Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary romance from Nazarea Andrews. RUSTY NAIL is the second book in her River City series and features a playboy falling for a woman with a bad reputation. The male lead is Aidric, uncle to Dempsey from FIREBALL so I’m sure we’ll run into him and Taite in this one.
About the book:
In a small town, rumor is everything…
Life came easy to him.
Town playboy Aidric Jones has it all: money, women, a life without responsibility. Until his house burns down and a daughter he doesn’t know lands on his doorstep. No one expects him to step up, to grow up, but he finds disappointment is different when someone is counting on him.
And everyone is whispering…
Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks everyone knew Olivia Buckley was going to end up pregnant and stuck in River City with a deadbeat boyfriend. Now she’s a single mom working for her parent’s construction company, unable to escape a reputation she hates. She’s fighting like hell to make a life for herself and her son, to prove everyone wrong.
They’re two people with nothing in common except a falling down house, two angry kids, and a town full of rumors–but maybe that’s enough
They’ll give them something to talk about…
This is the second book in the River City series, and picks up with a new odd-couple.
Aidric Jones is an opportunistic lover–with a scandalous reputation in his small hometown. Despite his college degree, he’s a firefighter, on the same crew as his nephew, Dempsey. Aidric likes his no roots bachelor ways, but his life is gonna change when he learns he’s a father—to an eleven year old orphaned girl. HE’d spent one sexy weekend with her recently deceased mother, and moved on like always, not noticing the gal left school at the term and never returned.
To say Aidric is shocked is an understatement, but he’s determined not to mess up Kendra’s life any more than it already is. He reaches out to an old acquaintance, Olivia Buckley, to begin renovating his half-burned childhood home so it will be a livable space for him and his daughter.
Ollie–as she goes–is a tough-as-nails single mother who’s long ago outgrown the “loose girl” reputation she was slapped with when she got pregnant senior year in high school. She’s worked damn hard to support herself and her eleven year old son, Theo, diving into project management for her father’s construction company and assuming full control once he retired.
Ollie has always had a thing for Aidric, but she’s been celibate going on twelve years. No man was good enough for her to upset her son about–and Theo’s a sensitive kid. He takes on the forlorn souls at school, including odd-ball Kendra. As Ollie and Aidric work on the house renovation, the attraction simmers. Meanwhile, Theo and Kendra build a bond. Neither parent wants to disrupt the budding friendship, but they also can’t ignore how their own feelings are growing, too. But would Aidric settle down and be a one-woman man? Ollie never dreamed it could be true, but she’s seen how much he’s changed with parenthood. That said, does Ollie even want to remain in Rover City? She’s had some offers to sell her business…and she always wanted to move away from her small-town ghosts. Will she, once she and Aidric work their lust out of their systems?
For me, this one was okay. It’s a long-slow-simmer with little sexytimes until late in the game, once Aidric and Ollie have built a solid friendship, commiserating over parenting woes and house details. I liked that, honestly, because it showed some solid maturity for these seasoned lovers. What didn’t work for me was how Theo and Kendra both read far older than eleven–late teens, at the least. They are far too self-aware and other-aware to be 11. Their words of wisdom and insight, well, having raised two grown kids and having one nearing this age range, it didn’t feel realistic or natural, for me. Aidric’s age is something of a conundrum. I thought he was in his early forties when we met him in FIREBALL, and him being Dempsey’s older bachelor uncle also pegged him in the mid-late forties bracket, too. But that doesn’t jive with having an eleven year old he conceived in college. That kind of inconsistency had me scratching my head a lot. I didn’t get why Kendra and Theo had chapters in the book–it pulled me out of the story and took the focus off Ollie and Aidric. I’m curious who might be having a love story next in this town–and I’m hopeful it might leave me with fewer questions than answers.
About the Author:
Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series.