Series: Eternity Springs #11
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 5, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Goodreads giveaway
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Also in this series: Miracle Road, Mistletoe Mine, Dreamweaver Trail, Teardrop Lane, Heartsong Cottage, Christmas in Eternity Springs
Also by this author: Miracle Road, Mistletoe Mine, Dreamweaver Trail, Teardrop Lane, Heartsong Cottage, Christmas in Eternity Springs
IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART.
Six years ago, Chase Timberlake bought an engagement ring for his high school sweetheart Lori Reese. Then ... life happened. Chase's adventure photography career took off, Lori's dream of getting into veterinary school came true, and their happily ever after never came to pass.
When Chase's jet-setting life takes a tragic turn, he returns to Eternity Springs a damaged man. Who better to help mend his spirit than the woman who has dedicated her life to healing broken wings? Long summer days spent together rekindles the love that never died and Chase dares to dream of a future he'd thought lost. But Lori can't help but wonder whether this high-flying man really wants a small-town girl with roots sunk deep into the Colorado Rockies. Can she and Chase turn back the hands of time and pick up where they left off -- and give forever a chance?
I received a review copy of this book from Goodreads giveaway.
Reunion Pass really tells two stories: Chase and Lori’s early love and how they drifted apart, and their friendship and second-chance love after Chase experiences a truly horrifying event that leaves him damaged both emotionally and physically. In a sense, that makes it a little like Dreamweaver Trail — a deeply wounded man who tries to hide from everyone and everything, and the woman who helps bring him out of it. But Reunion Pass is different from DT in significant ways. For one thing, there are a lot more flashbacks, many of which explore Chase and Lori’s first love and separation and Chase’s relationship with Lana, his fiance through much of the present part of the story. We also get some of the backstory of what happened to throw Chase into such a dark place, but the full extent of it isn’t revealed until closer to the end of the book.
The tight-knit Eternity Springs community shines in this book, as they rally to support Ali and Mack Timberlake when Chase goes missing. But it’s Lori who really amazes me — how did she get so wise, so young? She has an instinctive understanding of how to help Chase heal, which is clearly based both on her love for him and on her understanding of animals. (A veterinarian, Lori has come home to take over the practice from Nic Callahan, who decided to retire to focus on her growing family.) But then, Eternity Springs has always been about healing, and Lori grew up there… and grew up listening to Celeste Blessing, a truly wise woman if ever there was one.
Normally, I don’t like romances where one of the couple is involved with or worse, engaged to, someone else. But Ms. March handles Chase’s involvement with Lana extremely well. On the one hand, it’s clear that Chase never really got over Lori, and still has feelings for her. On the other hand, he doesn’t let himself dwell on them and seems committed to making things work with Lana even as I could see the cracks developing in their relationship. For her part, Lori tries to hide her pain while still being a friend. And after what happens to him, it’s so obvious that while Lana cares about Chase, she isn’t right for him (nor he for her); they’ve gone in different directions. But there’s no infidelity in the book, nothing that got my hackles up. I applaud Ms. March for successfully handling a situation that in other hands could have killed the story for me.
I like Chase, and I empathize with him, even though occasionally I wanted to shake some sense into him… but I love Lori. She’s caring, brave, loyal, and determined, a steadfast friend and a wise young woman.
I devoured Reunion Pass in one night. It cost me several hours of sleep I hadn’t anticipated losing, but it was worth every minute. Already, I can’t wait for book #12, Christmas in Eternity Springs, which will introduce two completely new characters to the series. It’s due out in early October.