Currant Creek Valley - Hope's Crossing, Book 4

Author: RaeAnne Thayne

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Release Date: March 26, 2013

Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 + RR


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Alexandra "Alex" McKnight has earned the head chef position when construction is finished at Brodie Thorne's exclusive new restaurant, Brazen.  Having worked as a sous chef at another restaurant in town after culinary school in Europe, it has always been her dream to run her own restaurant.  When the contractor has a family medical issue and can no longer work within the deadlines on the restaurant, Brodie hires Sam Delgado to finish the job so they can open on schedule.

It's up to Alex to work with Sam to bring her kitchen vision to life.  It would help if Sam wasn't the most exasperating man she knows and if she wasn't so attracted to him.

Something is sizzling and the kitchen isn't done yet!

Alex and Sam drew me into their story immediately.  Independent, smart, with a great future as a chef, surrounded by family and friends, Alex makes the best of every minute of her day.  She works, spends time making freezer meals for those who need them, and spends time with family and friends, so there isn't much room left for anything else in her very full life.  Then why does it seem like something is missing?

Sam Delgado needs this restaurant finishing job to work out so that he can start his carpentry business in Hope's Crossing.  Since the death of his wife, Sam and his young son, Ethan, have been in need of a fresh start.  If he can just convince the beautiful chef of Brazen to share that new start with him, everything would be perfect.

RaeAnne Thayne's books are addictive, pulling the reader in to read far further in one sitting than ever intended, making me late for whatever I was supposed to do!  I get so lost within the first few pages that before I know it I've read half the book and rush with my tasks so I can get back to it!  So soothing, lulling me into a sweet small town with characters who deserve the happiness they seek, CURRANT CREEK VALLEY continues the HOPE'S CROSSING series with a special couple, sparks flying within minutes of laying eyes on each other.  This one really touched my heart in many places throughout the book.

I was enthralled with the characters from the beginning, but it was on page 236 when the emotions skyrocketed.  I think you'll understand once you read the book, but it was as if I had been lulled by a slow build enhanced by a creative layering that made me free-fall at that moment, never quite sure how we'd land, from that page until the very satisfying ending. You'll feel like you've earned that happy-ever-after right along with this couple, after experiencing the black moment before the joy.  So Good!

CURRANT CREEK VALLEY is my favorite HOPE'S CROSSING series book so far for several reasons, which easily earns it Romance Junkies' highest rating of five blue ribbons and a recommended read status!

First, from the moment they meet, Alex and Sam's relationship is fun and flirty.  They both have secrets so when those are revealed, it's an emotional discovery.  Ethan, Sam's son, is irresistible as a super smart child, saying what he thinks in the most appropriate moments.  Many of the characters from previous books make an appearance, which ties in the series nicely and gives us updates on each couple.  I especially loved seeing Claire, Alex's best friend and sister-in-law, interact with her, as well as Alex's mother, Mary Ella.  There's a secondary romance going on, a new baby, sorrow, rejoicing and let's not forget Leonidas "Leo" the dog, who makes himself right at home.  A super emotional ending with a charming catch-up epilogue, what's not to love?

For realistic characters with heart-wrenching dilemmas that are buoyed by hope, author RaeAnne Thayne tugs at the heartstrings before giving us the happy-ever-after we crave.  Like candy, the HOPE'S CROSSING series should be gobbled up back-to-back and re-read when you need a bolster of hope.  CURRANT CREEK VALLEY is the perfect continuation of a fabulous series and highly recommended to anyone who loves a well-deserved and hard-earned happy-ever-after.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dorine Linnen

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Romance Junkies Content Editor: Dottie

Romance Junkies Publishing Editor: Chrissy


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