Hollis 's Reviews > The First Time at Firelight Falls

The First Time at Firelight Falls by Julie Anne Long
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The kinds of things Eden Harwood said out loud made Gabe yearn to know all the things she didn't say out loud.

If someone wants to get me to know me like Gabe got to know Eden (with protracted conversation you perverts), I would.. uh, let it happen. I'd be down for that.

While every woman wanted to hear she's beautiful in a man's eyes, true seduction was all about making it clear that he saw her for who she truly was. That maybe he saw things no one else saw. And liked them. And wanted them all.

Ten years ago, Eden became a mom, but she was also mum (ahaha kill me) on the identity of the father. And for a decade she's kept that secret, all while meeting every need of her daughter and running a successful business. With her every minute scheduled, she's had no time for herself a person, as a woman, much less for a man. But more and more she's finding Annelise's elementary school principal harder to ignore. Especially when he subtly indicates his interest.

"Eden, the first thing you should know is that sex has changed a lot in ten years. You may need to brush up."
"I hope it has levels now, like Candy Crush. I'd totally ace it."

Gabe is good looking, selfless when it comes to volunteering, helping in the community, or coaching soccer for fifth graders. The ex-SEAL is not unaware of his effect on the single, and not so single, moms in the PTA. But while he fills his days to the brim to fight the loneliness in his life, he hasn't been so busy that he hasn't noticed Eden. And finding time to communicate that becomes Gabe's next mission. He's playing the long game, every move strategic, and the dude has skills.

Since Annelise was born, her emotions seemed permanently more tenderized, more porous and pliant. Another human's feelings were a sacred trust. She did not gamble with them anymore, not hers, not anyone else's.

I thought this romance to be totally delightful in a very realistic 'who even has time for love' kind of way. The way these two savoured their time together, down the last minute, was funny.. in a kind of sad but precious way. And othertimes it was outright funny as hell (the Time Porn, omg). They didn't use their time to sext or spend all their time having sexy fantasies. The majority was spent looking forward to the next phase of their conversation, navigating the get-to-know you part of courting, though that definitely didn't mean they were innuendo free.

Pretty did a disservice to Eden. The problem was that he couldn't really think of her in terms of simple adjective. He thought of her more in terms of how she made him feel, like want and soft and smile and like, the kinds of word Koko the gorilla would sign to indicate her needs. He experienced her on a very basic, very fundamental level.

There was, of course, the added drama surrounding Annelise and her mysterious father. That actually didn't go as terribly as I expected. Some things I saw coming, others not so much, and in true Long fashion she makes the emotional complications charming and quirky and, yeah, angsty. We definitely have that too.

The family dynamic of the Harwoods is a big highlight of this series. In this one we got to meet (as I don't believe we saw them before, though someone correct me if I'm wrong), the male siblings, Jude and Jesse, and oh I hope this means we get books for them, too. Or at least more of this series in general. I don't want to say goodbye. This series is just.. fun. Warm. Funny. Sweet. With the rare honour of being one of the few books/series with a prominent child character I can actually stand. And, in this case, love.

Highly recommend this series.
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Reading Progress

May 30, 2018 – Started Reading
May 30, 2018 – Shelved
May 30, 2018 –
9.0% ""What did I ever do to you?"
"Well, for one, you told me to name my Barbie 'Toilette' when I was eight because, and I quote, 'it was a pretty French word.'"

hahaha oh the highlight game is already strong with this one!"
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018-reads
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: all-the-feels
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: all-the-lols
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: alphamales-i-want
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: family-focused
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: finished-in-may-2018
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: not-a-bunch-of-twenty-somethings
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: overdrive
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: romance
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: sexytimes
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: swoony-crush-worthy-boys
May 30, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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Joanna Loves Reading You flew through this one! I will read your review upon finishing.


Hollis Joanna Loves Reading wrote: "You flew through this one! I will read your review upon finishing."

I find this series unputdownable. and I couldn't stop myself from squeezing it in between ARCs. can't wait to compare notes!


message 3: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy Malek concepcion I need to read this one. ❤️


Sam (AMNReader) Can’t wait!


message 5: by Roxanne (new)

Roxanne “Mum” 😂 really enjoyed this review Hollis! Can it be read alone or better with the series?


Hollis Sam (AMNReader) wrote: "Can’t wait!"

so excited for your updates.

Amy wrote: "I need to read this one. ❤️"

yesss you do!


Hollis Roxanne wrote: "“Mum” 😂 really enjoyed this review Hollis! Can it be read alone or better with the series?"

thanks doll! for this one I would recommend at least reading book three first. which, bonus, was my faaaaave of them all.


Jilly I'm looking forward to this one. Great review, Hollis! :)


Hollis Jilly wrote: "I'm looking forward to this one. Great review, Hollis! :)"

thanks doll! can't wait for this one to get the Jilly Treatment(tm).


Jilly Wait, if I've learned any lessons in the past few weeks it's that if Jilly Treatment gets trademarked, I can shake people down for the big bucks if they use it, right? I have a good feeling about this idea!


Hollis Jilly wrote: "Wait, if I've learned any lessons in the past few weeks it's that if Jilly Treatment gets trademarked, I can shake people down for the big bucks if they use it, right? I have a good feeling about t..."

it totally won't backfire on you at all!


Bookphenomena (Micky) Also intend to give these a go. Great review darling.


Hollis Kindling wrote: "Also intend to give these a go. Great review darling."

eeee! I can't wait.


Sam (AMNReader) LOVE THIS REVIEW SO HARD. ALL SO TRUE. still calling Jude.


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