Widow Becca MacKenzie’s career as a temporary caregiver for the elderly suits her just fine. She helps them recover from surgery or a fall, hops back in her motorhome, and moves on, caring without lasting commitment or heartbreak. The ideal life for someone trying to outrun her memories and mistakes of the past.
It takes courage to stay.
But her new patient and his handsome grandson Flynn are weakening Becca’s resolve to stay detached, not to mention the kind and quirky folks in small town Harmony Valley seem ready to adopt her. But in order to stay and build something real with Flynn, Becca must let go of the past and unravel her tangle of secrets, none of which are easy.
Titles in the Love in Harmony Valley series include — Dandelion Wishes —♥— A Small Town Second Chance —♥— A New Beginning in a Small Town —♥— A Small Town Summer —♥— Forever Family in a Small Town —♥— A Small Town Memory —♥— A Small Town Romance —♥— Finding Family in a Small Town —♥—
This is a romance that includes no swearing, no violence, and no sexual content (beyond a few kisses).
Title: A Small Town Second Chance
Series: Love in Harmony Valley #2
Author: Melinda Curtis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: February 21, 2023 (original 2013)
My Rating: 4.5
A Small Town Second Chance is the second title in the Love in Harmony Valley series, and it gives us such a heartbreaking story in so many ways before lifting us up with an ending that is just perfect for this couple.
Becca certainly knows heartache. Her husband, Terry, was killed in action fighting a war far from home. Now Becca, her service dog Abby, and her rusty motorhome travel about helping mostly elderly patients recover while at home… or face their deaths with dignity. She doesn’t want to put down roots; being a nurse/caregiver allows her to do her best for her patients and then move on when the time comes. Except, unfortunately, some family members of a few of those patients are out to make some serious trouble for Becca. She’s granted the dying wish, the last request for one of her patients — it’s what brought her to Harmony Valley. But she’s also facing the accusation of taking money that she did not steal from another patient’s family. Becca knows how and why that money came to her, but proving it is the difficult task she’s facing now. Her lawyer is asking something of her that she just cannot allow, something that would put her current patient, Edwin, at risk… and drive a deeper wedge between Becca and her employer, Edwin’s grandson, Flynn.
Flynn and his friends, Will and Slade, have become almost instant millionaires when the app they created takes off. Along with money, oftentimes come scammers and relatives crawling out of the woodwork. Flynn is not a trusting man. Never has been, actually, given his childhood. So when his grandfather needs a caregiver, and Becca suddenly shows up at his door (on the suggestion of Agnes, who Becca came to town to see) he immediately smells a scam… and makes no effort to hide that reaction. But his grandfather trusts Becca, and given his grandfather’s health at the moment, well, Edwin wins this round of who’s the boss around here.
As someone who has caregivers taking care of a loved one. And as someone who is also a caregiver, I saw this story from both sides. My heart broke for Becca. She’s been through so much and still is going through rough times, but she keeps her head up, she does her best, and she loves… oh, how she loves those in her care, even extended family. She didn’t deserve what was handed to her, especially from Flynn.
Slowly we’ll see why Flynn is the way he is today. His life hasn’t been easy, but also, he doesn’t let many into his life, always expecting the worst of people. I loved the way his life before Harmony Valley was revealed to us. That didn’t keep me from wanting to have a stern conversation with him… often. But it did explain why he’s so slow to trust Becca, even when she proved her worth and her honesty over and over again.
I love the town of Harmony Valley and its often outrageous elder residents. We get a glimpse of one way that this small town will be brought back to life, and I loved Edwin’s determination and his letter-writing campaign. It’s obvious that Becca and Flynn have a future if they would both only take a few risks on love. I had such a good time with A Small Town Second Chance. If you enjoy a well-written romance with believable characters and situations, if rooting for the underdog is your way of thinking, or if you simply love a good romance… then you’ll want to pick up the stories within the Love in Harmony Valley series.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the author or author’s team via Booksprout. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*
Available for the Kindle as this title is currently in KU