by Jaci Burton
Series: Hope #3
Published by Tantor Audio on May 26, 2015
Buy: Amazon, B&N
Add to Goodreads
Molly Burnett dreads returning to her hometown of Hope for her sister's wedding, especially knowing she'll have to endure a weekend with the one man she never wants to see again. It's only a couple of days, so Molly will try to forget her painful past with high school sweetheart Carter Richards.
Despite the bitter memories, she still can't forget what they once meant to each other. But when Molly is forced to extend her stay, Carter sees this as his second chance to do things right, to start over again with the only woman he's ever loved. This time he isn't going to let Molly run. Together they're going to confront the past and put it behind them, and hope for a future as bright as the flame that still burns hot between them.
Hope Burns is book #3 in Jaci Burton’s Hope series, which takes place in the small town of Hope, Oklahoma. While this book isn’t my favorite of the series so far, it’s still an enjoyable read that explores some heavy issues between the main characters.
Molly has come back to Hope for her sister Emma’s wedding. While Molly is excited about spending time with Emma and their parents, Molly is not looking forward to seeing her ex-boyfriend, Carter.
Molly and Carter were high school sweethearts. Shortly before college, they had a bad breakup. Molly left town and has spent the past twelve years as a drifter, moving from place to place without setting down roots. Meanwhile, Carter owns a chain of auto body shops and is doing pretty well for himself.
When Molly and Carter reconnect, there’s a lot of tension due to the hurt feelings that have lingered over the years.
View Spoiler »Back when they were teenagers, Molly became pregnant and miscarried. She and Carter hadn’t planned the pregnancy, but were going to stay together and raise the baby. When Molly miscarried, she accused Carter of being relieved that he could follow his plans to go to college. Carter didn’t explain his emotions very well at the time, so this misunderstanding caused them to break up and Molly left town. « Hide Spoiler
When Molly and Carter air out their feelings after so many years have passed, there’s still some resentment, mostly on Molly’s part. But the longer she’s back in Hope reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, the more Carter becomes a part of her daily life again.
View Spoiler »I struggled to like Molly because of the grudge she held against Carter for so long. I understand that he didn’t communicate well to her after the miscarriage, but twelve years is an awfully long time to hold something against someone, especially when you were both immature teenagers when it happened. I think that Molly has this realization eventually, but for me it was a little too late. Carter is a great guy and it’s obvious that he’s sorry for hurting Molly, but for a large portion of the book, she just won’t let go of her hurt feelings. « Hide Spoiler
After an unexpected accident happens, Molly is forced to stay in Hope longer than she had planned. It’s in her nature to want to run away whenever things get rough, so it takes a lot of willpower to stay. Carter uses this time to try to make up for his past mistakes and show Molly that he still cares about her greatly.
As always, the friendships between the characters living in Hope are fun to read about. Couples from the previous books reappear, so it’s probably best to read the preceding books in order to fully enjoy this one. I wouldn’t say that I disliked Molly and Carter, but I found their romance quite angsty, which is not my favorite type of story. If you’re okay with heavier topics, then you’ll probably love this book.
Rating: 3 stars