Series: Hope #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 9/30/14
Molly Burnett and Carter Richards share a painful past, one that sent Molly running out of town, vowing never to return. The only thing bringing her back is her sister’s wedding, and she doesn’t intend to stay long. But circumstances force her to remain in town, and within close distance of the one man who hurt her more than she’d ever been hurt before. Can the two of them face down the past and work together toward the possibility of love and happiness in Hope?
First Line This wedding was going to be a disaster.
That's right! Hope Burns has a wedding! I'm not sure why I'm acting surprised by this, given it's in the book synopsis, but still, Luke and Emma are getting married and that makes me happy! But even more importantly, the wedding finally brings Emma's long gone sister Molly back to Hope, and to the boy-turned-man she left behind, Carter.
Hope Burns is, you guessed it, a second-chance romance, a much-loved trope for a lot of readers. The history behind the couples lends an extra layer of emotions, and this couple's history is messy. I'm not going to divulge why they broke up after at the end of high school, other than to say this history was messy and carries over a decade's worth of pain with it. Molly and Carter were young and so in love, but when they ended their relationship, it wasn't the average high school break-up. With Molly back in town - temporarily- Carter sees his chance to make some amends, at least. But with the still-smoking chemistry between them, and the fact neither has ever loved anyone else as much as each other, it doesn't take this smart guy long to realize what they have is worth fighting for... But will Molly fight with him?
Molly and Carter's story is fairly simple, but told with heart. Despite the hurt feelings between them, it didn't take me long to start rooting for these two. And with a guy like Carter, it was easy to see why Molly is tempted to give him another chance. In Hope Burns, the author has given readers another great book hero in Carter Richards. He's a good friend and member of the Hope community, a nice guy who is fun and successful, what more can you ask for, right? Molly Burnett is quick to realize how much well Carter's turned out, but is slow to put her heart on the line again. It's understandable, really. I was a little slower to warm to Molly, despite getting why she's so reluctant. I didn't quite see why she spent so many years running from family and friends, it honestly felt like a bit of a stretch. But as Molly begins to see how Carter's changed, and how she has not, I began to embrace her more and more. In the end, I really liked this couple, and hoped for their HEA.
Hope Burns is a really typical second-chance romance, and while it didn't blow me away, that's absolutely fine. What I was very impressed with, though, was the friendships. The bromance in all forms of media is common, celebrated. And it's present here. But female friendships is a different story altogether. In Hope Burns, we get the strong female friendships, but one really stood out for me. When Molly comes home, she learns that Carter dated her former friend Stephanie a few years back, with the relationship ending after a year, leaving the two as friends. Instead of Molly feeling super jealous and hateful towards Stephanie and Carter, she accepts this as a part of life and is cool with it. They all remain good friends, no irrational conflict or drama. IT WAS NICE, so nice to have an author write such a female-positive response, rather than making it ugly. Thank you.
Hope Burns was a nice, easy read with a lot of heart. It was fun and sexy, too. I'm not sure why, but I'd assumed the series ended here, which is not the case. Love After All, featuring Bash and Chelsea will release April 2015. Their book was set up very nicely here, with little hint of moments that have me highly anticipating that story.
Rating: 3.5 stars
He closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around Molly.
Maybe this was just a "right now" relationship for them.
Maybe they had no future together, but dammit, when they did, they were great moments.
And tonight, she was here, in his bed, wrapped around him. For now, that was good enough.
The Hope Series
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Jaci Burton is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 50 books. She lives in Oklahoma and when she isn’t on deadline (which is often), she can usually be found wrestling with her uncooperative garden, wrangling her dogs, watching an unhealthy amount of television, or completely losing track of time reading a great book. She’s a total romantic and longs for the happily ever after in every story, which you’ll find in all her books.. Visit her website at www.jaciburton.com for excerpts, her blog and contest information.