Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The First Kiss of Spring (An Eternity Springs Novel), by Emily March

St. Martin's Press, ISBN 9781250131706, February 2018

Caitlin Timberlake has a brief, romantic meeting with Josh Tarkington when she returns to Colorado from New York to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. When chance and her suspicious father interrupt their almost-romance, Josh returns to his automotive repair business, and Caitlin continues her plans to move back to her home town and start a new business, a day care center.

Caitlin's home town, and the location of Josh's car repair business, are the same: Eternity Springs.

Caitlin has had limited romantic success, and her father, Judge Mac Timberlake, is convinced no one is good enough for his little girl. Josh has his own reasons, and his own carefully hidden history, for avoiding anything but casual relationships with no commitment.

They have, of course, no chance of avoiding each other, especially after the perfect location for Caitlin's daycare proves to be a lovely, large, old house next to Josh's garage. There's also no chance that Josh's secrets won't come back to haunt them both, or that Mac Timberlake's own secret won't create its own problems.

The relationships, and the network of extended relationships in Eternity Springs, are mostly very well done. Starting at book #14 in the series is a challenge, but I found it not too difficult to just go with the flow and let the background gradually come together.

I don't want to say too much about Josh's background, but some of it is the story of a dysfunctional family that rang very true for me. That's not the whole story, though, and the rest is interesting, too.

I liked the characters, both the main ones and the network of background characters, and I'll likely be looking for earlier books in the series.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.