Jennifer Probst has become my ‘feel good’ author this summer – and she should be yours with the first in her new contemporary romance series Stay. Take a New Yorker out of her element, a recovering Special Forces operative, a troubled teen and a fluffy chicken with an identity crisis and you get
The Start of Something Good
Ethan is back home with his sisters at their combination rescue farm and B&B. Injured in the war – he was constantly in danger: plucking out the injured via helicopter drop and getting them to safety and treatment. His last mission, and the one that ended his military career ended in tragedy – and the loss of that person is the one he can’t get over. Convinced that he’s not a good influence or help for people or animals, he’s isolated himself in a small outbuilding and barely surfaces for interactions. When he’s informed that the local judge has sentenced a girl to perform community service at their farm in hopes that she will come out with a changed perspective, he’s determined to stay apart and isolated – it’s not his problem but his sister has left him in charge.
Mia is a PR star on the rise: she’s hard working, determined and her client list is exclusive: she’ll take on no one she can’t believe in after researching them exhaustively. She’s currently working for the frontrunner candidate for NYC mayor, when he comes forward with a problem and a proposition for a solution. His 19 year old daughter Chloe was caught cheating on an exam, and later vandalized the professor’s car_ resulting in a court date and hours of community service in upstate NY – far away from the city. Since her father’s campaign is one of family values and sticking together, this hiccup could be devastating. He cajoles Mia into chaperoning Chloe during her service: weeks in the small B&B away from the office, the city and all she knows.
The story – completely adorable! Ethan and Mia butt heads in snark and smart-comments from the start, and when Mia meets Hei Hei the Polish chicken (think extra fluffy feathers in a crown) – her first reaction is ‘eep’, soon followed by letting out al of the frustration and angst she’s feeling from being wholly out of her comfort zone, and she tells Hei Hei to “stop” and thus is the start of a never-ending love from him. A farm full of horses, with many rescues requires both a ton of work and a commitment to consistency, calmness and care. Not only do the horses need to be ‘re-acclimated’ to proper behavior and expectations, Chloe is also in need of finding a way to let go of the issues that led to her problems. Slowly from the gradual introduction of real food, carbs, hard work, praise and some serious bonding over Mia’s unfamiliarity with any movie of the Disney variety, the story is one of everyone learning to trust and open up to one another. Of course, the chemistry between Mia and Ethan is explosive – both are in so very deep before they realize it – and it’s utterly delicious. Several major revelations and changes, a few questions around Ethan’s sisters and their lives, and the realignment of expectations that lead to big changes for everyone hands out second (and often third) chances to everyone – leaving readers with a smile and desperate for the next book.
Title: The Start of Something Good
Author: Jennifer Probst
Series: Stay #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Montlake Romance
Published on: 5 June, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 43 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
An enriching story of family ties, broken hearts, and second chances from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.
When Ethan Bishop returns to the Hudson Valley, his body and spirit are a little worse for wear. As a former Special Forces paratrooper, he saw his fair share of conflict, and he came home with wounds, inside and out. At his sisters’ B & B and farm, he can keep all his pain at a safe distance. But quiet time isn’t easy when a fiery woman explodes into his life…
It’s business—not pleasure—that brings Manhattan PR agent Mia Thrush reluctantly to the farm. Tightly wound and quick tempered, Mia clashes immediately with the brooding Ethan. Everything about him is irritating—from his lean muscles and piercing blue eyes to his scent of sweat and musk.
But as the summer unfolds and temperatures rise, Ethan and Mia discover how much they have in common: their guarded histories, an uncontrollable desire, and a passion for the future that could heal two broken hearts. But will their pasts threaten their fragile chance at a brand-new future?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: