Sharla Lovelace is a new-to-me author. I first read one of her shorter stories on the upcoming anthology, The Cottage on Pumpkin and Vine, because I was lucky enough to be granted the ARC by the publisher from Netgalley. Lovelace's story in that anthology, "Enchanted by You" is my favorite of the three; I loved the emotion that packed within the short time-span. So I decided to give this one a try, seeing that it also had the second-chance trope, which is my all-time favorite trope in romance.
Seven years ago, right on their wedding day, Zach decided to chase storm one more time despite Maddi's asking him not to. Then the storm hit their place, with Maddi surviving because she was buried underneath their bookshelves. After that, Maddi said that she couldn't do it anymore, couldn't be the second place in Zach's life. So she walked out from him, never looked back. Until they meet again in present time, when Zach's family become the object of a newly developed reality show and Maddi happens to be the production assistant...
Oh, boy, did this one deliver ALL the RIGHT feels for me!! I swore, I tried to stop myself from bursting in tears when I read the book, because I was at public transportation (I was reading the last 1/3 part on my way to the office). I LOVED how Lovelace wrote down the couple and the conflict between them. The conflict felt right and believable considering the hero's occupation as part of storm chaser family (his Dad died from the storm as well, so I could understand Maddi's fear). The emotion was STRONG and PALPABLE, I felt it bleeding from pages, and squeezed my heart!!
While the beginning felt a little bit slow, but soon I was highly charmed by the characters : Zach, Maddi, and definitely the rest of the Chase family. Even if I didn't really understand (or sure) what the grandmother was up to, with her connection with the reality show. Didn't matter; the most important thing was that Zach and Maddi just grabbed my heart and I wanted so badly for them to work things out, to resolve their issue and the pain, because clearly they loved each other still.
The only reason I couldn't rate this higher was because of that -- I mean, despite of the beautiful lovely ending, I couldn't help to think that Zach and Maddi never really talked and resolved Maddi's fear and Zach's job, you know? I mean, yes, I believe they were getting wiser after Maddi being involved in this reality show as well, to see what Zach's did with her own eyes ... and for Zach to see what would have happened with Maddi while he was away. However, I never felt like they addressed things directly.
Also, I was a bit annoyed that Zach's other talent stay hidden as a secret. Somehow I thought that could be another option for their lives outside the storm chasing, and his family needed to know that.
But all in all, this was a winner for me. I definitely will read the next book -- even if the blurb worried me considering that the heroine is engaged to someone else already.