Her Road Home - Widow's Grove series, Book 1

Author: Laura Drake

Publisher: Harlequin

Release Date: August 6, 2013

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4


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Self-professed motorcycle chick Samantha "Sam" Crozier is still running away at the age of twenty-eight.  Not just a short trip either, but over and over again across country.  Has her luck run out the day it rains and she is thrown through the air by a driver who can't stop in time?  Sporting bruised ribs, a broken collarbone and a motorcycle that has seen better days, Sam is forced to stop in Widow's Grove.

Nick Pinelli, local repair shop owner, rescues Sam's motorcycle, a classic Vulcan 750, while Sam is taken to the hospital to be evaluated.  After she's released with the knowledge that she does indeed have a broken collarbone as well as bruises, Sam settles in at Raven's Rest, a rustic place with cabins for tourists.  Leaving her bike in Nick's care, with promises of repairing it with original parts, Sam has a long wait to fill with something before moving on.  The owner of Raven's Rest is quite a character, as are the owners of the local café, and before long, Sam realizes everyone in Widow's Grove has a story to tell and opinions about something, making her feel at home with their open banter.

A building contractor by trade, Sam finds an old Victorian home in need of repair.  Her renovative mind recognizes the possibilities and the beauty waiting to be reclaimed, so she buys it.  Sam plans to use her time wisely while she heals, then move on to another town.  Not one to make friends easily or put down roots, can Sam resist the pull of the citizens of Widow's Grove, including one very sexy, bad boy mechanic who awakens dreams and sensual needs Sam believes are forever dormant?

Sam's troubled past is filled with fears of emotional commitment.  One by one, the town residents crawl under Sam's skin, and now she's feeling attached.  Even an abandoned dog shows up on her doorstep begging to be fixed.  Can Sam finish her project and leave as planned?

Nick Pinelli has a past that he prefers to keep hidden but Sam tugs at his emotions, making him dream about what he thought he'd never have – a real family.  Can two troubled souls bypass their fears to allow love inside their hearts?

Sam's hard exterior is just a façade she wears to keep the world from finding out how broken she is inside.  Nick's horrendous past is known by the whole town and meeting Sam is like a breath of fresh air.  Finally, someone who doesn't know his history, allowing him to be himself, that is if he can get past Sam's walls to form the relationship he craves with her.

HER ROAD HOME is the perfect title for this book because Sam is so broken that she is running away from the only home she ever knew and doesn't even know she's looking for another until hope is dangled before her.  Although there are romantic interludes, this book is more about Sam's healing, as well as the healing of several other characters she meets in Widow's Grove.  Sam's past is heartbreaking and I was never sure if she'd ever get over what she'd been put through.  Nick's past is just as horrifying and if Sam can't heal, I wasn't sure if Nick could either.

Quirky characters fill the pages in HER ROAD HOME, pulling the reader into a sense of small town camaraderie, hoping that those who seem beyond hope will find their way home.  I'm looking forward to the next story in the WIDOW'S GROVE series and I'm sure you will too, once you've tried HER ROAD HOME.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dorine Linnen

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