Worth the Wait (Guthrie Brothers #2)- Lori Foster
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Rating (out of 5):
Synopsis: Single dad Hogan Guthrie is getting his life back on track, and working as the “barbecue master” at a local diner is just a temporary detour. He and restaurant owner Violet Shaw constantly butt heads…until one night they end up mingling other parts instead. Hogan thought he had the recipe for happiness all figured out. But loyal, carefree Violet is daring him to trust his impulses…and see just how sweet small-town living—and loving—can be.
Nathan Hawley traded his SWAT team credentials for a sheriff's badge, but a gorgeous new neighbor is shaking up his orderly life. Nathan has a hunch there's more to Brooklin Sweet than meets the eye—but given her caution about getting involved, he has his work cut out for him. Still, there's something about the elusive beauty Nathan can't walk away from—and helping her come to terms with her past might pave the way to the future they both secretly long for.
Single dad Hogan Guthrie has been going through something of an early mid-life crisis. Lori Foster fans first met Hogan in Don't Tempt Me as the brother to main character Jason Guthrie. He was trying to handle discovering his wife was cheating on him, stole their son's college funds, and then dying on the way to meet a lover by moving to a new town, getting a new job, and trying to be the sole parent to a 17 year old son. In Don't Tempt Me he dealt with everything by sleeping around a lot. Now he's trying to get past his hound dog reputation to convince restaurant owner Violet Shaw that he can be the one for her. His problem now is trying to get past the bitter view of marriage and commitment his wife left him with, and balance his life with his son Colt's needs. Hogan's a nice guy with a tendency to put his foot in his mouth when it comes to anything dealing with Violet.
Violet is fortunately willing to give Hogan plenty of rope. She loves her independence and doesn't want anyone to see her as anything but in control and confident. When she gets sick and has to lean on Hogan for help, it galls her sense of independence, but helps bring them closer together. Before either of them quite know it, they are learning to run Violet's restaurant together and starting to fit seamlessly into each other's lives. Trouble comes in the form of a stalker to new friend and neighbor Brooklin Sweet. Violet becomes collateral damage in a twisted attempt at revenge against Brooklin. Fortunately, Brooklin's neighbor Nathan is not only the town sheriff, but just as personally interested in Brooklin's protection as Hogan is Violet's.
Worth the Wait is a sweet story with plenty of wit and byplay between the characters to keep the chemistry going. The characters are authentic and strike all the right notes. Some of the best interactions came between various characters and Colt (Hogan's son). I'm not a big fan of kids but Colt is a mature, almost-adult, sensitive and thoughtful and totally stole all his scenes! The tempo might have benefitted from making Nathan and Brooklin the main couple instead of Hogan and Violet, since Brooklin is the one whose past is coming back to kill her. But by focusing on Hogan and Violet, we get to see two strong-willed, stubborn, and independent people learn how to compromise and become one unit. We also get to see them (especially Hogan) discover that life and happiness don't necessarily mean having a high paying, prestigious suit-and-tie job and ensuring your kid gets into the best college in the country. It can also mean just doing a job you love, with people you love around to support you, and family happiness coming above all else.
You don't have to have read Don't Tempt Me to enjoy Worth the Wait, although its fun to catch up with the recurring characters. Worth the Wait is a fun, fast summer read full of people who could be your neighbors- and by the end you certainly wish they were!
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review