Maria Rose's Reviews > Love Burns

Love Burns by Babette James
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star-reads, fully-reviewed-books, widow-divorce-2nd-love

This sexy emotional romance is the story of Olivia and Dave. Dave was there when Olivia's marriage finally fell apart after years of emotional abuse while at a summer camping trip with her husband's friend, and one year later they are back at the same camp with mutual friends but under new circumstances. Newly divorced, Olivia just wants to enjoy her vacation and figure out her future path. Dave, permanently injured in a tragic accident that forcibly ended his smokejumper career isn't the same carefree playboy he was when they met the year before. Both working on healing, they discover that being together is a way to forget all the pressure and stress and just be. But when their idyllic week is over and it's time to go their separate ways, will they be able to take the seeds of a new relationship and help it grow into something worth fighting for?

After being introduced to Dave and Olivia as characters in the previous story Clear As Day, I was really hoping to see them get a happy tale for themselves and it was with delight that I started this story. The author has a knack for pulling the reader in from the first page and while Olivia and Dave have been through some hard knocks in the run up to this week of summer fun, the simmering attraction between them is there, and ready to be acted upon. Dave is no longer the same man as a year ago though. While still friendly and charming when he wants to be, the bitterness and stress of his accident, recovery and realization that he will never be able to go back to the one thing in life he loves have taken their toll. He suffers from PTSD, he is physically challenged by his injuries and with women he no longer feels that he is a worthy player. Olivia on the other hand has grown into a more mature and self-sufficient woman, having gone through a divorce to her husband for whom she was only a trophy wife and realizing that she can now pursue her own goals, not those of her parents or her ex-husband. When she and Dave spend some time alone, they give into the attraction that's been beneath the surface and the love scenes between them are tender, sexy and emotional ( and plentiful for only being together a week!). Establishing this sexual connection means that when the week ends they have to decide what to do next. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I will say that I really liked how the story continued, the struggle for both of them to decide about their futures and the way everything unfolded. It's not an easy trip to a happy ever after for them, but the work involved in making a relationship secure means that it's all the more worthwhile when it happens.

A key part of the story besides the romance between Dave and Olivia is the enduring friendships of the rest of the characters who gather every year for their summer vacation. I love seeing the whole group together again, the banter, the friendships and the obvious love and affection they have for each other. I hope there will be several more stories for this group of friends. Overall I found this to be a lovely story with a steamy yet tender romance. 5 stars.

Note: a copy of this story was provided by the author for review.
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Reading Progress

March 31, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
March 31, 2015 – Shelved
April 2, 2015 – Started Reading
April 2, 2015 –
April 2, 2015 –
40.0% "Dave is such a sweetheart!"
April 3, 2015 –
April 3, 2015 – Finished Reading
April 4, 2015 – Shelved as: 5-star-reads
April 4, 2015 – Shelved as: fully-reviewed-books
April 3, 2016 – Shelved as: widow-divorce-2nd-love

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