Rocky Retreat by Vivian Arend, narrated by Tatiana Sokolov

RockyRetreatAudio-222x222Why I read it:  I’m a fan of the series and buy these whenever there’s a new one out. Rocky Retreat is a novella length audio I’ve had on my TBL for a little while.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Finding white-hot love in a white-out…

Eight months ago, Lee Coleman met the woman of his dreams…then lost her to another man. He buried his disappointment by throwing himself into work on the family ranch, but when a winter storm leaves him stranded, Lee finds more than shelter in the rustic safety of a hunter’s cabin—he finds a second shot at love.

Rachel Malone’s heart has been broken and stomped on by her cheating ex, and she’s determined to never fall in love again. But a rebound fling? Doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, especially when she’s snowed-in with a gorgeous, sweet-talking Coleman.

Despite their off-the-charts chemistry, Lee makes it clear he wants more than a temporary romp. In fact, he’s made it his mission to put a smile back on her face, even if it means taking it slow and resisting the scorching heat between them. This time around, he wants forever, while Rachel is positive that forever is a fool’s dream.

Lee can’t wait to prove her wrong…

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Rachel Malone is licking her wounds after finding out her husband of only six months had been cheating on her for at least five of them. She takes a few days off to regroup, staying in a remote hunter’s cabin. When Lee Coleman is stuck in a storm and takes shelter in the same cabin they are forced to hang out together for a few days, until the weather clears enough for them to get safely down the mountain. Lee has had a thing for Rachel since he first met her but because he’s 24 and she’s 33, she shrugged off his advances, thinking they weren’t serious. Lee realised his mistake (ie not persisting) when Rachel married douchebag Gary. Now that Gary and Rachel have split, Lee sees his chance and he’s not going to make the same mistake twice.

There is certainly attraction between the pair but Lee doesn’t just want a rebound fling, so he puts the brakes on the sex train and insists they take things more slowly. Rachel’s and Gary’s courtship had been very whirlwind and she is unsure of her own judgement now so it makes sense to take things at a more leisurely pace. That doesn’t mean Lee is averse to a bit of fooling around though. Rachel soon discovers that being with Lee is vastly different to her experience with Gary and, over time, she comes to trust in their relationship.

Rocky Mountain House is one of those super liberal small towns which are likely only found in romance novels but, it seems the only ones concerned about the age difference are Rachel and her out-of-town parents and sister – who are convinced Rachel has poor impulse control and are wary of her getting involved with anyone so soon, particular a man so much younger than herself. The age difference wasn’t completely explored. There were hints that there are differences between them which might cause some issues in the future. However, Lee struck me as older than his years and he was very definite that Rachel was it for him. I’d have liked to have seen a little more conversation about their future plans, but at the same time, by the end of the story, they’d only been together for a couple of months and it was fair enough that they hadn’t sorted through everything yet.

What else? The narration was, as usual very good. I do think Ms. Sokolov’s hero voices sound very similar (she is far from alone in this) but as I hadn’t listened to one of her narrations for a while it was easy to fix Lee in my mind and not get confused. There were a couple of glitches from a technical perspective where a couple of seconds of the audio was blank, but overall, it was the fun, sexy listen I’d hoped for, a solid addition to a series which is reliably good entertainment for me, and the perfect palate cleanser.

Grade: B

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