Love in a Small Town by Zoe York (Pine Harbour #1)

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Six years. Two break ups. One divorce. They should be over each other.Police officer and army reservist Rafe Minelli knows better than to tell his wife no, particularly since they aren't married anymore. She can’t hightail it out of town, though, not when they’ve finally broken through the post-divorce cold war status quo.

Olivia Minelli needs to leave Pine Harbour. It’s just too hard to see Rafe moving on without her—even if he says he doesn’t want to. But when a new and exciting job falls into her lap, she needs to choose: protect her heart, or take the new job and risk getting emotionally entangled with her ex-husband. Again.

5 stars*****

Well now... this book took me by surprise! I loved, loved, loved this couple.
You know you have found a good writer when you look up and realize you're already half-way through the book and you have no interest in putting it down. Very talented... her writing flows beautifully and she created some very likable characters in this story. This is a stand alone BUT there will be future installments involving supporting characters in the little town of Pine Harbour. I'm already looking forward to book two!
This is one of those love stories that reminds us that "Happily Ever After" sometimes takes a little bit of work. No matter how hot you are for each other, that doesn't solve the every day real problems that can make a relationship fail. This is what happened with Rafe and Olivia. They quickly fell in love in a whirlwind romance, got married and moved to the small town of Pine Harbour. Several years later they find themselves divorced... well, sort of... I think even they were confused! This couple sort of had a love/hate relationship. They had undeniable chemistry in the bedroom and couldn't seem to stay away from each other. But, his obsession with his job and her inability to find a way to fit in and grow as a person in this small town played a toll on their relationship. And, so began... operation let's try this again!
What I loved most about this book is that it addresses the fact that you have to fight for what you want and who you love AND it takes sacrifice. They both had to learn to put what they value most first above all else. Their undeniable lust for each other was at times very amusing and entertaining. I found myself smiling every time they were together.
This book brought me a little laughter... a few tears... all mixed together with a lot of sexual tension and passion. A wonderfully written feel good romance and one I would highly recommend to small town romance fans!

ARC was provided by the publisher via netgalley


Excerpt
“I’m not moving for a while yet. Let’s revisit this conversation in a few months.” She reached for the beer bottle and their fingers brushed. A shiver danced up her arm at the rough slide of skin on skin, igniting way too much desire. A simple, accidental touch and she was squirming in her seat. Right after talking about moving on. 
“You cold?”
She gave him a pointed look through narrowed eyelids. “Don’t you dare offer me your shirt.”
He gave her an innocent who me look and she laughed. “What? You look cold!”
“Here’s how that plays out,” she said, tipping the last of the bottle back. She licked her lips, enjoying the last drops of his beer, then pointed her finger firmly in his direction. “You wrap it around me, taking the opportunity to be all close and big and strong. Show off your muscles. Then I’m actually surrounded by your yummy smell, and now you’re cold, so you stay close. Put an arm around me. All in the name of warmth, of course. And then all of a sudden, your hand is on my ass, your tongue is down my throat, and everyone is talking about Rafe and Olivia making out in the back of a truck at a bonfire.”
He stared at her for a minute, then bit his lower lip and nodded. “Right. K. Well, I’m gonna grab another beer.”
He hopped off the tailgate and unbuttoned his shirt. She gasped as he tossed it into her lap before he ambled over to the cooler. 
Between the moon overhead and the orange glow of the bonfire, it was almost like he had a spotlight on him. And from her perch on the back of his truck she felt like she could watch him safely from the darkness. Without anyone else noticing her hunger for his broad shoulders and long legs. His strong arms and tight butt. Even with the warm flannel that she greedily wrapped around her body—and it did in fact smell yummy—he still sent shivers down her spine. From thirty feet away. The man was dangerous.
He stopped to talk to a couple people on the way back, then handed her the beer before continuing to the cab of the truck. He returned wearing an OPP sweatshirt and she was absurdly disappointed that he’d gone and covered up most of the muscles she’d just complained he might show off to tease her.
He hopped back up next to her, leaving a solid six inches between their thighs, and smirked as she stared at the blanket between them. “Miss me?”
Like you wouldn’t believe. “Nope.”
“Can I have a sip?” He nodded to the beer, and it dawned on her that he’d only brought one bottle back from the cooler. The first one had been shared…well, sort of by accident. But he could have brought two back and he didn’t.
The hoodie, the space…that was for her. The public show of Rafe and Olivia just being friends. But the single bottle of beer, passed back and forth? That was something else. She twisted the cap off and drank first, then quietly handed it over. He kept his eyes locked on hers as he tipped the bottle back, his lips where hers had just been.
When he handed it back again, she reached across her body and took it with her right hand. Leaving her left hand pressed on the itchy blanket between their bodies. He slid the bottle into her grasp, then dropped his hand on top of hers.

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