Thursday, September 15, 2016

Twisted Up by Erin Nicholas

Avery Sparks is a master at controlling chaos – and she gets plenty of opportunities as fire chief and head of emergency management in her hometown of Chance, Nebraska. The only thing she can't seem to control are her feelings when she's around Jake Mitchell, the man who was her first everything the night of their high school graduation. But Jake was so quick to leave Chance – and Avery – behind that she swore she'd move on.

While Avery's job is to minimize drama, Jake embraces the chaos of an emergency. After enlisting in the Army National Guard, Jake became a nationally recognized leader in disaster recovery. Yet a life on the road has left him restless. So when a class-four tornado wreaks havoc on Chance, he's eager to return home – and to the woman never far from his mind.

Now, Avery and Jake must team up to help their hometown weather a siege of violent storms. But it's clear to them both that nature isn't the only force they'll have to reckon with. Will Avery and Jake's whirlwind love affair be an all-new disaster – or can they recover from their stormy past to build a future together?

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next book in the series. To me, this book is about missed opportunities, hard choices, and second chances.

Avery is the poor kid who grew up to become her town's fire chief. She left Chance, Nebraska with nothing but her pride and came home with an education, determination, and a don't mess with me attitude.

Jake Mitchell is a hometown boy who's always had a dream to help people. That's why he signed up for the National Guard and left the day after graduation for basic training – not even telling his parents until the morning he left. And what he left behind was a mess.

Ten years later, he's still thinking about Avery and can't help but flirt – and more – every time he comes home. On the evening of their ten year high school reunion, sparks fly as usual and Avery and Jake take their relationship to a whole new level.

However, life is never simple and both Jake and Avery must overcome a lot of baggage to make the spark flame higher.

I love the idea of a female fire chief and this book manages it without even making a big deal out of it. Avery is a fascinating character and I love the way the author reveals her slowly as the novel progresses. Similarly, Jake is a perfect match and I enjoyed the way this couple grows together.

If it is unusual to start a romance with casual sex between the two leading characters, it may be even more unusual to start a story with casual sex in a shed during a tornado. I enjoyed the humour at the start, but I think I would have enjoyed the story more if there was more humour and less angst through the rest of the book.

While I enjoyed the pairing of the childhood sweethearts who must work together as fire chief and disaster response coordinator to rebuild their town after a tornado, I felt there was a little too much self-reflection, self-recrimination, and forced conflict between Avery and Jake in this story. The brooding and sulking during the aftermath of a natural disaster didn’t really ring true for two dedicated professionals, and I grew a little bit tired of the personal drama and found myself wanting to know more about how Avery and Jake managed to rebuild their town.

As a small town romance, this story is full of heart. Community spirit, colourful characters, and even a lost puppy add to the charm of this story. I liked Avery and Jake’s friends and I enjoyed Jake’s family. The tornado and the secrets in Avery’s past add a tiny bit of edge to a classic white picket fence romance, but this is feel-good home town charm from start to finish.

Erin Nicholas was fourteen when she first fell in love with love stories. Not long after that she started writing romances of her own, often spending family vacations in the backseat filling notebooks with stories. Now the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sapphire Falls series writes about women getting their happily ever after with humor, heart, and hope. From the fireworks of that first kiss to the thrill of passion, Nicholas strives to create novels that celebrate the magic of true love.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Twisted Up (Taking Chances #1) by Erin Nicholas to read and review.

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