Cover Image: Butterfly Bayou

Butterfly Bayou

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Member Reviews

Lila has a life changing event in a Dallas ER so she sells everything and moves to a small town where she will be the primary medical person for the town.  ARC from NetGalley.
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A heartwarming story of recovery, second chances, sleeping southern towns, and the quirky residents that know everything about everyone.

Butterfly Bayou starts with a tragedy that pushes the heroine to make a big move in her life but also runs away from a past she needs to confront and own. Packing up her life, Lila Daley heads to Butterfly Bayou to be closer to her youngest sister and restart her life. Getting stuck on the road because a gator won’t move, then getting a speeding ticket tops off her first day, but it forecasts the days to come. She soon learns the house she bought so cheaply is in need of major upgrades, a scruffy dog adopts her and she doesn’t have the support she expected from the local to take over the clinic as a nurse practitioner. Fitting in isn’t going to be easy, but then fitting in isn’t her goal per se.

Sheriff Armie LaVigne is a single dad trying to keep a small town peaceful. There is nothing peaceful about this town or the residents. Living in a big city came to a halt when his ex-wife is killed in an accident that has left his daughter in a wheelchair. Armie wants routine and he wants a woman to spend his life with, then he sees Lila. She’s crabby, broken, and in need of love, he wants to give her.

The author goes away with the heroine I wasn’t expecting. Lila is not a wilting angel. Her childhood was not the best, but she got through it to become a nurse. Watching her best friend die and not be able to help both wakes up Lila and causes her to run. Slowly we pull away the walls to find a solid foundation, but one that doesn’t know how to love because she had to push that away to survive. Relying on someone isn’t easy, but she learns to do so step by step with a town that is closed off, but when you become a member of their town, you become one for life.

Weaving Armie was just as tough. He’s a single father who wasn’t always the best dad until crisis hits. His law enforcement job in the big city often took up more of his time that he allowed for family. Divorced, he is forced to come home when his parent gets older and the only job he is qualified for is Sheriff. Then tragedy strikes and his ex-wife is killed and his daughter forced into a wheelchair. She is now a teenager, smart, funny, and ready to move on with her life, but her dad holds her back. He’s afraid she won’t be able to take care of herself with him. He’s a great father, just has a guilt complex that pushes his daughter to stay in place and dares anyone to tell him he is wrong.

Lila and Armie seem so wrong for each other, but in reality, they are perfect for each other. He pushes her to love while she pushes him to accept his daughter is growing up and can do more than he wants to admit. To be fair to him, his daughter does play him at times. She is a teenager, after all, being raised without a feminine influence that Lila fills a nurse if not as a future stepmom.

This wasn’t an easy story. It was tragic, heartbreaking, funny, and hard to sometimes wrap your head around. The characters are vibrant and real from the old men racing golf carts to the local restaurant and microbrewery her sister’s in-laws run. There are old families that can trace their roots far back who don’t want people putting their nose in their business. The gossip, the family feuds, business that shape the way of life all make this a good entry story for Butterfly Bayou.
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Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra           

Butterfly Bayou is the first novel I have read by author Lexi Blake. Take note that it will most likely not be my last, which is good as there are more books in this series. There were interesting main characters with some depth to their personalities. The setting was described in such detail, I felt like I was living in Papillon, Louisiana myself.

The story begins with Lila Daley (nurse practitioner) moving to Papillon Bayou, Louisiana to start over (and be close to her sister Lisa) after her best friend and fellow nurse practitioner, Maryanne, was shot by her husband while at work in the hospital in Dallas – with Lila watching.

On the drive into the town of Papillon, Lila is waylaid by a gator in the middle of the road. Yup…you read correctly – a gator!  And what does Lila’s sister Lisa say about Otis (the gator):

“He’s a sweetheart,” Lisa said breezily. “Don’t worry about him. He’s sunning himself, that’s all. …. It’s fine. Just get out and shoo Otis off.”

After I laughed very heartily, I realized with humour such as this, I was definitely going to enjoy this book. 

As Lila drives off in a hurry (she is speeding away as quickly as possible), Lila gets pulled over for speeding by the very hunky local sheriff Armie LaVigne. The same man that she had met at her sister’s wedding the previous year, the one with the sensual smile. An auspicious beginning to her new life in Papillon, Lila is not deterred, even when she finally sees the “gem” of a home she bought for a “steal”.  Needless to say, the transition to small town living is bumpy. But the ride is worth it – at least for this reader.

Not surprisingly, a romance evolved between Armie and Lila. Their road to happiness was cyclical (read tedious) and a tad bit boring at times. It seemed that they would go strong and when a conflict arose – they would just back off – not even try to work it out. What the heck!!! 

I liked the progression of coming out, if you will, of Lila. She was a no nonsense woman with a narrow vision of how her life should play out. Most likely as a result of her childhood and what she had experienced in Dallas. As the town started to accept Lila for Lila, so did she. Her growth into the openly loving individual that she became was nice to watch. This most decidedly warmed my heart.

How Lila handled the physical therapy sessions with Armie’s daughter, Noelle, was interesting – as were many of the myriad of medical issues that Lila had to handle throughout her work day. I must say, that this aspect of the storyline is what got me to enjoy the book so much. Those issues were covered with professionalism and efficiency as well as a very buried heart. You could tell that Lila loved her work and truly cared about people, regardless of her stilted people skills (in the beginning).

Many chuckles abounded from various antics of the Papillon townsfolks. But what I liked best was how they stuck up for each other. A true sense of community. I enjoyed the many facets and layers of this book and cannot wait to get started with the second book in the series, Bayou Baby.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*
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Butterfly Bayou is the first book in the Butterfly Bayou series by Lexi Blake. It's stand-alone and quite different in some ways from her other books. There is a bad guy, but the book, for me at least, is more fitted for women's fiction rather than suspense. It focuses on the relationships Lila and Armie have not only with each other but with many other people.

If you have a Lexi Blake fan and have read some of her other books, you might remember Lila. She appeared as a secondary character in Close cover and she was not very likable to some readers. Heck, she might even not be likable to some people in this book. She is not the warmest person to have around and she belongs in the tough love crowd. Armie on the other hand was very likable in the beginning and you couldn't help, but feel many things for him especially knowing the kind of relationship he has with his disabled daughter.

The funny thing is, that at least my views, changed as I began knowing better these characters as they were facing their problems. Armie's behavior was problematic In my opinion and I hated the way he treated Lila. She deserved better than that and I was very happy to see her asking for what she deserved and not whatever bones Armie was throwing her way. Armie was burying his issues for far too long and when Lila came with a shovel, he lashed out. I lost some of my fictional respect for him during those parts.

The rest of the book was good and I found Lila's journey very interesting and fun to read. I liked the secondary characters and there was some suspense that made things even better in my opinion. In this story the characters deal with so many issues and problems which I don't want to spoil and each one made this book more and more compelling. Noelle is a character that gave me mixed feelings, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt and come to a proper conclusion about her in the next book(s).

Overall, the book was good, I had a good time reading it and I would recommend it!
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I have read all of this author's books and she never disappoints.  This book had a really good story, characters and chemistry.  This book also touched me in many different ways.
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In this sweet romance we start with Lila, who is the last person standing in a particularly violent domestic encounter in the emergency room she worked at. She watched her friend die and she realizes she needs a fresh start to move forward in her life. She leaves Dallas and heads to Papillon, Louisana where her sister lives with her new husband. (This is where it felt like there was a book before this one featuring that couple, but it says this is the first in the series, so I don't know. Regardless, its OK and you won't be confused during this one.)

Her adventure starts with meeting Otis the alligator in the middle of the road and consequently being ticketed for speeding by Sheriff Armie. Incidentally, they saw each other at Lisa (sister) and Remy's wedding but Lila was in no position to do anything so she avoided him despite the obvious chemistry. Once in town she starts her work at the clinic she has taken over from Doc Hamet, who we discover was rather lazy, and faces the uphill battle of winning over Papillon despite being a nurse practitioner versus a doctor. Her abrupt and sometimes off putting personality doesn't help her case either.

After awhile she finds her groove, starts seeing Armie, tries to make friends, and comes across a patient she suspects is a victim of domestic violence. In her attempt to help her she basically stirs up a hornets nest and while she helps someone, she puts herself in danger. Things in small Cajun communities aren't like big city Dallas. In the middle of all of this, her and Armie have some major disagreements over the role of women, he's a bit unintentionally and unknowingly sexist and she isn't here for it, but his teenage daughter Noelle (disabled and in a wheelchair) becomes a bone of contention. Lila's good intentions are read differently and that ends up being our second conflict.

Overall? I really liked this one. It's sweet and it wasn't overly sexy (I mean, we know they have sex but we don't have detailed scenes) so if that's your jam this is right up your alley. 

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5 Stars

Lila Daley has not had an easy path in life. Stepping into a role as a mother at just 10 years of age turned her into a woman who was always practical and made sure everything was perfect, on the surface.  Watching this strong and intelligent woman grow into an even stronger and more well rounded version of herself is a ride through so many emotions.  She heads to Papillon as a way to start new, and run away from the nightmare she survived, and she found the family and life she never knew she needed or wanted.  Armie, the town sheriff, is the driving force, along with his daughter Noelle.  The fire between Armie and Lila cannot be denied and eventually they embark on a relationship that is full of passion, beauty and love.  Unfortunately, no relationships is without its complications and pitfalls.  As these two strong minded people push up against each other over an issue that has become important to them both, things get messy, and painful and your heart will break for them both!  Of course, we have some fantastic suspense thrown in with our love story, as can be expected from Ms. Blake, and in the end this beautiful couple will learn a half life, is not really a life at all...and boy isn’t this something we all should remember as well!

Cara - Alphas Do It Better Book Blog
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I knew from the blurb this was my jam, but also I was hooked because the words single dad romance. I'm so glad that I read this one. If you start this late in the day be prepared to reading long into the night. Only reason I put this book down was because my kindle ran out of juice and to charge. I fell in love with this little bayou town. I love quirky characters and this book is filled with them. I can tell you this book has left me wanting more from this series already. It's going to be so hard waiting for the next book. I loved Lila ad Armie. They're first meeting is quite memorable and sets up great tension. My heart breaks for Lila with the reason she needs a fresh start. This book has everything I want in a book. It has so much heart and feels, but it also delivers on the heat, humor, and a touch of suspense. This is a must read that I highly recommend. The characters are going to make you fall i love with them.
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I contributed this review to Really Into This

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Happy Reading, friends!

Special thanks to Berkley for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.

So, this one started out with super-strong VIRGIN RIVER vibes. Honestly, maybe a little too much like VIRGIN RIVER for a super fan like me. The heroine is a FNP heading to a small town after a traumatic event. From here, we meet the love interest, the clinic and townspeople are not very accepting of her. She tries her best to regain her footing in this new environment. 

For me, this one vacillates between cutesy & sorrowful trauma. A bit too much trauma for me. The synopsis does try to warn readers of a tragic accident in the heroine's past. Honestly, I'm calling this one up to the pandemic as the back & forth between new place and constant reminders fo the past was so saddening to me. That being said, had I read this at another time, I may have really liked it.
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5 Reshaping Her Life Stars!!!

I’m a huge fan of all things Lexi Blake so when I heard we were getting a new series that revolves around a small town and second chances I was giddy with happiness. And I’m happy to say this book is everything and so much more than I was expecting. It’s a story that is intense at times, angsty at times, sizzling with passion and overall a fabulous a second chance love story!

Lila is a woman that’s experienced a life changing event that had me on the edge of my seat because holy moly talk about having my heart beating out of my chest. Because of this tragedy, Lila decides she needs a change of pace and moves to Papillion, Louisiana which is the exact opposite of Dallas! 

Upon arriving in Papillion, she meets the Sherriff Armie and it wasn’t a happy occasion. While this man enforces the laws of his town, he’s also the best dad to his little girl Noelle which just had my heart melting! I loved how Lila and Armie traversed their relationship. It’s a bumpy ride to say the least, but their chemistry and connection can be felt coming off the pages!

Overall, this is a great start to this new series and I was left with a smile on my face when I turned the last page. I can’t wait to see what’s next in this series!!
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***ARC Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley***

I really enjoyed Lila and Armie.

I think it's the cover, but I went into this thinking it was going to be more of a sweet romance that leaned a bit toward women's fiction.

Nope. While definitely not erotic romance, there is a lot of heat and a great connection with the characters that you were not only engaged with, but interested in. There was also an interesting dimension added by the secondary characters that not only moved the story but added depth to the characterization of the lead characters, which is how it's supposed to work and worked perfectly in this book.

The small town in Louisiana is practically a character on it's own, which added a definite element of quirky fun to the story. And alligators. It also added alligators. Who have names. And, are apparently on the payroll of the local sheriff...but, you are going to have to read this one to figure out what I mean by that.

I enjoyed and recommend this title.
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I  want to preface this review that I had read 30+ Lexi Blake's book. I love her take on romantic suspense, BDSM, Ian Taggart is my favorite character.  Reading Butterfly Bayou was a bit of a let down. I have read all of the siblings (Daley's story) and they are so immersed in Sanctum that I was hoping for Lila's story to be like that, i loved Remy and Lisa's book which had enough action that kept me engaged. Knowing what I know about this world, i felt this small town romance a bit of a let down. I wished this world didn't collide with the Masters and Mercenary world. I wished we just had a brand new set of characters where we didn't know the backstory.
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It's a Lexi Blake novel so what's not to love? Lila Daley life changed in an instant. A friend is attacked and she is taken hostage leaving her with a new outlook. One that includes not being able to enter the hospital she works at any longer. So to be closer to her sister she moves to Papillion, Louisiana taking over the small town clinic there. 

Lila meets local sheriff Armie LeVeigne when he gives her a ticket and asks her out. Armie takes a lot to warm up to him, at least he did for me. He seemed a bit flippant until Lila is in danger again. Maybe it was just me that thought him that way. By the end of the book I had warmed up to him and liked him.

This was a good read and I enjoyed it, maybe not as much as I as did some previous books from Lexi Blake but hey, not every hero can be Ian.
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Butterfly Bayou is a small-town, enemies to lovers, single dad romance.

Lila and Armie meet-cute was funny, but then you'll never expect how emotional their relationship turned into. I'm not saying emotional as in bad emotional. But both of them had their own issues to deal with. Armie with his daughter, Lila with the town people not accepting her. But I found myself disliking and disagreeing some of Armie's ways of dealing with things. But I guess it needed to go that way for their relationship to strengthen.

And Armie's daughter, my heart broke for her.. I totally enjoyed and highly recommend Butterfly Bayou if you're a fan of the tropes it consist of
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Thanks to Netgalley, Berkley and Social Butterfly PR for the complimentary e-arc.

If you are looking for a good small town romance look no further than Butterfly Bayou by Lexi Blake. This book made me laugh, cry, and feel the full gamut of emotions. Blake delivers characters that you can’t help but love and want to get to know better.

Lila Daley is a nurse practioner fleeing Dallas after a tragedy. She seeks refuge in Papillon, Louisiana, a small town located along a bayou. In Papillon Lila meets a whole wacky cast of characters including a gator named Otis. Along the way she also meets Sheriff Armie LaVigne and the sparks fly. 

This book would be perfect for lovers of small town romance. The town of Papillon is full of quirky eccentrics that I love to see in a small town romance.

If I had a criticism of the book it is that I really wanted to know Lila sister Lisa’s story! I can’t wait for the next installment of the Butterfly Bayou series.
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Lexi Blake’s Butterfly Bayou is an irresistible small-town romance that sparkles with humor, heat and heart that is simply enchanting!

Lila Daley had worked hard for to have the life she had always wanted. Having had to raise herself and her siblings due to their mother’s lack of maternal instinct and total inability to stay out of trouble, Lila had never let the fact that she didn’t have the best start in life keep her back from making her goals a reality. With her siblings all settled with their new families and their own lives to lead, Lila could focus on throwing herself into the job she loves as a nurse practitioner in a busy Dallas hospital. Everything seems to be finally going Lila’s way – until one fateful day when she was held at gunpoint by a crazed ex of her colleague determined to cause maximum destruction. Unable to face returning to the place of work she loved so much, Lila sells up and heeds her therapist’s advice to make a fresh start elsewhere and when the opportunity comes to take over a medical practice in Butterfly Bayou, where one of her sisters lives, Lila think that this is the new beginning she has been searching for. Of course, on arrival, Lila soon realizes that the idyllic fantasy she had built in her mind isn’t quite as rosy as she had imagined: her new patients seem determined to keep her at arm’s length, the cheap furnished house she bought turns out to be a hoarder’s paradise and her worst nightmare and she butts heads with Sheriff Armie LaVigne from the very first moment she sets foot in Butterfly Bayou!

Single dad Armie might look like he has walked straight off a film set, but the sexy Sheriff has been keeping his heart firmly under lock and key for the last couple of years. Armie hasn’t met anybody who has made him want to shrug off his single dad status – until now. Lila may be a prickly fish out of water in small town Louisiana, but there is something about her that draws him to her like a moth to the flame. Yet, every time the two meet they invariably end up arguing and disagreeing! However, Armie will not be easily deterred. He has been unable to stop himself from thinking about Lila and the more time he spends in her company, the more he realizes he is falling for her. Armie is determined to prove to Lila that Butterfly Bayou is where she belongs and when their feelings for one another intensify, it looks like their second chance at happiness could be within reach – until the past rears its ugly head and threatens to jeopardise their relationship.

Is Lila and Armie’s love strong enough to triumph over all the obstacles standing in their way? Or will they end up falling at the last  hurdle?

A charming romantic read that touches the heart and tickles the funny bone, Lexi Blake’s Butterfly Bayou is a warm-hearted, witty and enjoyable tale about healing from the past, new beginnings, taking chances and falling in love that is a joy to read from start to finish. Lexi Blake deftly blends pathos, drama, searing emotional conflict, small town eccentricity and uplifting romance in a spellbinding tale I couldn’t bear to put down.

Armie and Lila are two fantastic characters readers cannot help but fall in love with. Not only do they come alive on the page from the start, but they are wonderfully drawn, believable, relatable and so nuanced that readers will surely end up taking them to their hearts.

Feel-good, poignant and captivating, Lexi Blake’s Butterfly Bayou is a treat contemporary romance fans should not miss!
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j'ai adoré le contexte et les personnages même si parfois on a aussi envie de les secouer, j'ai aimé les voir se battre pour ce qui compte pour eux et la pauvre Lila va devoir faire face à la méfiance des gens vis à vis de nouveaux arrivants dans leur petite communauté. Elle va pourtant arriver au fur et à mesure à faire sa place et sa relation avec Armie l'y aide un peu. Je ne me suis pas ennuyée une seule seconde en leur compagnie et j'ai adoré les voir aller de l'avant, choisir une voie et s'y tenir et ne jamais baisser les bras ou presque. Ils vont tous prendre conscience de ce qu'ils traversent et c'est avec un grand sourire aux lèvres qu'on les quitte ! Une très chouette aventure dans le bayou !
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I loved this.!    It was a well written contemporary romance filled with so many emotions.. I found myself laughing and crying throughout  Butterfly Bayou.  Once I started this I couldn't out it down! 
Lila was frank but used that more like an armour.  She didn't have the easiest childhood but didn't let that stop her.  
Armie is a Sheriff in the small town raising his daughter.   He's got a lot of guilty but means well.  
As with many new relationships, they struggled a bit but I loved that neither backed down.  I liked that they were older and willing to fight for what they wanted.  

I received a copy of this book for a honest review.
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader – ☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance

Lila is recovering from a tragedy where she felt helpless. But with that experience, she grew stronger. Now in a small town closer to one of her siblings, Lila is learning that sometimes, you can’t change those around you, you can only control your reaction to them.

This story made me laugh, cry, and feel frustrated. You can’t help but relate to Lila. She’s strong, tenacious, and sometimes so stubborn. But she also only knows one way to love – with her whole heart.

Sheriff Armie seems like a stand-up character at the beginning. As the story moves along, he becomes less and less the stand-up guy and more and more the scared, guilt ridden father. His daughter will charm you, but also has a stubborn streak that will drive you mad. Armie is clueless as a father and while he was a good sheriff, it made me very frustrated to watch his interactions and preconceived notions when it came to his parenting style.

You’ll fall in love with these two, despite being frustrated beyond measure. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I hope that we get to revisit some of these characters too.

Triggers: Domestic Abuse, attempted murder

Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆
This is the first book in a new series, and I loved it. It has all the zany characters that one expects from a somewhat cut-off, independent kind of country town, all the animals and bad behaving residents of the Deep South, all the loyalty and family values that one could wish for, and also an acknowledgement that life is far from perfect and we do the best we can when faced with what we have.

I thought that Lila was a fascinating person from the beginning, and as we get to know her better and care more about her, one can only really wish her good things... even if she doesn't feel she deserves them, or that anyone is really inclined to offer them. So Armie is an interesting foil to her – he is all about keeping everyone else safe, or even cocooned, and that applies most strongly to his daughter.

There is plenty of chemistry, plenty of drama, and a happy ending... plus an abandoned dog called Peanuts – really, I do not need to tell you more. Grab a copy and thank me later! I am really looking forward to future installments.

Veronica – ☆☆☆☆
If you are after a book with a strong female lead, this is the book for you. Lila moves to small town Louisiana after watching one of her closest friends get shot and die right in front of her. She takes over the town's general practice but it doesn't go as she hoped as the townsfolk don't trust outsiders.

A whirlwind romance with Armie, the town's sheriff helps Lila adjust to life in a small town and more importantly, helps her deal with traumatic events of her past, giving her a safe space to let go of her emotions. But her relationship with Armie is turbulent and it is when things go wrong between them and Lila puts it all on the line for what she believes in, we really see how amazing she really is.

This story is an emotional rollercoaster and it had me crying my heart out. I never really cared much for Armie. He was a decent enough hero, sheriff, single dad, good looking, but I never really clicked with him. There are times he doesn't cover himself in glory and I didn't have much sympathy for him. But Lila loves him, so that is really what matters. For me, this story is all about Lila, she is my new hero.

I love small town romance and Butterfly Bayou is a lovely example. The town is full of crazy, interesting people, both good and bad, and made a great backdrop for romance. I recommend Butterfly Bayou to any romance reader.
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Lila Daley didn’t have a great childhood and after an unimaginable tragedy, she packs up her meager belongings and moves to Pappilon Bayou, Louisiana to be close to her sister. Armand LaVigne (Armie) is the sheriff of Pappilon Bayou and a single father raising his disabled daughter, Noelle. He is not prepared for Lila and the feelings she would awaken in him.

Butterfly Bayou by Lexi Blake is book one in this small town series. It is a beautifully written, slow burn romance with all the feels. I cannot wait for the next book and am eager to find out which of these secondary characters stories comes next!
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