Tuesday, November 29, 2016

First Step Forward by Liora Blake

Title: First Step Forward
Author: Liora Blake
Series: Grand Valley #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date : November 29, 2016 

Pro-football player Cooper Lowry is off the field and into some trouble—in the form of a very alluring, very free-spirited apple orchard owner named Whitney Reed—in the first installment in Liora Blake’s all new Grand Valley series.

After eight seasons playing pro-football, Cooper Lowry knows all the right answers.

Is he stubborn, short-tempered, and impatient? Yes. Are jersey chasers more trouble than they’re worth? Absolutely. Has he ever imagined a life beyond the game? Nope.

Cooper has built an enviable career—the result of staying focused, working hard, and keeping his head on straight—even as his body takes the brunt. So when a hard hit during a Sunday home game leaves him in a dazed heap on the field, it’s nothing more than another day at the office. The only thing that’s different about this Sunday is a chance encounter with a certain fascinating, beautiful free-spirited woman. And some sternly-worded instructions from his coach to take a little time off and give his body the TLC it craves—before he does lasting damage.

Whitney Reed is a few months away from losing the organic fruit orchard she bought three years ago in the tiny town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the time, she was just looking for a place to get lost. Instead, she found a home, somewhere she could finally put down roots. Now foreclosure is knocking on her door—along with a grumpy, gorgeous football player who might be just what she never knew she needed.

A charming love story for romance and sports fans alike, First Step Forward is a sexy, heartwarming romp perfect for readers of Jennifer Probst, Kristan Higgins, and Julie James.

Liora Blake blew me away with First Step Forward. I've been a fan of hers since the first moment I read True North which was fantastic. Her whole True series is awesome. It was a no-brainer for me to jump at the chance to start another novel by her. 

As with True North, First Step Forward has an unlikely couple as the main characters. 

What do a jock and Treehugger have in common? 

At first glance, you'll say nothing and be completely wrong. I have no idea how Liora Blake comes out with her characters but I hope she never changes it. The chemistry between them is always there. The reader knows this couple is meant to be and there's nothing that can change that. 

Whitney Reed is about to lose her apple orchard. She has been the owner of the Delaney Creek Orchards for the last three years. She bought the property after her father passed away. Unfortunately, mother nature has not been nice lately and she lost most of her apples to the weather. Whitney knows she's running out of time and she goes to the city in search of a bank loan. A chance encounter with Cooper makes her forget about her problems for the time being.

Cooper Lowry is a star football player. He has been doing it for almost a decade. He's good at it and the rest of the team respects him. After a bad hit during the last game, he develops a horrible headache/concussion and he goes to the store in search of bath salts. His body is in pain and his mind is muddled. The last thing he was expecting is the help of a beautiful woman in pj's and socks. 

I love books that when I finish reading them leave a smile on my face or a sigh escapes me. This is exactly what happened with this novel. I love both characters. 

At times, Whitney was crazy treehugger and a second later she would be in love with a diesel car as long as it provided heated seats (I understand, I love them too). She was a breath of fresh air. She was patient with Cooper and called him on his grumpiness. 

I love that Cooper wasn't good at lying. He was a straight-forward kind of guy. No need to hide it. He had a reputation of quiet, stubborn and grumpy but he was also sweet, very lovable throughout the book. 

There were some great secondary characters and I'm hopeful Tanner and Garrett get their own books too.

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Pocket books via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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