Published: September 29, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Obtained via: Publisher via Publicist
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
All things considered, Dr. Devin Shaw has a pretty nice life. She has a successful medical practice in her home town, has a solid relationship with her younger sister who is with the man of her dreams and some really good friends. Long ago she accepted she was never going to have her own man of her dreams in her life—nor her own little family with children and all the joy they can bring. That hasn’t kept her from being close to those she loves along with the townsfolk of Lake Haven. On a snowy winter night she’s offered to take the night shift of the emergency room at the local hospital so her co-workers can be home with their families. An otherwise quiet evening is brought to an end with the arrival of a very pregnant woman and her surly cowboy brother along with his two children.
In an instant Devin recognizes her friend Tricia Barrette and learns she’s not only has a sprained ankle but is very obviously pregnant—with twins. She also recognizes the scowling yet very worried cowboy from the town’s efforts to safe itself with the Hell’s Fury River threatened to overflow the summer before. On that long and tense day she never learned who the man who worked steadily and solidly before disappearing was. Now she learns he is Tricia’s brother, Cole.
Cole Barrett doesn’t think too highly of himself. A former rodeo star he drank himself into a dark corner and almost killed a man. Seeing himself only as an alcoholic ex-con he is doing his best to raise his two children—6 year old Ty and 8 year old Jaz. Divorced from their mother Cole has found himself a single parent when his ex-wife dies. While Ty is a sweet, loveable and agreeable kid, Jaz is an opinionated, contrary little girl going on 40. When they learn Tricia needs 24/7 hospital bed rest Cole finds himself saddled with two grieving children and wondering just how he’s going to cope.
Devin quickly sees all Cole is struggling to deal with and finds she cannot keep from caring about his two young children. It doesn’t take long for the children to work their way into Devin’s heart…or for her to fall – hard – for Cole. But for every step forward, Cole pushes her two steps back. Conversely, each time Cole reaches out to her, Devin finds a way to step back herself. Will guarding their individual secrets keep them from truly finding the love they both deserve?
I stumbled on to this series and author Rayanne Thayne almost by accident with the first book, SNOW ANGEL COVE and quickly became a fan. I don’t know how I missed her as an author for so long. Her latest in her Haven Point series, EVERGREEN SPRINGS brings new characters to the series while giving readers to catch up on the lives of those we met in the earlier books. Their backstories are easily woven into Devin and Cole’s story, adding dimension and enhancing their characters.
While Thayne draws Cole as building his own emotional prison, one can still see how society shaped his world view. Over and over in this story the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves is revealed. Not in a bad or over done way, but a compassionate reaching out of just what we can do to ourselves emotionally. The things we tell ourselves about our lives and what we do and do not deserve. We all do it…as soon as we can think and reflect on ourselves we do it. Perhaps the only character in EVERGREEN SPRINGS who is true to his feelings is Ty—and that reflects how natural and honest children can be until our adult self-tales color our world views. Even 8 year old Jaz becomes trapped within the stories told around her. Thayne does a marvellous job letting Devin and Cole unwrap the threads tying them to their pasts and in turn it frees those around them from their past, self-imposed limitations.
Each book in this series is a standalone and can be read as such. Despite the secondary characters becoming primary characters in the different stories they do not have to be read in order. That said, you do not want to miss a one.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.