IT’S IN HIS SMILE (Red River Valley, Book 3) by Shelly Alexander
June 14th 2016
Miranda Cruz isn’t just the best darned waitress in town anymore; she’s Red River’s newest innkeeper. But first, she has to find the contractor who’s disappeared with her life savings so she can start renovations. Not so easy for a woman who never depends on anyone, especially a man. And when a gorgeous old flame shows up, the fire between them is reignited and threatens to send her dreams up in smoke.Acclaimed environmental architect Talmadge Oaks returns home to Red River on family business. He plans to get in and get out quickly because a professional catastrophe is waiting back in Washington. When an unforeseen snag keeps him in Red River longer than expected, he finds himself entangled in the renovations of his late grandmother’s Victorian inn. Handy with a hammer, he offers to help the beautiful new owner, but his motives aren’t completely selfless. Will his secret demolish everything they are building? Or can their undeniable passion keep them together?
After Talmadge’s colossal gaffe yesterday at Joe’s, the chances of Miranda letting him take over the renovations at the inn were about as good as her contractor giving back her money.
The way he saw it, he had two options.
One: play the I’m-your-creditor card and take charge of the renovations whether she agreed or not. When it came to any kind of building project, everyone followed his lead. Hell, he’d earned that leadership role in world of architecture.
Miranda’s face glowed red with anger.
Right. Option one wasn’t working out so well.
He shifted to option two: make her think she was still in charge.
“Don’t be foolish, Miranda. You need help with this place.” Talmadge was trying real hard to keep his mind and eyes off the taut nipples showing through her thin shirt. The moment he’d turned and saw her standing in the dining room staring at him with sleepy eyes and messy pillow hair…glaring at all of them over the absurdity of superheroes while wearing silly cartoon pajamas…
Well, hell. His throat had closed up, and he’d wanted to toss her over his shoulder and take her to back to bed. This time with him in it too.
It’s In His Smile is the first book I have read by Shelly Alexander, and I loved it! This book is the third in the ‘Red River Valley’ series. I haven’t read the first two, but I plan on it very soon. Having not read the first two books in the series first, I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by jumping right into this one. I enjoy small town romances (I prefer them), and this one takes place in Red River, New Mexico.
The story starts with Bea’s wake, which Miranda is hosting at the inn she purchases from Bea. Bea was like a mother to her, and one of her closest friends. She saw something in Miranda, and believed in her when no one else would. That is why Bea sold her the Inn. Miranda Cruz has lived in Red River her whole life. She was raised by her mother, and she didn’t have it easy growing up. Her own mother had a bad reputation around town. So Miranda has worked very hard to make sure that the people in Red River know that she is nothing like her mother. She is bound and determined to renovate Bea’s inn, and be a successful business owner. For some people it doesn’t make a difference that Miranda is nothing like her mother… guilty by association and all.
Talmadge Oaks has returned to Red River to attend his grandmother’s wake. He is full of guilt because he didn’t come home very often to help Bea over the years, and for death of both his parents. He justified not coming home to often because he was busy. Busy trying to make his grandmother proud of him. Talmage is considered a rock star contractor to the rich and famous. He is sought out by many because he is damn good at building things. Now that he is back in Red River the feelings, and attraction he had for Miranda come back full force. Especially now that he has to stay and help her with the renovations on Miranda’s inn.
I really enjoyed this story. The author did a wonderful job of making me feel what Miranda and Talmadge were feeling. Attraction ran rapid in this story, and while they tried to fight it, in the end it was hopeless. The chemistry between these two jumped right off the page. This was a feel good romance. It’s about hopes, dreams, forgiveness, and second chances. One that made me laugh, and tear up a little. The storyline and the issues that Miranda and Talmadge were dealing with were believable. There was nothing far fetched in this book. This story was balanced, with a mixture of romance and the plot.
There were several characters in the story that I liked. Two women from the local senior citizens center, Francine and Clydelle, that were hilarious. They said things like, ‘What’s wrong with you? You got a third nipple or something?’ These two women were funny, busybodies, and pulled all kinds of shenanigans to get men to take off their shirts. I enjoyed the mommy mafia, as Miranda called her girlfriends from high school.
Shelly Alexander has a way of pulling you into her characters lives, and keeping you there. This has made me want to go back and read the first two books in the series. There are several sex scenes in this book, and some mild cursing. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys small town romance, with well developed characters, laugh out loud scenes, and a book that makes you feel.
*I was given a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and views in this review are my own.
A 2014 Golden Heart® finalist, Shelly Alexander grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and worked in the business world. With four older brothers and a sister, she watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing sassy and steamy contemporary romances while tending to a miniature schnauzer name Omer, a tiny toy poodle named Mozart, and a pet boa constrictor named Zeus.
For updates on new releases and what Shelly is working on next visit her at:
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