A wonderfully fulfilling smalltown contemporary of the likes I don’t come across often is today’s suggestion. The Worst Best Mistake by Lia Riley is the third book in her Brightwater series, but it can be read as the perfect standalone. I love hermits with damaged souls, and Wilder, the hero, delivers. Read on for all book details, my review, a hilarious excerpt and to find out how to win one of five ebooks of the previous novels in the series. This tour was brought to you by Tasty Book Tours.
By: Lia Riley
Releasing October 20, 2015
The third sexy and emotional novel in debut Avon author Lia Riley’s Brightwater series set in the mountains of Northern California
Sometimes the worst mistakes turn out to be the best…
Smoke jumper Wilder Kane once reveled in the rush from putting out dangerous wildfires. But after a tragic accident, he’s cut himself off from the world, refusing to leave his isolated cabin. When a headstrong beauty bursts in, Wilder finds himself craving the fire she ignites in him, but letting anyone near his darkness would be a mistake.
After her Hollywood life went up in smoke, Quinn Higsby decided to leave Tinseltown behind and returned to Brightwater to care for her ailing father. Spending her days in a small bookstore, her peaceful existence is up-ended by a fascinating but damaged man. Quinn is determined to not to be scared off by Wilder, not once she’s experienced the heat of his passions.
But when an arsonist targets the community and Wilder is accused, he must confront the ghosts of his past. Will his desire for Quinn flameout or will he be able to tame the wildness inside and rekindle a hope for their future?
She: Quinn Higsbe fed up with the conceit and pretense of Hollywood, and with her ailing father in need of her, shuts herself in Brightwater, resigned to the fact that book boyfriends is the only action her personal life will ever see.
He: Wilder Kane, 31, smoke jumper, holds a secret that has burned his soul until a fire almost burns him alive. Returning to his hometown, the last place he wants to be, he becomes a bookworm hermit. Helping a troubled old man one stormy night, brings his daughter to his door, and she breathes such life into him, he starts rethinking his outlook. But winning over fiery Quinn takes a darker spin when an arsonists targets her.
The conflict: Wilder is everything dark, Quinn is everything light, but also elusive. Stripping down his walls to catch her is the challenge of his life.
The setting: A small town off the Eastern Sierras in north California. Cowboys, sherrifs, a grandma set in her own ways, and all the wintry charm you can muster.
The heat: Steamy. Palpable chemistry between the MCs, slow-building passion. Favorite line: Quinn returns to the bedroom after she hunts down a condom – Wilder: What are you looking for? Quinn: The mood. Is it still here? LOL! The sex scenes are surprisingly super hot and original. (Hot springs? Jump in!)
The good stuff: This was a very fulfilling contemporary. Wonderful writing by Lia Riley–witty, quick, original–well-built characters with relatable connections, dark secrets, future dreads, lots of snow… there’s nothing amiss.
The other stuff: Nothing really. Maybe Quinn was a tad too chatty when she should just be in the moment 😉
Bottom line: An author I will follow.
It had been a while since he’d been in the company of any woman who wasn’t a medical professional or intimately involved with his brothers. Also, as much as he didn’t want to admit it, he had a type and this forward, strong-looking woman fit it right down to that thick wavy brown hair pulled back at the nape of her long sexy neck.
Necks were underrated female geography. He loved how they tasted when he kissed them there, how they smelled as he nuzzled.
Equally fascinating was her lush mouth, how the corner remained quirked on one side despite the natural pout, as if in perpetual secret amusement.
This woman was bright, spunky, and happy, despite her father’s miserable situation. His heart sank. He had nothing to offer someone like her, not when his whole world had burned to a cinder.
He shook himself inwardly, not moving a muscle. No point succumbing to the ugly truth, however true. Maybe he could pretend to be a normal guy for the night. Normal except for the scars, the missing leg, and the fact he hadn’t spoken to a living soul since Sawyer dropped off his groceries six days ago, and was tongue-tied around strangers at the best of times.
What would Archer do? His younger brother was good with people, especially the ladies. He’d navigate this situation like a pro.
She gave him a tentative smile, probably because he was staring at her like a loon.
Compliments. Women like compliments.
“Your teeth are real white,” Wilder blurted. Goddamn it, the words hung over them like a comic strip balloon. He wished for a string to grab on to, so he could stuff the idiocy back into his mouth, swallow it down.
“Excuse me?” Her shoulders jerked as her lips clamped, clearly not anticipating the awkward flattery.
At least he hadn’t said how much he liked her neck. Yet.
Damn, this was a mistake. He wasn’t good with people. Didn’t like people. Didn’t need people.
About the Author
Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.
A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn’t mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.
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