Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jaded (Walker Ford #2) by Anne Calhoun

After life as a cop in Denver leaves him burned-out, Lucas Ridgeway returns to Walkers Ford, South Dakota, to serve as their chief of police. He’s hoping to start over with a clean slate and avoid any emotional entanglements—even after his next-door neighbor kisses him senseless. Alana is passionate, dedicated, and most importantly leaving town soon. So why not have some fun?

Alana Wentworth comes from a larger-than-life political family, yet all she wanted was to be a librarian. Then after an embarrassing marriage proposal from Mr. Not-For-Her, she jumps at the chance to live her dream for a few months. She wasn't supposed to get involved with the community—or sexy, troubled Lucas. But when the time comes for Alana to put Walkers Ford behind her, she’s not ready. And Lucas may not be ready for her to go….

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 3.5-4 out of 5 (I think it would have been a solid 4 had I read book one first)

Amazon | All Romance | Book Depository | BAMGoodreads

Small town romance. A sexy cop. A librarian. The cutest retired police dog. And a town brought together by an unlikely new addition to their ranks. I mean. Hello. That's just an amazing combo. Jaded was a fun read that easily kept me entertained as Alana and Lucas start up a bit of a fling before she's supposed to leave town and things, well, they get...complicated.

The quick of it is that Alana landed in Walker Ford as their temporary librarian to escape a bit of a blunder back home and to live a little on her own terms and not for what everyone else expected of her. But her time in Walker Ford is almost over and she wants one last thing before she leaves town...a hot and heavy fling with the town's police chief Lucas.

I really enjoyed both Alana and Lucas. Alana was delightful. She's good at what she does, puts her whole heart into everything and really makes a difference to the people around her--even if she doesn't think she's all that remarkable. And damn. Lucas is a lot of sexy in one tasty man package. And omg he is the sexiest thing doting on his senior pup the way he does. Instant *girly sigh* from me. He's also a bit of a damaged hero that's sporting a lot of hurts after a horrible incident and is in desperate need of someone who will just make him feel again.

The romance between them and seeing their fling turn into something more was nicely done. Things get pretty steamy and I loved watching not just their relationship evolve and them grow as individuals but the sexual side of things change and evolve as well. They were always nice but very much moved from just an orgasm and a thanks see ya later to a deeper emotional impact on each of them which was just wonderful to see. And holy hell...steamy. There's a LOT of heat in this one and it was excellent.
Her hands found his lower abdomen, warm skin and ridged muscle that sent a hot zing along her nerves. She looked down. His pants had ridden down again, revealing the erection straining against the waistband of his boxers. She loosened his tie, pulled it free, and dropped it on the floor. Starting with the lowest button on his dress shirt, she worked her way up to his throat, then spread the fabric wide. He looked at her, his body bared to her, his gaze unapologetically unashamedly sexual.

And for good reason. He was built, ripped, whatever the slang was for not an ounce of fat under skin stretched over workout-honed muscles. She looked him over, her fingers winding in that tantalizing line of hair.

"That doesn't tickle?" she asked.

His abs tightened but his smile loosened. "Not enough to distract me from how close your hand is to my cock."

Heat flared in her cheeks. "Very close," she said as she trailed the tip of her middle finger down the chestnut brown hair, then squeezed the hard shaft straining against his zipper.
These two really complimented each other nicely in and out of the bedroom and I loved watching him coming back to life and feeling something other than pain and guilt and her realizing her worth and not only the impact she had on him but on the whole town.

And the town. They're an interesting group and felt pretty real. There are some ugly real to life things shown--poverty, health issues, etc--but seeing them deal with it and plug along was pretty touching and just had me falling for them in all their bits and pieces.

All in all, I had a really good time with Jaded. My only complaint was that more than once it was glaringly obvious I'd missed things by not reading book one which made for some awkward scenes since I didn't know the backstory/characters being spoken about. It didn't ruin the story obviously but made for some harder reading so I'd suggest picking up book one first. But other than that I loved the characters, the town and watching love sneak up on these two.

Have you read Calhoun? 
Have a favorite small town romance?

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