Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Montana Mornings by Kim Law

Publisher & Release: Montlake Romance, February 28, 2017

Time and setting:  Present Day, Montana

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Length: 322 pages

Heat Level: 2 Flame

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Gabe Wilde has never been more ready for a change. Thirty-three and in the midst of a divorce, he’s packed up his second-grade daughter and come home to Birch Bay, Montana. New house, new career, new life. Only, with changes come stress. His daughter is struggling with the transition to their new norm—and Gabe is out of ideas as to how to help.
Erica Bird is mired in her own worries. After impulsively leaving the teaching job she loved, she may finally be free from her cheating ex, but separated from her family and everything she’s ever known, second guesses linger. Substitute teaching in Birch Bay is fine for the time being, but what will her future hold?
When Gabe’s daughter winds up in Erica’s class, the two meet—or rather, reunite. Neither has forgotten their college romance or the tender feelings they once shared, but will their complicated pasts destroy their second chance? Or will old desire lead to a new love when each needs it most?

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Vikki’s Musings

Montana Mornings is the third book in Kim Law’s fantastic series, The Wildes of Birch Bay and an excellent addition. When I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, I eagerly agreed to read and review. The first book in this series, Montana Cherries, struck me at my core. Montana Mornings has accomplished that as well.

Erica Bird comes to Birch Bay to fill in for a teacher who is out on maternity leave. Imagine her surprise when she discovers her most challenging pupil is the daughter of her college boyfriend. Sparks zing from their first confrontation/encounter. While she desperately wants to help his daughter, she is wary of getting too attached. After all, in addition to having a past with this guy, they also live next to each other, and she has her own issues to work through.

Gabe Wilde is trying to fill the role of Dad and Mom. After years of conflict with his soon-to-be ex-wife, he has moved home and is now a teacher and coach. This is a demanding career for a man who has a troubled child. When he learns that his daughter’s teacher is the girl he broke up with to pursue the woman he married, he knows he’ll need to proceed with caution.

Can Gabe find the right path that will not only heal his daughter but restore his faith in himself and allow him to find his way back to the woman he should have married, to begin with?

Montana Mornings touched my heart from the first page to the last. I became enmeshed with the hero and heroine immediately. The story is compelling, and the pacing is excellent. Ms. Law certainly knows how to pull her readers in and keep them to the end.

Erica’s character has many layers. She has a passion for teaching. She is loyal to her family, and she can love ferociously. She can also make bad decisions that affect her personal self-worth. Now, she must learn how to live with her bad choice and pick up the strands of her life, so she can again be the person she always thought she was. She is afraid to rush into a relationship with Gabe for a variety of good reasons. I could feel her anguish and heart-ache, her fear. I truly wanted her to find her happy ending.

Gabe Wilde carries a lot of baggage from growing up with a narcissistic mom and living with his soon-to-be ex-wife, who is just as bad. He desperately wants to help his daughter but lacks confidence that he can when she keeps acting out. His character has deep-seated issues, ones he must work through. His re-kindled relationship with Erica is problematic because he has not cut all ties with his wife. He questions what he can offer, but he craves the serenity he feels when he’s with Erica. I loved Gabe’s determination to succeed. He’s fearless when it comes to protecting his daughter. He’s willing to take a chance on love again, even though he has every reason to resist.

If you are looking for a novel that has more substance that most stories, then you will love Montana Mornings as much as I did. It was great getting to see the other characters from the previous two books in the series, and I can’t wait to read the next one. The Wilde family is a fascinating one. Happy reading!

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