains of the old wood porch swing clanked and rattled as she sat down, a familiar and oddly comforting sound. She reached for the armrest closest to the front door with one hand, aiming the light from her phone with the other.

After a little fumbling, her fingers found the catch and she opened the tiny, clever hidden compartment Annabelle had created herself inside the armrest.

Only someone who knew the magic secret of the porch swing could ever find the hollowed-out hiding place. She reached inside and felt around until her fingers encountered the ice-cold metal of the key to Iris House.

"Thank you, Annabelle," she murmured.

She discovered that no one had changed the locks when she inserted the key and turned it. See, there was a bright spot. Next hurdle: What if the security code had been changed since her last visit?

Knowing she didn't have a moment to spare, she didn't take time to savor the scents of rosemary and lemon wood polish and home that greeted her inside.

Instead, she bolted to the keypad for the state-of-the-art security system Annabelle had installed several years ago. Her fingers fumbled on the keypad but she managed to type in the numbers that corresponded with the letters H-O-P-E.

The system announced it was now disarmed. Only then did she let herself sigh with relief, trying not to notice how the small sound echoed through the empty space.

She flipped the light switch in the entryway, with its parquet floor and the magnificent curving staircase made up of dozens of intricately turned balusters.

How many times had she rushed into this entry-way during the two years she'd lived here during her teen years and called to Annabelle she was home before dropping her books on the bottom step to take up to her room later?

Suddenly she had an image of when she'd first arrived at fifteen, her heart angry and battered, showing up at a distant relative's home with everything she owned in bags at her feet.

Apparently, things hadn't changed that much in seventeen years—except this time her bags were still out in the car.

She turned around, half expecting Annabelle to come bustling through the doorway from the kitchen in one of those zip-up half aprons she always wore that had a hundred pockets, arms outstretched and ready to wrap her into a soft, sweet-smelling embrace.

That familiar sense of disorienting loss gnawed through her as she remembered Annabelle wouldn't bustle through that door ever again.

She felt something dig into her palm and realized she was still clutching the key from the front porch. She slid it onto the table, making a mental note to return it to its hiding place later then took another of her cleansing breaths.

Right now she needed to focus. She desperately needed sleep and a chance to regroup and regain a little perspective.

The air inside Iris House was stale, cold. She walked through turning on lights as she headed for the thermostat outside the main-floor bedroom Annabelle had used the past few years when it became harder for her to reach the second or third floors.

The heating system thermostat was set for sixty-two degrees, probably to keep the pipes from freezing during the winter, but the actual temperature read in the mid-fifties.

She tried turning the heating system off and then on again—about the sum total of her HVAC expertise. When no answering whoosh of warm air responded through the vents, she frowned. Annabelle used to complain the pilot light in the furnace could be tricky at times. Apparently this was one of those times.

Lucy was torn between laughter and tears. What did a girl have to do to catch a break around here? She had walked away from everything and packed up her life to come here, seeking the security and safety she had always found at Iris House.

With all the possible complications that could have ensnarled her journey here from Seattle, she had finally made it and now a stupid pilot light would be the one thing keeping her from reaching her goal of staying here.

It didn't have to be a stumbling block. Last time she counted, the old house had nine fireplaces and she had seen a pile of seasoned firewood against the garage when she pulled up. She didn't have to heat the whole house, just one room. She could pick one and spend a perfectly comfortable night in front of the fire then have a furnace technician come in the next day.

And wasn't that some kind of metaphor for her life right now? Who ever said she had to fix every disaster she had created right this moment? She only had to focus on making it through tonight then she could sort the rest of it out later.

Considering none of the beds likely had linens at all—and certainly not fresh ones—for tonight she would bunk on the sofa in the room Annabelle had used as a TV room, she decided, and deal with the rest of the mess in the morning.

"You can do this," she said aloud.

Hearing her own voice helped push away some of the ghosts that wandered through the house. Annabelle. Jess. Even her younger self, angry and wounded.

Energized by having a viable plan of action, she quickly headed out into the rain again and grabbed an armload of wood from the pile, enough to keep the cold at bay for several hours, at least. Trust Annabelle to keep her woodpile covered and protected so the wood was dry and ready to burn. Her great-aunt had probably cut it all herself.

Back inside, she dropped the pile of wood on the hearth in the cozy little den and found matches and kindling sticks in a canister on the mantel.

She was so not a Girl Scout, but Annabelle had insisted both she and Jessica learn the proper way to light a fire. Those long-ago lessons bubbled back to the surface, and in moments she had a tidy little blaze going.

Perfect. In no time, the room would be cozy and comfortable.

She added a larger split log and watched the flames dance around it for a moment before they caught hold. Already the house felt a little warmer, not quite as empty and lonely.

She yawned, tempted to curl up right this instant on the sofa and drop off. No. She would sleep better in a nightgown, with her teeth brushed and her face washed. Closing the door to the room behind her to hold on to the heat, she headed out for one more bonechilling trip to the car for the suitcase that held her essentials.

She carried the case straight to the bathroom just off the kitchen and made it through her ablutions with bleary eyes. After grabbing a couple of blankets out of the linen chest in the downstairs guest room, she opened the door to the den—and was greeted by thick, choking black smoke.

For an instant, her exhausted brain couldn't quite process this latest disaster in a depressingly long line of them. Then in a wild burst of panic, her synapses started blasting messages, one after the other, and she had the presence of mind to slam the door shut.

Smoke. Blaze. Iris House was on fire.

"No! No, no no!"

It was probably just the chimney not drawing correctly. That's all. Calm down. She would just put the fire out and air out the room and all would be fine.

Fire extinguisher! Where was the bloody fire extinguisher? Annabelle always kept one under the kitchen sink, she remembered. She raced back and yanked open the cabinets then blessed her great-aunt's independent, self-reliant mindset. The fire extinguisher was attached right to the inside door.

Lucy yanked it off and quickly scanned the instructions, then stopped long enough to grab a dishcloth out of a drawer to cover her mouth before charging back to the den.

She couldn't see any flames through the smoke, which further reinforced the idea that a chimney draw issue was to blame. She hoped, anyway. At the same time, she wasn't completely stupid. If she couldn't deal with the problem on her own, she would call the fire department.

Coughing, eyes burning from the smoke, she activated the fire extinguisher and sprayed toward the logs.

The fire sizzled and spat at coming into contact with the chemical as the extinguisher did its job.

Okay. Crisis averted.

She hurried and unlatched the window to let some of the smoke out. Just as she turned around, she heard an ominous crackling and a loud, angry roar from overhead.

Her stomach turned over. She had heard that sound once before, in one of the upstairs bedrooms one memorable wintry January day when she was seventeen. This was more than a problem with a poorly drawing flue. This was a chimney fire.

In that previous fire when she was living here, that had been a case of an old bird's nest falling and igniting. This could be another one or perhaps creosote buildup had ignited.

Whatever the reason, this was a nightmare. Chimney fires burned hot and fierce and could burn through the masonry, the walls. Everything. In addition, flying debris could ignite the roof and take down the entire hundred-twenty-year-old historic mansion.

She couldn't burn down Iris House. She had nothing else left.

Though she knew it was risky, in one last desperate effort, she aimed the fire extinguisher up the chimney, adrenaline shooting through her as fast and fierce as those flames, until the chemical ran out then she scooped up her purse and raced for the door with her phone in hand, already dialing 911.

Apparently, someone beat her to it. She ran out onto the porch just as a couple of guys in full uniforms were running out of a fire truck parked behind her car, lights flashing. Another engine was just pulling up behind it.

Somebody must have seen the smoke pouring out the window and called it in. Yay for nosy neighbors.

"Is there anybody else inside?" one of the firefighters asked her.

"No. Just me. It's a chimney fire, centered in the den. Go to the end of the hall, last door on the right."


"Oh, am I so glad to see you guys," she called to the third firefighter she encountered as she headed down the steps of the porch.

This one wasn't in turnout gear, only a coat and helmet that shielded his features in the smoke and the gloomy night. She had only an impression of height and impressive bulk before he spoke in a voice as hard and terrifying as the fire.

"You won't be so glad to see us when we have you arrested for trespassing, arson and criminal mischief."

Lucy screwed her eyes shut as recognition flooded through her.

Oh, joy.

She should have known. Brendan Caine. He was probably the reason she hadn't wanted to call the fire department in the first place. Her subconscious probably had been gearing up for this encounter since she saw that first puff of smoke.

It would have been nice if she could have spent at least an hour or two in Hope's Crossing before she had to face this man who just happened to despise her. Not the way her luck was going these days, apparently.

She lifted her chin. "How can I be trespassing in my own house, Chief Caine?"

He jerked his head up as if she had lobbed a fireball at him. In the glow from the porch light, she saw his rugged features go slack with shock. "Lucy? What the hell?"

She tried for a nonchalant shrug. "Apparently, having the chimneys cleaned is now at the top of my to-do list."

"You did this?"

"The furnace wouldn't kick on so I thought I would warm the place up with a fire"

"The pilot light has been dicey all winter. I've been meaning to have somebody in to look at it. I've had to relight it a couple times a week."

Of course. He only lived about four houses down the street—and since Annabelle had been Jessica's great-aunt, too, Brendan would naturally feel responsible for looking after Iris House.

"I didn't know how to light it and I was freezing," she said. "I just figured I would stay warm with a fire tonight and deal with the furnace in the morning."

"And you never thought to go to a hotel?"

"Why go to a hotel when I happen to own a twenty-room mansion?"

Before he could answer, the two firefighters who had first charged into the house came out. "Chimney fire," one said. "Looks like some creosote ignited. It's mostly extinguished but we'll need to head up to the roof to put out any hot spots."

She wanted to sit right down on the porch steps and sob with relief—but she would never do that in front of Brendan Caine, of course.

He pulled out a radio and issued instructions in it that were completely beyond her understanding, something about a ladder truck.

"I want my paramedics to take a look at you," he said to her after he finished.

"That's not necessary. I'm fine."

"It wasn't a request," he said, his tone hard. "We need to be sure your lungs are okay after breathing all that smoke."

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Wild Iris Ridge: A small-town romance 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Chrissybelle More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to receive and advance copy of Wild Iris Ridge to review. I discovered RaeAnne Thayne about a year ago, and have since devoured pretty much everything thing I can find written by her. She has a great way of writing characters who feel real, and who have depth. The towns about which she writes become almost characters of their own, and Hope's Crossing is no exception to this rule. The families and characters that make up the town of Hope's Crossing remind be a bit of my own growing up in a small town. While a small town can be an ideal place to be, it does not exempt you from problem and trials, and adding to it, everyone knows about everything that goes on in town. Brendan and Lucy's story is an interesting one of misunderstanding and hurt. They have a muddied past, but are brought together by two sweet children (with the help of a couple puppy dogs and an entire town rooting for them). Both characters fight against their growing attraction to each other, and do everything they can to avoid each other, but seem to be thrown together at every turn (and when that happens, sparks fly..romantically and often tempters too). I loved Wild Iris Ridge, as well as the other books in the Hope's Crossing series. You could start with just this book alone, but it helps to know about the other characters by having read the others in the series.
DyanC More than 1 year ago
I was cheering for Brendan and Lucy from the very beginning!   I think this is my favorite book in this series!  I truly love this whole town and all the folks in it!!!
cher1011 More than 1 year ago
I have read all the books in the Hope's Crossing series. If you haven't, they are independent of each other as different heroes and heroines are in each book. As usual, the characters have a slightly troubled past but through the book, this is worked out and a happy ending results. I love RaeAnne's structure of how she puts together the storylines and characters. You get such a great feeling of the town and the closeness of the residents. I felt like I was in Hope's Crossing and could feel what the characters were feeling thoughout the book, that doesn't always happen when I read a book. The main characters, Lucy and Brendan had a past (one night) and she moves back into town to a house her aunt had owned after losing her job. They fight their attraction thru the book, but resolve it at the end. I'm very sad this is the end of this series as I've enjoyed it thoroughly. If you haven't read the entire series, you need to put them on your read list for sure! My favorite part of the town in most of the books is the day the whole town comes together and fixes up the town and area that need improvement, then have a Gala at night to fund raise for scholarships named after a character that was killed due to a car accident in the first book in the series, Blackberry Summer. I think if you read this you will greatly enjoy your read. If you haven't read RaeAnne's books before, give the book a try, you will LIKE it! Enjoy
CaMyers More than 1 year ago
Love Hopes Crossing and its fun character, this book delivers a solid story with believable characters. Im sad that this could be the last story in Hopes Crossing, Would highly recommend not only this book but all the books in Hope's Crossing story line. This author is writes a great story without littering it up with foul language or a lot of sexual stuff
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
4 STARS I enjoy Hope's Crossing series. The secondary characters are old friends that we can catch up on their lives. The main characters are likeable. Lucy has come to Hope's Crossing at a time in her life is in a crisis. She has been left a big house and she is thinking of turning it into a bed and breakfast. Lucy years ago had shared one kiss with Brendan. Then Brendan started dating her best friend. Since then she has tried to stay away from him. But she loves his children. So she is not happy to run into him with just being in town for a short time. Brendan Caine is the fire chief. He has been a widower for two years. He has two cute children. His late wife was Lucy's cousin and best friend. He is not ready to start dating. He can not stop thinking about Lucy though he keeps trying to stay away from her. Carter Caine is a cute five year old. Who is active. Faith Caine is a nine year old. She loves to read. It even has cute animals that are loveable and make you want to take them home with you. The setting is beautiful sounding and makes me want to go for a walk in the mountains. Hope Crossing is in Colorado right close to the mountains. I liked the drama it was not drastic but easy to read and care about the characters. I really like how the town has a day of service and every year more people get involved to help each other and the town. I was given this ebook to read and agreed to give honest review of it in return by Net Galley and Harlequin.
Barb00 More than 1 year ago
Wild Iris Ridge is a great book. The author gives wonderful details about the small town and describes the characters so well until I felt they were real. The storyline is well-written, interesting, and emotional. I enjoyed reading this book and I loved the small town. Wild Iris Ridge would be a great summer read or to read anytime. I received a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for my honest review. This review is one hundred percent my opinion.
Virginialloyd More than 1 year ago
Whether you take a hike or ride a bike up to Wild Iris Ridge, you won't regret it!  Find out what happens there in RayAnne Thayne's new book, Wild Iris Ridge for yet another delightful read into the lives of the inhabitants of Hope's Crossing.  Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne Coming home left much to be desired for Lucy Drake.  However, circumstances beyond her control drew her back into the heart of community, Hope's Crossing.   Will she find the comfort she desires?  Will her life path become clearer so she could move on?  Or will she become enmeshed in the hope that some things just meant to be?  Will she be able to overcome the bigger obstacle named Brendan Caine? To see if Lucy finds her heart's desires, take a trip with her up to Wild Iris Ridge to feel the hope and feeling of community, family and love.   Wild Iris Ridge, the seventh and final book in the Hope's Crossing series, will be on sale June 24, 2014.  Mark that date on your calendar...you will not regret yet another trip to Hope's Crossing!
gdsnv More than 1 year ago
When I read that this will be the last of the Hope Crossing books (with a caveat of maybe), I was disappointed, especially after reading Wild Iris Ridge. RaeAnne Thayne has managed to create a town that feels so alive to me. The struggles and life itself are so real that I imagine that I’m reading about my own neighborhood or family. Only these folks are much more interesting than my relatives! (And I envision the men as MUCH cuter, too!) Brendan and Lucy have a history that they must work through in order to move on. Their struggles and everyday life were so very heartfelt and real to me. I didn’t feel any personal angst reading this wonderful novel – as in “somebody tell me why the heck I wanted to read this story?” – however I DID feel all the hero’s and heroine’s struggles. Ms. Thayne does such a wonderful job creating this world we call a story. Brendan and Lucy are so good for one another and their personal struggles are real and such great reading. I have to say that my personal favorite supporting characters are Faith and Carter. What adorable munchkins! I truly believe their dad did a wonderful job raising them after their mom passed away. A. Dor. Able. I highly recommend everyone buy and read this book. I received a copy in exchange for an honest review however it was on my “to buy” list, as are all of this author’s books. I truly enjoyed Wild Iris Ridge and managed to lose myself in the world of Hope Crossing one more time.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
We return to Hope’s Crossing with Lucy Drake. She has come back to take care of her the home left to her by her aunt. While excited to be back she is not excited to see Brendan Caine. Brenden was married to Lucy’s best friend, Jessie, who recently passed away. They had a little thing before Brendan even met Jessie. They both remember that steamy hot kiss and while Lucy has been an “aunt” to his kids, they only had to endure each other’s presence on rare occasions. Now she is back in Hope’s Crossing and that means trouble with a capital T for both of them. Dollycas’s Thoughts I love this series!! RaeAnne Thayne brings us such terrific characters. Characters that are real and flawed and have issues and in Hope’s Crossing things happen to bring the right people together and overcome any obstacle. Of course there are residents of the town the push and sometimes shove people together so that can finally let down the walls they have built around their hearts and open their eyes and realize what or who is right in front of them. In this story two children and two little pups are key players. Lucy’s step sister also comes to Hope’s Crossing to shake things up a bit. I have broke my rule about reading these books in order twice now and am glad I did. I also plan to catch up on the couple I have missed. I was so happy to learn that Christmas in Snowflake Canyon was not the last in the series. These stories have become my go to books when I just need to escape from everyday stress and relax and know there is going to be happy ending. All of my visits to Hope’s Crossing have been wonderful and I hope I get to visit again very soon. You can read them order but they do read well as stand alone too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Format:Kindle Edition I have been a reader of RaeAnne Thayne books for years, throught the Hope's Crossing series. I am happy to say her new book, Wild Iris Ridge, did not disappoint. I enjoyed the friendship Branden and Lucy grew to have. It was fresh (although they had some history) and tender. Neither Brandon or Lucy felt their friendship could develop into a relationship because of Jessie. Jessie was Lucy's cousin and Branden's dead wife. This made their deepening friendship uncomfortable. Branden, speaking with friends, even called Lucy, "prickly " and a "little idiot." Jessie had always felt that Lucy was a 'fly in the ointment' of their marriage. The town, Wild Irish Ridge, was a very pleasant, caring, comfortable place. The neighbours and townsfolk all knew one another and saw the relationship budding between the two main characters. I believe the addition of the abandoned puppies brought all of our characters to life. It certainly changed the lives of the three children involved. Wild Iris Ridge is an inviting place and an enchanting story with truly believable characters. I loved that the story is not all rainbows and roses. Everyone had their own trials and issues. I sure wish, however, that towns like this actually existed. I will be awaiting RaeAnne's next release later this year.
Koalabear3 More than 1 year ago
The Last Book in the Hope Crossing series. A story of second chances. I loved every minute of the story. It will make you laugh and cry so have the tissues handy. I really hate to see the series end. Lucy Drake comes back to Hope Crossing after losing her job. She comes back to take care of the house her aunt has left her. Her cousin Jessie had died a few years earlier and they had planned on making it into a Bed and Breakfast. Lucy decides she will follow their wishes. Lucy and Brendan had shared a kiss years ago but than never got together. Brendan ended up meeting Jessie and marrying her. Lucy to this day is still in love with him. Brendan is the fire chief in town and has two little kids who fall in loved with Lucy. Lucy and Brendan need to get past their pasts before they can move forward with their lives. Will they take the second chance they have at love? Read the book today to find out. I just loved the ending to the book. It is a great addition to the Hope Crossing series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceptional Contemporary Romance. I had the tremendous pleasure of reading a paperback ARC of WILD IRIS RIDGE by RaeAnne Thayne, and gladly submit an honest review. Ms. Thayne is a master storyteller, evoking emotion through fully developed characters I couldn’t help but care about. I loved watching Lucy Dake and Brendan Caine gradually and sweetly develop a lasting love. I adore Second Chance themes, and Ms. Thayne did a splendid job cultivating this story and bringing two very deserving characters together. Their pasts and all they’d been through made these two uniquely perfect for one another. The chemistry between the characters is vibrant, real, and believable. Throughout, the characters remained true to themselves, the difficult decisions had just the right attention and pacing, and it was all so well motivated. Dialogue sparkled. Descriptive scenes evoked a beautiful sense of setting. The book is rich with themes of second chances, loving after loss, the meaning and value of family, and taking a chance at (romantic) love. Everything came together beautifully at the ending—such a rewarding conclusion. Reading those last few pages left me with a sigh of satisfaction, a warm feeling in my chest, and a smile on my face. Kudos to the author! Highly recommended. Sensuality Level: Wholesome/PG and yet fiercely romantic Language: clean side of PG
CrystalCB More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnne Thayne. I have read just about every book in this series and I have loved them all. I love small town romances and RaeAnne Thayne has a special way of writing them that I just adore! She never fails to reach out and touch my heart with a very emotional storyline.  Lucy Drake has lost her job so she returns to the one place in the world she feels safe the Iris House. However the house not only holds good memories for her there are some sad ones as well. She has lost her cherished aunt and her cousin that was not only more like her sister but also her best friend. Brendan Caine is raising his two adorable little children after losing his wife. He doesn't want or need the feelings he has when Lucy returns to town. However when ever she is around he can't seem to keep his hands to himself or his lips. I loved how these two are so drawn to each other even though they really don't want to be.  Wild Iris Ridge is a wonderful story about two people that have both experienced great heartache. Lucy and Brendan have been through so much. They just be what they each need to heal.  Lucy also gets an unexpected visitor, her sister Crystal comes to stay with her. Hope's Crossing, the Iris House, Lucy, and a new little friend are just what Crystal needs. She is a young teenage girl that is not getting the attention she needs at home so she has been acting out. Lucy has the time and the attention for Crystal, she has also been in Crystal's shoes before so she knows how the girl feels. I loved watching Crystal blossom under Lucy's loving care with the help of Brendan and his sweet children. This girl's attitude really makes a huge change while she is visiting Hope's Crossing.  I don't want to tell you too much about the story but I will tell you that Lucy, Crystal, Brendan, Faith, and Carter find a couple of little surprises that really add a nice touch to the storyline. I loved my visit to Hope's Crossing. This wonderful town is full of caring people that really reach out to do great things for one and other. I loved catching up with some of my favorite friends there and seeing what they have been up to since my last visit.  I absolutely LOVE this series and I can not wait to see what RaeAnne Thayne comes up with for her next release. If you love small town romances like I do then you REALLY need to check out this series. I think you will enjoy them as much as I have. You don't need to start at the beginning of the series to enjoy each story, they are easy to read as a stand alone. However, each story is so great I think you would enjoy them all.  One more thing that I must say about this book is I loved the cover. Ms. Thayne always has the most beautiful covers and I have loved each one.  I received a copy of this awesome story so that I may share my thoughts with you. As always it has been my great pleasure to share my thoughts with you on Wild Iris Ridge.
judiOH More than 1 year ago
the most feel good romance i've read for a while. brendan and lucy share a mind altering kiss as youngsters. lucy thinks there might be something between them and wanted to explore that. she had to go out of town right after sharedkiss, and brendan never called as he promised. just weeks after that, he met and pursued her cousin jessie.years later jessie passed away, and left brendan with two young children. lucy moves back to hope's crossing. can or will their kiss be remembered by brendan, cause lucy never forgot! thus the story begin s. love raeanne's stories. they are filled with love and good people i like to know. buy it read it, i kow you'll love it too!
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful ending to the Hope's Crossing series! This is a book that you read and you cannot stop reading it! Lucy Drake returns to town after losing her job and deciding she wants to open a B&B in her aunt's old house. Brendan Caine, is the one who got away. The one who she dated and left to go to college and whom fell in love and married her cousin. He is now a widow with two kids who is trying to deal with Lucy returning to town.  The relationship that develops and gradually grows from that attraction is such a beautiful story. Bravo RaeAnne! I cannot find the words to describe how wonderful this book is.
ILuvBooks25 More than 1 year ago
Lucy Drake moved away to Seattle hoping to escape the one thing that she wanted most Brendan Caine. They shared one steamy night together and she was hoping for more but then she never called. Once she finds out that her cousin/best friend Jesse and Brandon are now together she hopes that distance will help her forget what happened. Fast forward a couple years later and now Lucy Drake is back in the town she never thought she would step foot in again. However, things have changed for her. Now she is jobless and in charge of a mansion that her great aunt left to her. Lucy hopes she will be able to restore the house enough to be able to sell it and get out of town before anyone recognizes she is home. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned when her fireplace starts and fire and it forces her to  see the one man she thought she would never see again, Brendan Caine.  Will Brendan and Lucy be able to keep their distance while Lucy is in town fixing up her Aunt Annabelle’s house or will their romance rekindle? Review This is the second book of RaeAnne’s that I have read and the second book that I have read in this series. I thought that RaeAnne did a great job of giving enough detail about the characters that allowed you to feel like you really knew who they were.  In addition, I think she did a great job of making this story able to stand on its own as if it wasn’t part of the series. The only reason that I knew that it was part of a series is 1) I read the previous book before this one and 2) it said it was number 7 in the Hope Crossing Series. In addition, what I really liked about this book is that it was realistic. She had the characters laugh, cry, be mad at each other and make up. I really felt like these were two people that could be real people that I would know. What also was nice about the story was how she incorporated family into the story. She made you really feel like you were a part of the Caine family. Although they say this may be the last book in the series I would have to disagree. I think that there is so many more great stories that she could get into this series. Can't wait to read what new book that she will come out with next. 
Kelly31 More than 1 year ago
Lucy comes back to her great aunt's home to open it as a b&b and start a new career and life but as she arrives she attempts to keep warm but ends up starting a fire and none other than Brendan Caine comes to her door. She can't forget the kiss they shared years ago. This book has romance and suspense and is a great ending to the Hope's crossing series you wish it could continue.
MichelleLN More than 1 year ago
Lucy Drake was a Marketing Director at a Fortune 500 company but she has just lost her job due to a bad product launch. Now she has returned to her Great Aunt's house in Hope's Crossing. This is the only place she feels safe and comfortable and that's what she desperately needs right now as she puts the pieces of her life back together. As luck would have it, her arrival had it's challenges which almost immediately called for the need of the Fire Department. This is exactly what she needed to run into the one person she didn't want to see, the Fire Chief Brendan Caine. Lucy and Brendan have a rocky history. Brendan's late wife Jess happened to be Lucy's best friend and cousin. It was clear they despised each other. For years Lucy told Jess that Brendan was a washed up jock with more muscles than brains, but Brendan never could figure out why she hated him so much. Lucy and Brendan's paths kept crossing especially since she was the honorary Aunt to his children Faith and Carter. The more time they spent together they started to develop feelings for each other. Is it possible that Brendan could actually open his heart again and let another person in? Can he let someone get that close to him and his children? Will Lucy ever want to settle down in a small town or will she go back to the city life at the first chance she gets? Will they ever express their feelings for each other before it's too late? After reading this book, I will be getting the others in the series soon!
Paula-52 More than 1 year ago
This book didn't disappoint.  Exceptional book, exceptional author. Once you start, you can;t put it down. This whole series was great. Each book kept me wanting the next.
Cathyquilter More than 1 year ago
I received the book before release as a member of the review crew. I have enjoyed all of RaeAnne Thayne's books set in Hope's Crossing. This one was the best. I am disappointed that this is the last story in the series. There are still stories to be told. How can you not love a story that includes little children, puppies, a big sister looking out for her younger sister and the growing love between two people who thought they couldn't be in the same room?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could NOT put RaeAnne Thayne's Wild Iris Ridge down! If I could give this book 6 stars I would. I love ALL of RaeAnne's Hope's Crossing books, but she definitely saved the best for the last. I felt everything in this book. I laughed, I cried, I got excited, I swooned, I felt loss, I felt hope, I even squealed out loud. I was even a little jealous because I want Brendan all to myself. ;) Wild Iris Ridge is such a heartfelt story. I was very sad to see this book end, and I was even sadder knowing this was the last book in the Hope's Crossing series. I seriously want to pack my bags and go live in Colorado.  I highly recommend this book! And all of the other Hope's Crossing books! These books have become some of my all time favorite books. Thank you so much RaeAnne Thayne for making me fall in love with Hope's Crossing. Buy Wild Iris Ridge my friends, you won't be disappointed!
Cherellel More than 1 year ago
I just finished it last night and was so in love with the characters. I love stories with families in them and this did not disappoint. Lucy and Brendan where wonderful characters. Dad Dermont was great also.
Terri_C More than 1 year ago
I received an advanced copy of this book and was thrilled.  This is the seventh Hope's Crossing book (they stand alone, but I recommend all of them).  In this book, the two main characters, Lucy and Brendan have to overcome a shared past and a shared trauma in order to find the way to each other.  Brendan does some stupid things along the way, but don't we all love to pick on men for their stupidity?  Brendan is a fire chief ready to save those around him--he just needs some help saving himself.  Throw is some adorable and vulnerable kids, a couple of puppies saved by the reluctant adults and you've got the recipe for satisfaction.  Aahhh!!!                                                                                                                                                            l
Barbara-Tobey More than 1 year ago
I came late to Hope's Crossing but enjoyed every minute of my time there. I do want to go back and read the first six in the series. Many heart warming and touching moments, along with frustration and suspense.
Judie-B More than 1 year ago
RaeAnne Thayne has created a town and characters that make you wish you lived there, it's the kind of place that I would love to call home.   Knowing her books end with a happily ever after should not stop you from picking up this series as it's the story that unfolds between the beginning and the end that takes you on an emotion roller coaster that has you flipping each page in anticipation.