Formats available: paperback, ebook, hardcover
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Thunder Point #7
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Date Released: February 24, 2015
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
Grace Dillon was a champion figure skater until she moved to Thunder Point to escape the ruthless world of fame and competition. And though she’s proud of the quiet, self-sufficient life she’s created running a successful flower shop, she knows something is missing. Her life could use a little excitement.
In a community where there are few eligible singles, high school teacher Troy Headly appoints himself Grace’s fun coach. When he suggests a little companionship with no strings attached, Grace is eager to take him up on his offer, and the two enjoy…getting to know each other.
But things get complicated when Grace’s past catches up with her, and she knows that’s not what Troy signed up for. Faced with losing her, Troy realizes Grace is more than just a friend with benefits. He’s determined to help her fight for the life she always wished for but never believed she could have—and maybe they can find real love along the way.
One of the features of Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series is the way that she introduces new characters to the town for future romantic possibilities. The hero and heroine in this book have been in town for a while now. Troy Headley is a history teacher at Thunder Point High School. He came to Thunder Point for the extreme sports that are available nearby. Troy is an adrenaline junkee, but he is also a damn good teacher.
His failed romance with Iris McKinley formed some of the backdrop for The Homecoming (reviewed here). Where Troy failed, Seth Sileski returned from Iris’ past for a second chance at love. This leaves Troy at loose ends, there aren’t a lot of single women in the 20-40 age range in tiny Thunder Point. But in the wake of his breakup with Iris, Troy finally discovers Grace Dillon.
Grace has been there all along. She bought her flower shop from Iris after Iris’ mother died. But even though Grace and Iris have become best friends, Grace has mostly kept herself to herself. Because Grace has a big (but not bad) secret. Grace used to be Izzy (Grace Dillon) Banks, a world champion gold medal figure skater, who disappeared after she won everything at the Olympics.
Grace is hiding from her high-pressure past, and her even higher-pressure mother. She doesn’t want anyone to recognize Izzy Banks in Grace Dillon, because she’s happy and completely self-sufficient as Grace, while Izzy flamed out emotionally.
But Troy, in need of a playmate, sees Grace’s “ all work and no play” life as a challenge. He appoints himself her “fun coach” and gets her to take a bit of time off from her “nose to the grindstone” life for a few simple pleasures, like picnicking and watching movies.
They start out as friends, and eventually end up as friends with some very nice benefits. But even as they get more involved, as their relationship shifts from friendship to more – Grace keeps her very big secret to her very scared self.
It all crashes down when her domineering mother reappears in Grace Dillon’s life, through a couple of underhanded tricks designed to force Grace back into Izzy, or at least back to mother. When all is finally revealed, Grace discovers that she has a chance to make one of her very own wishes come true – she has a chance at a real relationship with her mother.
The only problem is that it is her last chance. And that once Troy discovers who Grace really is, he can’t figure out what place he can fill in her overwhelming rich, “old money” lifestyle. His case of testosterone-poisoned inferiority complex almost costs both of them everything they have found.
Escape Rating B+: I think my own personal “one wish” for the Thunder Point series would be that it go on forever. The only problem I can see is that if the town continues adding new people, it will eventually stop being a small town. But it would take a lot of books before that would happen.
I love Thunder Point. As each story unfolds, it becomes more and more a place I would actually want to live, if only to be able to have coffee and gossip with the marvelous people who live there. One of the terrific things about this series is the way that the author weaves in characters from previous books, so that we all know how everyone is doing.
As might have been obvious from my recent posting of a review a week in this series, I got behind and took this opportunity to catch up before One Wish came out. I’ve enjoyed the series a lot, it’s definitely become a comfort read between some of the creepier and spookier books I’ve had recently.
Back to Thunder Point. I will say that the plot of One Wish reminded me a LOT of an earlier book in the series, The Chance (reviewed here). Not just because Troy almost makes the same mistake that Eric did, but particularly because Grace’s relationship with her mother, and the ways that it goes wrong as well as the crisis forcing a final resolution is very, very similar to Laine’s relationship with her father. The dilemmas, and their attendant heartbreak, are all too similar.
Which does mean that I didn’t enjoy the story, because I did. The problems facing both women and their aging parents are all too real, as is the reality that it is usually women who end up dealing with the work and the fallout.
Troy and Grace are a terrific couple, and their friends-into-lovers romance burns slow but bright. I also liked the way that Carr introduced the next heroine, while giving us an update on a previous couple in the series. Ray Ann’s niece Ginger has come to town so that her aunt can help her get back on her feet after a tragedy. I wonder who will come to town to help Ginger reach her own happy ending.
I can’t wait to find out, hopefully in A New Hope, coming in July.
Robyn is giving away a paperback copy of One Wish to one lucky U.S. winner.
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