“He can stare at me all he wants. I’m starin’ right back.”
I am packing my bags and moving to Bootleg Springs. If you want to, you can come with me. When we arrive, I have no doubt that the rumor mill will grind, and the gossip will flow fast and furious. But I also have complete confidence that within a few days, we’ll be treated to chocolatey baked goods, mason jars of moonshine and invites to more deck parties than we can possibly handle. Because this small, close-knit, backwater West Virginia town sounds like the perfect haven in today’s world where we are always looking for the next best thing, chained to our phones and laptops, and constantly trying to outdo the Jones’. Wasted Wednesdays? A signup sheet for some peace and quiet in the Hot Springs? Impromptu sandbar parties? I am totally on board for all of that.
Devlin McCallister has been groomed from birth for one thing. Politics. He’s always been charming, polite, proper, the perfect husband with the perfect wife. Never stepped a toe out of line. Until it all fell apart. In a rather imperfect, impolite and improper way. So he’s come to Bootleg Springs to recoup. To hide away until the hubbub dies down. To gain some perspective. To rediscover his focus. But, OMG, how can he possibly focus when there’s some sort of redneck party blasting honkytonk music at all hours right next door? When he goes to confront his neighbor to remind them of common courtesy and public noise regulations, he would have never imagined that the hillbilly beauty would become such an integral part of his life.
Scarlett Bodine is a firecracker. Despite being the youngest, and the only girl, she’s definitely no shrinking violet. She can build you a new deck, shotgun a beer and play softball drunk. There’s nothing she can’t do. Well, actually, she can’t cook worth a damn, but there’s not a lot she can’t do. And she’s not afraid to stand up for her friends, help out when needed, show her strength and her vulnerability and go after what she wants. And what she wants? Is Devlin McCallister. She’s going to fix this broken shell of a man and when he leaves Bootleg they’ll both have gotten something out of their time together. Multiple O’s for her. And a renewed sense of self for him. And they’ll part amicably, because this is only just temporary. Right?
Somewhere along the way, woven in between acts of Bootleg Justice (take the toaster), drunken home runs, hot springs encounters, a surprise relative, a decade- old unsolved crime and the reappearance of several exes, what was once just a desire for physical connection, becomes something so much bigger.
From the diner waitress, to the judge who is forced into reelection multiple times and the town chicken. The Bunco parties on the water to the quirky deputy sheriff’s sister and more. The town of Bootleg Springs is uniquely amazing. As you read you feel as if you are genuinely part of the tight community. You will become completely enmeshed in the intrigue, the crazy vigilante antics, the local color, the weekly events and the bond that holds it all together. And you will feel EVERYTHING for this couple. This family. This place.
The only thing that will be a problem after reading this book is being able to stand the wait for the rest of the series.