Saturday, June 3, 2017

RISKING IT ALL (Hidden Falls #3) by T.J. Kline



- SYNOPSIS - 

Andrew McQuaid wasn’t always the local playboy. Once upon a time, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with one woman-Gia Mancuso. When he made a mistake and lost her, he decided he wasn’t meant to have a happy-ever-after. Now, Gia’s come back to town, with a baby in tow, and it might just mean a second chance at forever, if he can convince her that he never stopped loving her.

Ten years after leaving, Gia finds herself back in Hidden Falls. Between helping her ailing father save the family restaurant and taking care of the baby her sister left on her doorstep, she doesn’t have time for the man who once broke her heart. But Andrew is all grown-up now, in every single way. And the part of her that has always been his can’t quite say no to his tempting kisses.

Just when Gia begins to open her heart, a devastating secret emerges that threatens to destroy her family and any future with Andrew. Are they doomed to repeat the mistakes of their past or can Andrew convince Gia that she’s always been his one and only?




- MY THOUGHTS - 

Reunited lovers are not usually one of my favorite tropes in romance. There's often so much heartache and regret holding the characters back from acting on their desires, which can sometimes feel like constantly moving two steps forward and one step back. And memories of infidelity can completely ruin a romance for me as I'm often incapable of letting it go even when the heroine is ready to forgive and forget. 

In RISKING IT ALL, Gia is under the impression that Andrew cheated on her years ago, which made me a bit standoffish towards him at first. Then it seemed that although he had been nothing but faithful to Gia while they were together, he had drunkenly hooked up with her sister, Lorena, the year prior. Although technically that would not have constituted infidelity, it would have definitely changed the respect I had for Andrew. I think T.J. Kline did a wonderful job of building tension and drama between the characters by slowly revealing new information and shifting our knowledge of events. It kept me interested in seeing what kind of guy Andrew really was and if he was worthy of the loving and self-sacrificing Gia.

I really enjoyed Gia as a character. Sometimes heroines who are so good and selfless can seem a bit naïve or flat. A goodie two shoes that you can't relate to. But Gia doesn't let others take advantage and walk all over her. She's a fighter and has passions and dreams that she goes after, even if she knows it's not what everyone else wants her to do. I really admire that both Gia and Andrew are the kind of people who put family first. It's something I could really relate to and instantly endeared me to both of them.

That Lorena, though! She's just the kind of heartless, manipulative character you love to hate. It's like she's a magnet, pulling all the hate and disgust out of you and leaving you appalled by the fact that someone could be so heinous to their own family. I grew up watching telenovelas, so the scheming, unscrupulous, tornado of a woman who destroys everything in her path is something I'm all too familiar with. She's the kind of character that inspires such a profound reaction in readers – revulsion for her actions, sympathy for the heroes, and a consuming need to see her get her comeuppance. It's characters like Lorena that fuel our hope in karmic justice and keep us glued to our seats to see good triumph over evil. It's something that, especially in the world we're currently living in, we as readers – as people – need now more than ever.

T.J. Kline writes some of my favorite small town romances and RISKING IT ALL is yet another example of why I love her work. She writes about people that make you feel things...good and bad. Books that grab you and make you fall in love with not just the heroes, but their family and friends as well. They're the kind of books that always leave you coming back for more. As soon as I finished this novel I headed straight to Amazon and purchased the two previous books in the series, which I hadn't read yet. I don't feel like my experience was at all hindered by not having read the previous books but I enjoyed it so much and wanted more of the McQuaids. If you're looking for a small town romance that will take you on a roller coaster of emotions, this is definitely one to check out.




Disclosure: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own. 



 - LINKS TO PURCHASE - 
Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

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- AUTHOR INFO -

T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and rodeo queen competitions since the age of 14, She has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She has had several articles about rodeo published in the past in small periodicals as well as a more recent how-to article for RevWriter. She is also an avid reader and book reviewer for both Tyndale and Multnomah.
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