Friday, August 12, 2011

Once and Again

Title: Once and Again
Author: Lauren Dane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60928-520-3
Genre: {M/F} Contemporary Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx 

Seven years ago, a heartbroken Lily Travis left Petal, Georgia behind but when her father ran off with a twenty-something twit, she didn’t have a choice but to return. Her mother’s a wreck, her younger brother Chris is ditching school and Lily needs to pick up the pieces and put their lives back together. That means meeting with her brother’s teachers in an attempt to keep him from failing his classes. 

When Nathan Murphy looks up and sees Lily walking into his classroom, all his old feeling for her come rushing back to the surface. He hates that he hurt her and knows the intervening years of playing the field have meant nothing. She’s still the one woman meant to be his…the only one who felt right and he’s determined to get her back, but there’s a lot standing in his way.  

Lily has trust issues when it comes to Nathan. She also has lots to deal with and doesn’t need another complication in her life, but she can’t ignore her feeling either. The timing might be inconvenient but love can’t be denied and between Nathan’s plan and their well-intentioned friends, Lily doesn’t stand a chance. 

Once and Again is the first release in Lauren Dane’s new series Petal, Georgia. It’s a sweet and enjoyable story of old lovers meeting again and the flame of attraction reigniting. Just as importantly, it’s the story of Lily trying to salvage her crumbling family after her father’s desertion.  

While some may find such a serious topic off-putting in a romance of such a short length—approximately 100 story pages, I felt Ms. Dane handled it with skill and her usual creative flair. Her character development and descriptions of Lily’s family dynamics are top-notch. Despite the grim nature of the issues plaguing her family, there are fun periods too when Lily is dealing with her brother Chris that had me chuckling. Yes this part of the story tended to overshadow the romance with Nathan but considering Lily moved back to town to deal with her family, no one should find this surprising. Ms. Dane more than made up for this inequity by constructing an intense and passionate love story between Lily and Nathan during the time allotted to them. 

There are plenty of well developed secondary characters from both Lily and Nathan’s family, along with old friends they’ve known for years. All play roles of varying importance, but the ones that really stand out are Lily’s mother and brother, Chris. I for one can’t wait for the next release in this entertaining new series. Read and enjoy!!!

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