I received this book via the publisher, Forever. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge by Debbie Mason
Series: Highland Falls #1
Published by Forever on 2020-05-26
Length: 400 pages
Reviewing ARC Rating:
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2020, 2020 New Release Challenge, COYER All Year 2020
Sparks fly between an L.A. career woman and a former Army Ranger in this delightful enemies-to-lovers romance from the USA Today bestselling queen of small-town love stories.
Welcome to Highland Falls, a small town where love is always in the air.
In just a few months Abby Everhart has gone from being a top LA media influencer to an unemployed divorcée living out of her car. So inheriting her great-aunt's homestead comes at the perfect time. Abby heads to Highland Falls, North Carolina, to spruce up Honeysuckle Farm before putting it on the market for some much-needed cash. But instead of finding a charming getaway, she discovers a serious fixer-upper, complete with a leaky roof, overgrown yard, and a reclusive -- albeit sexy -- man living on the property.
Ex-Delta Force soldier Hunter MacKenzie has faced war and loss, but nothing has quite prepared him for an outgoing redhead who's determined to turn his life upside down. Hunter doesn't want to get involved with anyone, especially a city girl who plans to sell the only place he's ever felt at home. But the sparks between them are undeniable. Spending time with Abby is easy. Convincing her to stay for good is another matter entirely.
So far I have not found a Debbie Mason book that I didn’t enjoy and that holds true reading the first book in her new series, Highland Falls. Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge is a sweet contemporary romance that whisks you away to the hill country of North Carolina and the fictional town of Highland Falls. Following the story of a recent divorcee who has inherited a portion of her great-aunt’s farm and the grumpy vet who received the rest of it, Debbie Mason steals your heart and leaves you smiling once again.
Abby Everhart is an absolute treat. I fell in love with this character slowly. At first she comes off as shallow and your stereotypical rich girl. Quickly you learn that is not the case. She has a bubbly personality, one that draws everyone to her. She’s genuinely kind, like give you the clothes on her back kind of person. These qualities make her intriguing to our hermit vet who lives in the barn on his side of the property.
Hunter MacKenzie is a broken man who is just learning to live again when Abby blows into his life like a hurricane. He is a decorated war hero, yet that isn’t how he sees himself. It’s clear that he deals with PTSD, and I like how Mason handles this in the book. Hunter can come off as cold and unfeeling at times, but when we get his POV chapters it’s clear that isn’t the case. He cares too much, and to protect himself he closes his life off from everyone. It isn’t until Abby arrives that Hunter realizes just how lonely he’s been.
The plot of this book centers around Abby and Hunter, their grudging friendship, and the farm. Abby plans to renovate and sell as quickly as she can. The problem is that her divorce left her with nothing. She’s at the mercy of the vet next door to lend a helping hand. Hunter wants Abby gone. She’s disrupted his life and quiet routine. He wants her to leave until one day he realizes he enjoys her company. This revelation leads him down a new path, one he isn’t sure he’s ready for. I love the dynamic Mason sets up between the two. While the blurb touts it as an enemy to lovers trope, I’m not sure I’d qualify it as that. They are more indifferent to each other than actual enemies. However it is a sweet romance that you can’t help rooting for.
Overall I really enjoyed Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge. Mason proves with each book that she can make you smile and fall in love. With this being the first in the series, there was quite a bit of world-building, setting up the small town of Highland Falls and its people. I love small town romances, and I love the characters that make this small town feel real. I can’t wait to read more! If you enjoy sweet, contemporary romances, Summer on Honeysuckle Falls makes the perfect weekend read.