Author: RaeAnne Thayne
McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her beloved hometown of Haven Point. It may be small and struggling, but it's never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now he's back—his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.
What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? He left Haven Point behind years ago, for good reason. Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it's least expected.
McKenzie Shaw and Ben Kilpatrick are interesting characters with a lot of backstory~ I can tell that Ms. Thayne enjoyed writing them, and imagining their world and their history, it was so detailed. McKenzie's father was married when he met her mother, and a weekend tryst resulted in McKenzie's existence. Her mother then died when she was a girl, and she was sent to live with the father she had never met, his wife, and her half-sister. She was accepted whole-heartedly by her father and sister, but there was tension between McKenzie and her stepmother. McKenzie even had to change her name, from Xochilt to McKenzie! I think that would be very traumatic for a child, who had already lost her home and her mother ~ it would be like losing the rest of your identity. But McKenzie flourished and adapted, and became a beloved member of the community, opening her own gift and flower shop in the small town of Haven Point, and later even becoming the Mayor!
Ben is from an old family of Haven Point, almost like nobility ~ that is, until he shut down the boat works, and putting most of the town out of jobs, and according to most townspeople, letting Haven's Point go downhill. His childhood wasn't great either; an emotionally abusive father, a sister who died from cystic fibrosis. It seems he put Haven Point in his rear view and never looked back - until now. Employed by Aidan Caine from Snow Angel Cove, Ben is in charge of scouting a new location for their company, Caine Tech. Haven Point is on the list of possibilities, but Ben doesn't feel it is the right choice. When McKenzie hears about this possibility, she pulls out all the stops in trying to get Ben to choose Haven Point and revitalize the town.
The setting is gorgeous, a lake mountain town around the fourth of July, it just sounds so small town idyllic! I am infatuated with the small town setting, and this book definitely feeds that infatuation. The romance is adorable, and the story even has dogs! Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was fun, perfectly seasonal, and took me away on a great trip, far from my living room in Michigan.
Thanks to Little Bird Publicity, I am able to offer readers in the US a chance to win this fun summer read! To enter: