Review: Second Chance Season by Liora Blake (Grand Valley #2)

Note: This trade paperback was provided by Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.

I want to keep him. 
I want to keep Garrett Strickland. Not merely for a few more weeks, not only until I leave. I want to keep him. 

I knew it! I just had this feeling Garrett Strickland's love story was going to grab a firm hold of my heart and try to squeeze the ever-living life out of it from too many ooh and aah moments. Introduced in the first Grand Valley novel, readers only got an inkling of the twenty-five-year-old co-op employee in the series starter, but he's got a story to tell here in book two, Second Chance Season. It's one that he shares with twenty-seven-year-old freelance journalist Cara Jane Cavanaugh, who is in Grand Valley from Chicago working on a piece about the booming agriculture industry in the small town in Colorado that Garrett was born and raised in. The country guy and city girl (or vice-versa) falling for each other is nothing new, but Liora Blake adds her own bit of creativity to it.

When Garrett's father passed away, Garrett was a mere semester away from attaining his degree in agricultural sciences and had an internship ready and waiting for him. He knew that he would always return to Grand Valley to take over the land that had been in their family for generations. Instead of taking over the reins, though, he learns just how much in dire straits his father had been prior to his death, leaving Garrett no other choice than to sell everything. Instead of going back to college, he chooses to take a job at the local co-op while spending his free time hunting and hanging out with his friends. When city girl Cara asks for directions to the very place he used to call home, it's the beginning of a strange yet scintillating connection between the two. He's there to help her out with her article and they act on their mutual attraction, knowing it'll all end in weeks. But what if it didn't have to?

I already really liked Garrett in book one, but I absolutely adored him alongside Cara here in book two! These two were pretty easygoing and it was difficult to find anything about either one of them to pick apart. They're from very different worlds, but they're both genuine and sincere, making it easy to see why they would click together. These two are trying to find their place in the world, but while Cara pursuing her dream, even if it meant having to end a relationship with a man she truly cared about, Garrett seems to be stuck, hesitant to reach his full potential. At first glance, it may seem as if Garrett is okay with being carefree and living his daily routine, but upon closer inspection, he's masked his lack of direction with what's become his norm. This doesn't mean he's lazy. If anything, it could be a fear that's deep within him, one that has to do with change. But you know what they say about change--it's constant and often necessary, and more often than not, you reap benefits you never thought possible.

Like the couple before them, one of my favorite things about Cara and Garrett was seeing how they handled being in one another's respective worlds. Cara may have grown up with money but she was far from spoiled, and I think her protectiveness of Garrett when he met and spent time with her family reinforced just how much she had fallen for him. Cara in Grand Valley, trying to get a feel for farmers and ranchers in the area and what they had to go through day in and day out to keep their businesses going was fodder for a lot of the lighthearted moments in the book. She found her way and learned more than a thing or two about life in the country. On the other hand, it took Garrett far longer to gather the courage to go after what it was he wanted, which reminded me of Whitney Reed from the first book. Speaking of Whitney, I appreciated the bits we get with her and Cooper Lowry, seeing how far they've already come in their relationship. Then there's Braden Montgomery, whose story with Amber Regan kinda overlaps here too. All in all, Second Chance Season more than met my expectations, and easily gets five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 05 November 2017

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