Wednesday, September 4, 2013

SERIES REVIEW TOUR (Day 2) - RIVERBEND (River Valley #2) by Tess Thompson:

Title: Riverbend
Series: River Valley
Series Placement: #3
Author: Tess Thompson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2013
Published by: Booktrope
Format: Ebook and Paperback

Series Tour Sponsored by:

Copy Provided by Author
My Goodreads Review Link
Series Review Tour (Day 1)-Riversong
Series Review Tour (Day 2)-Riverbend
Series Review Tour (Day 3)-Riverstar

Book Blurb:
“Tag. I found you.”

Just as Annie Bell’s reputation as one of the best chefs in the Pacific Northwest grows to new heights, she receives a threatening phone call from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Marco is out on parole and hungry for revenge, blaming her for his ten-year imprisonment. Fearing for her life and that of her young son, Annie reluctantly accepts help from Drake Webber, a cold and wealthy recluse hiding a dark history of his own. Supported by the gang of misfits from their restaurant Riversong, Annie forges ahead despite her growing terror that Marco will appear at any moment and make good on his threats.

Author Tess Thompson reunites the colorful cast of endearing small-town characters from her bestselling novel Riversong and takes you on a journey that will renew your faith in love, friendship and the power of community – even in the face of seemingly insurmountable grief and fear. You’ll find yourself once again cheering for the residents of River Valley, especially the big-hearted and compassionate Annie Bell.

Escape with a blend of love, laughter, friendship, suspense and gourmet food while remembering it’s never too late for second chances.

Reviewers Note: Riverbend is book two in the River Valley series and is a Contemporary Romance written by Tess Thompson. I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review through Tasty Book Tours .

4 Starry-Night Stars!
Second Time Around’s A Charm! I Really Enjoyed This Read!

The Review:

This is the second book in the series and a much better read than its predecessor. Whereas I felt the first book was a good story but filled with plot holes and questionable actions, this book had a well thought out plot, well developed conflict, was faster paced, emotionally intense and just a sweet, gushy read. I loved the characters. I loved the story and the romance was powerful. I also enjoyed seeing everyone back as their little family of misfits keeps growing.

Annie Bell has finally gotten her life on track after a painful and harrowing past. Working with Lee at the now famous Riversong restaurant, her career is right where she wants it. She has friends, her son is happy and thriving and she has a wonderful home, all of which were once non existent. She might be a bit lonely but trusting men has never come easy to her and though she’s enjoying the healing powers of River Valley, she figures it's safer just to enjoy what she has instead of hoping for that which she thinks doesn’t exist. But as pasts usually do, hers has come back to destroy her with one threatening phone call and all that she’s worked so hard for, could be shattered.

Drake Webber has come to River Valley to hide. His main goal is to finish the construction of his house on the mountain, move in and stay, never to come out again. He wants to bury himself inside and become the towns recluse. His past is a haunting tragedy and he’s drowning in so much despair, it literally sends him into panic attacks. He’s completely closed himself off from anything emotional, from anyone’s touch and from any happiness the world might offer, giving away what remains of his life to the nothingness that surrounds him.

But after hiring Annie on as his part time personal chef and discovering she has a painful past as well and its come back to hurt her, he vows to help her in any way he can because he sees something in her situation and in her that resembles his own tortured soul. 

What he never counted on was finding the possibility of happiness and love in his desire to help and he’s compelled to not let history repeat itself.

Drake was miserable in his tragedy. His past is filled with one horrific event thats changed him permanently. He was shrouded in sadness and he was hurting so bad, he couldn’t see past that pain. 

But you have to love him as he jumps into protective mode and gives Annie and Alder shelter. After a rocky start, he takes Alder under his wing and becomes the man missing from his life. A real and true role model.

I love ten year old Alder and his intelligence, his innocent yet wise way of seeing the world and his smart mouth. He stole the show for me.

I liked Annie’s character and her devotion to Alder made her a lovely mother. She desired more out of life and went for it and succeeded. She was brave and took on Drakes pain, trying to guide him into the light. As much as I admired her, I had a really hard time with her self-esteem issues. She was the quintessential abused woman and she thought so low of herself it was tragic. She was genuinely surprised when someone complimented her or did something nice for her. I never got that “low self-esteem” vibe from her in the first book, so it was a bit off putting to hear all her dissatisfaction with herself.

The gang of misfits are always fun and it was good to see them all again. I also really liked the introduction of the new characters Bella and Ben, which will be the staring couple in book three.

My biggest complaint was I hated how quickly Annie let spill her problems to Drake. She’d only met him twice and then she was confiding her entire painful past in one crying moment, but wouldn’t confide in her fiends? I know its sometimes easier to talk with strangers but he’d been so rude to her up to this point and she said many times she didn’t trust him. But she opens up immediately about everything and to me, it didn’t seem realistic. I felt like after everything Drake said to her and Alder, he needed to work a little to get her to open up and to trust him with her problems.

The Wrap Up:
I really enjoyed this read and found it to be a terrific second book in this series. I can’t wait to read book three, Riverstar with Bella and Ben. Their small parts in this book made them stand out and I look forward to reading their story.

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