Can I tell you how excited I was when Melanie Harlow announced that she was taking us back to Cloverleigh Farms with these next-generation books? I was so sad when the original series ended, it was one of my favorite small-town romance series so I was thrilled when I saw we were going back! It was only slightly strange seeing my old favorites now in their mid-40s and 50s, in my mind these characters ride off in the sunset and are permanently 20/30-somethings haha. Ultimately, though, I did enjoy seeing what everyone was up to in the future.
We first met little Winnie MacAllister when she was just a little girl in Irresistible, which was Frannie and Mack’s story and my absolute favorite book of the original series. Mack was the ULTIMATE single dad so Dex Matthews had some big shoes to fill for me. Fortunately, he did a fine job in that department! There were a lot of parallels between this story and Irresistible – age gap and a single father, hesitant to fall in love again. I thought it was amusing how Winnie’s friends and family even pointed this fact out to her.
Dex, a firefighter and ex-Navy SEAL, was a bit of a grump. Despite his tough exterior, he was a total softie when it came to his daughters. He was so sweet with them, it was really adorable. His girls were the cutest and added a good dose of lightness and humor to the story. It turns out that Winnie was also able to get through his walls and bring out his softer side. These two had such great chemistry and it was obvious that they were going to fall for one another despite their explicit agreement to keep things casual! The drama that ensued felt totally believable and I have to say, there is a pretty epic grovel scene at the end there. It gave me a good chuckle.
It felt so good to be back at Cloverleigh Farms and I’m excited for the next one, based on what I saw during this story – it ought to be a fiery one!