Saturday, August 31, 2019

Out of My League (Hope Valley #1) by Jessica Prince ~ Review

Out of My League (Hope Valley #1)Source: KindleUnlimited.

Out of My League (Hope Valley #1) by Jessica Prince

After years of war, Lincoln Sheppard thought he’d left the violence and ugliness behind. He was content with the life he built for himself. Then the woman down the street came in and shook everything up.

All Eden Brenner ever wanted was to have a place to call home. She finally found that in Hope Valley. Then she went and fell in love with the man a few houses down the first time she laid eyes on him. There was just one problem. Women like her didn’t catch the attention of men like him. He was totally and completely out of her league. And to make matters worse, when her past comes knocking, the beautiful world she’s built for herself is at risk of crumbling to the ground.

When danger forces Eden into his arms, Lincoln begins to see her in a whole new light, and he suddenly finds himself wanting things he never expected. And he wants them all with the shy, clumsy woman from down the street. But when the truth comes out, that proves nearly impossible. Now he’s fighting the hardest battle of his life, and the stakes are higher than ever. Protect the woman he’s falling for while trying to win her heart at the same time.

Since I am both a mood reader and a huge fan of Kristen Ashley, I always perk up when I see someone talking about a book or a series that reads like KA. So of course when I saw Hope Valley mentioned as one of those, I was quick to download the sample from Amazon. Then when that sample was so good, I downloaded the rest of the book through KU. And I'm glad I did!

First of all, Out of My League does somewhat read like KA. Or I'd rather say it has slight Kristen Ashley vibes. It's not clearly like any one book in particular, but more a mashup of KA books (namely Reid and the Burg series--At Peace, kind's hard to pinpoint!) Most importantly, though, the writing wasn't done in a way that was clearly trying to imitate KA. It's more like I found KA ties because I was looking (and hoping) for them. So this is a solidly good thing about the book.

I was really, really, really a huge fan of the main characters. Eden is a sweetheart and I enjoyed her and her POV so much. And Lincoln, man. Lincoln. He was a nice, oblivious guy who turned into a sweet, devoted guy. Kind of at the drop of a hat, so it was a little bit of a fast change, but I'll get more into that in a moment.

The plot was good and solid and I flew through this book with no problem. I actually flew through the first four books of this series, but that's not the point right now--the point is book 1. And it was entertaining and it hooked me enough to not only have me read straight through but also pick up book 2 right away (even though book 2 didn't quite sound like it'd be a fav--and it turns out it wasn't but I digress).

My only real criticism for Out of My League is that I wish the romance was paced differently. Mostly because of what I mentioned--Lincoln flips from being not actually interested in anything tooooo serious to being all in and devoted at the drop of a hat. And then everything is fine and okay with them, and I guess I just would have preferred a little more building of the couple gradually instead of the slightly stilted way it was done on the page.

Overall, Out of My League is a fun and sweet small town romance! There were slight KA vibes, which I enjoyed, but the novel was very much its own thing. I'm glad I picked this one up, and if anything I've said strikes your fancy I definitely think you should too!

4 stars - A sweet small town romance!

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