4.5 stars — I think I’m becoming a Devney Perry fan. This series is my first real foray, but there’s something about the way she writes romance that just works for me. There’s enough push and pull in a lot of areas of the plot, but it doesn’t drag out the relationship necessarily. You actually get a lot of good happy couple time. There are struggles, there are adjustments, our characters have flaws…but in their relationships they’re pretty honest. And that’s freaking refreshing. I love that there’s always a teensy bit of suspense tension going on. I wouldn’t say these have a strong suspense element, but it’s just enough for me since I’m more about the romance anyways. I could see the players involved, and I had some theories, but I’m happy to say I didn’t see all the variables and how they would come into play! When it boils down to it, this story is about Memphis starting over, gathering her courage to leave and STAY her new course. Obviously her decision to start over and make a better life for her son was brave, but at every step when she was so afraid and worn down, when she chose to keep staying, she was brave. And when she made the HUGE decision to allow Knox and the Eden family to make her one of their own and love her and her son, that was the ultimate in bravery. We don’t give enough credit to those steps, but I felt them in this story. I appreciated that she could see how she had grown and changed, and could be proud of that. She was hardworking, determined, and not afraid to feel. I swear to God, I felt like I was being gaslit along with her in a few situations (no spoilers). I feel like there were multiple situations in the present and the past, for both characters, where they struggled with something huge, and I appreciated that the message was that it wasn’t shameful to trust. It gave our characters (and anyone reading) permission to make a mistake, without taking on guilt and shame for it. The world is hard, and sometimes you don’t make the right choices. It’s what you do after that matters. And to not let it make you stop trusting. Knox was pretty adorable. I was worried with how closed off he seemed, but I felt like his backstory did explain it. I loved watching his slow fall into love with both Memphis and Drake. I loved that it was hard for him, but that in the end it made his life richer and fuller. I appreciated that he got some closure on a few things I wasn’t expecting. I LOVED his passion for his work, and how thoughtful he was over situations. He was a bit pushy and bossy at times, but never in a toxic way. I as the reader, like Memphis, truly believed if she told him to back off he would have. The Eden family is fantastic, and also not without their flaws. I can’t wait to read all of their stories. I feel like I had some other thought, but I totally forgot it. Figures. Hot chemistry. I loved that it started slowly, but then ramped up into wooooweeee. They balanced and supported one another kind of perfectly, I loved seeing that. So yeah, it was a hit. Can’t wait for the next one!
This book kept me on an emotional edge. I connected with Memphis to the point that I was in agony each time she faced a new challenge to her self confidence. She was carrying some pretty heavy weight on her shoulders and while Know was willing to help lift it, I was cheering her onward to do what her soul needed her to do. There were times when her story felt like cuts across my own soul. Oh my gosh, Knox was amazingly perfect in every way. The little bit of conflict in the beginning was like baiting a hook and I was taking it as fast as I could. When that conflict included his moments with Drake, holy heck, I was scrambling to figure it all out. While Knox wasn’t insanely alpha despite all his gooey hotness, the epilogue showed a side of him that had me jumping and yelling for joy, figuratively, of course. I love the type of alpha protectiveness portrayed in the style here. ’He strode toward me, taking my face in his hands. “Then here’s another truth. I’m going to take them. I’m going to take all of your bests. Every da– one until you can’t keep track of the top five anymore because there are so many bests that you’ll need a hundred to capture them all.” “Promise?” I whispered. “I swear it.”’ This had a steady build up that made me feel twitchy, constantly waiting for the so-called “other shoe” to drop. The anticipation almost killed me. This was definitely one of those books that is impossible to set down and walk away from and had me reading late into the night in order to finish it.
Devney has done it again in the second installment in The Edens series! I have been very intrigued with Knox early on, actually first meeting him in Christmas in Quincy, when a hotel guest came in and took over his kitchen for a day. I wanted to know how someone who'd grown up on a ranch ended up being a chef. Memphis really is a great character. She's been through quite a lot in the past year, yet she was still doing everything she could to keep her head above water and take care of her newborn baby boy. Her background story read like a perfect cliche: spoiled little rich girl who had everything handed to her on a silver platter, suddenly finds herself having to fend for herself with no one else's help. So many times I was sure she would cave, but she didn't, she stuck to her guns and made it through each day on her own. I loved the dynamic between Knox and Memphis. He sure came off gruff in the beginning, not really wanting this single mom and her baby who never slept at night, living in his loft. But they quickly grew on him until he couldn't deny the feelings he had for them. And Memphis, she was hesitant also, not wanting to rely on anyone else for anything, but quickly realizing it takes a village to raise a child. I am really loving this small town of Quincy. As I'm reading each of these stories, I'm trying to figure out a way how I can move to a town like this! Yes everyone knows everyone else's business, but at the same time, everyone steps in to help whoever needs it. Especially the Eden family. For being the founding family of this town, sort of royalty, they don't come across as privileged or entitled. They give people the shirts off their backs, their last dollar, whatever is needed. I love how Devney always manages to pull me straight into the story. I love the imagery and scenery she provides all throughout. I can picture the dirt road Know lives on, and his gorgeous house. I can envision what The Eloise looks like, and Knuckles, Knox's restaurant inside. It's more than the imagery though, it's the intangible also, how Devney describes the sexual tension between Knox and Memphis, the emotional tangle of feelings and thoughts they both have. It all just fully encompasses me and before I know it I'm lost in the pages. I love getting lost in the pages! Once again, there's a small suspense element in this story, which I love. We get to see the whole Eden clan sprinkled throughout, and the very end of the book sets up the storyline for the next book in the series. And, I absolutely loved the bonus scene!! After you finish Juniper Hill, make sure you read the bonus scene!