Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 2/4/14
Rating: 4 stars
They can’t hide from desire
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 .
Jaded is the second book in Anne Calhoun's Walkers Ford series, and yes, it can most definitely be read as a stand alone, though the couple of book one do show up and have some significant moments that were enough to have me wanting to read their story, Unforgiven.
In Jaded, we have the story of Alana and Lucas, two lovely, lonely people who think they have their lives figured out, have what they need, only to discover that every moment is better when you have someone to share it with. While it does focus more on Alana, I felt Lucas' story was just as important.
Lucas and the people of Walkers Ford show Alana that every person, every step in the community engagement/betterment process is important. You don't have to effect change on a global scale to matter. Searching for a quiet place to find herself, Alana instead finds a home, a community in which she has the power and know-how to effect change, friends, and love. Alana, through her involvement in bettering the community and mentoring Cole, reminds Lucas why his job matters. That he might not be able to save every troubled kid, but it is good enough to save any troubled kid.
Jaded is a love story, but the author gives us a socially relevant story as well. There is a strong focus on small town America, the power of a involved community, and simply caring for your neighbor. The story touches on addiction, poverty and hunger, the isolation that can come from being poor in a rural community and the power change can evoke. That even the most basic amenities we take for granted - a library, Internet access, art supplies, or simply a safe place - can make a difference.
I had an interesting experience with Jaded. I liked it, though I wasn't especially wowed at an particular point. It wasn't a book that I had to devour, but I did feel sort of compelled by the story and wanted to keep reading. Though it didn't have a huge wow factor, I did sit back at the end and realized that as a whole, Jaded was a very nice story. There's a bit of sequel bait dangled at the end, and if my suspicions are correct and the next book is about Alana's friend Nate, I'm so on board.
"I want to finish what we started last night."
"Too general," he said bluntly. "Be specific."
The blush heated her cheeks as she looked at him. His five o'clock shadow dusted his cheeks and jaw like dark sand, and as time slowed and heated between them, she found she could name one very specific longing.
"I want to know what your beard feels like against my lips."
The Walkers Ford Series
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About the author