by Rachel Lacey
Series: Love to the Rescue #3
Published by Forever on August 25, 2015
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Cops
Format: ARC, Ebook
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
Olivia Bennett is not having a happy birthday. Instead of blowing out her twenty-nine candles, she's stuck in jail, caught red-handed in a graffiti incident that (perhaps) involved one too many strawberry margaritas. Worst idea ever. The only bright side is that she ended up in the strong arms of the most gorgeous lawman she's ever seen.
Pete Sampson (aka Deputy Hot Stuff) faces intense pressure from the sheriff to find out who's behind a string of vandalisms. And after her spray-painting spree, Olivia is suspect number one. Still, Pete can't stop thinking about her. Wanting her. Now he's torn between his duty and his overpowering desire for the vivacious waitress. But he may have to bend the rules because true love is more important than the letter of the law ...
Ever After gave me all kinds of warm fuzzies. The romance between the main characters is swoonworthy and I loved how the pets are supporting characters since they’re featured so much. Rachel Lacey is going on my Read Again list for sure.
First things first: I know the adage says that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but this book immediately caught my attention on NetGalley. That’s one pretty cover. Secondly, this is book three in the Love to the Rescue series. I haven’t yet read books one and two, but I was able to read this comfortably as a standalone. However, I intend on going back to the beginning of the series since I loved this one so much.
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Olivia Bennett is an animal rights activist. She’s incredibly passionate about her cause, especially working to stop the abuse of factory-farmed chickens in her small hometown of Dogwood, North Carolina. When the story opens, Olivia is caught spray-painting the local chicken processing plant by Deputy Pete Sampson. Pete (aka Deputy Hot Stuff) arrests her for vandalism. Following the spray-painting incident, a series of events happen to Olivia that appear to be retaliation for her activism against the chicken plant. As more incidents occur, she finds herself increasingly involved with Pete as they attempt to find out who’s targeting her.
Everything about her was sexy as hell. And he had absolutely no business lusting after a woman he’d arrested.
Olivia is a strong character who I really enjoyed. At times, she behaves impulsively–such as her ill-advised vandalism incident–but she learns from her mistakes and makes restitution for them. She’s extremely passionate about her beliefs, but I never felt that she went overboard into fanaticism. For example, even though she’s a vegetarian, she isn’t preachy or judgmental to others about what they eat. In addition to her activism, she also helps foster dogs for her friend’s local rescue group.
Pete is an equally likable character. He’s an honest cop and has a great deal of integrity, but he also has some secrets that keep him up at night. I really felt for him because he has so much self-imposed guilt that just isn’t deserved. As he and Olivia begin a relationship, she has to figure out a way to help him center himself and rid him of his personal demons.
Olivia made him feel everything. And that might be even scarier than feeling nothing.
Even though their relationship begins on a casual level, over time it becomes apparent to both Olivia and Pete that they’re falling for each other hard. As I mentioned, the romance itself is the focus of the story, which makes it a really strong one. There’s some conflict when they must reconcile their diverging lives with their desire to be together, but the emotion between Olivia and Pete comes across as genuine and believable.
“Wherever you are is where I need to be.”
Additionally, I liked the supporting characters, who are couples from the previous two books. Olivia and Pete’s family members also play a huge role. And as I mentioned, I felt that the sweet dogs and cat are supporting characters in their own right because they’re such a big part of the plot. Their presence makes the story that much more heartwarming.
Ever After has the elements that I love so much in romance: a combination of humor with a lot of heart, not to mention that the romance itself is downright sexy. Fans of Jill Shalvis will love Rachel Lacey’s series. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the others in the series.
Rating: 5 stars