Madison Carmichael loves the small-town lifestyle she'd grown up with in California, and has no desire to leave Serenity Hills. But all that is threatened when Jake Colt shows up, claiming that he's the new owner of Oak Hills, her parents' winery. Jake is son of the owner of Colt Enterprises, living a rootless dilettante life as a vice president in name, although he mainly jet sets around the world, looking for the next adrenaline rush. He made a deal with his father that if he could make the winery profitable, he could be in charge of his own subsidiary of Colt Enterprises, far away from the father he's despised since he was ten.
Madison hates Jake from first sight. He reminds her of another city-bred man who broke her heart. She doesn't trust his intentions, not as the new owner and boss of her parents, or the seductive twinkle in his eye when he looks at her. Jake likes what he sees of Madison and wants to explore their attraction, at least as long as he's in town. He hires her struggling photography business to take some photos for his new marketing plans for the winery to increase its exposure, concocted as an opportunity to spend time with her and to gain her trust. However, Jake discovers a real affinity for the winery business and realizes that he really takes this business endeavor seriously. As Jake and Madison spend time together, they realize that she can teach him the delights of home and family and he can teach her to be more spontaneous and open to adventure.
Fearless Love is an enjoyable sweet contemporary romance. Initially, I felt disconnected from the lead characters, but they grew on me as I read more of their story. Jake isn't that likable initially, too much the textbook rich playboy born with a silver spoon in his mouth. However, he started growing on me as it was evident that his cavalier lifestyle was a reaction to deep hurts from his childhood. He shows a lot of consideration and concern for Madison, which belies his insistence that he doesn't want to get serious for her or have feelings involved. In that way, he earned my respect. It's gratifying to see him realize that he can put down roots and take life seriously, with the right motivation. Madison has her prickly moments that are at times borderline rude. While I could understand her inability to trust Jake, her attitude may rub some readers the wrong way, especially since she allows a past hurt to prejudice her against Jake and ‘pigeonhole' him unfairly. Her feelings for him are divided: a powerful sexual attraction warring with a head knowledge that he's bad for her based on her past failed serious romance. Kadence is very capable at developing the chemistry and growing emotions between the leads in an organic way. Their photography adventures provide plenty of bonding moments that show that they have a lot of potential together.
The small-town vibe is appealing, with evocative descriptions of the local natural wonders, and I liked the story about a famous star-crossed couple from the town's history. It was more than evident why Madison would love her town so much. Madison is surrounded by loving family and friends, showing Jake the positive side of small town life, which he needs to see. Readers who enjoy ‘fish out of water' and ‘opposites attract' romance as well as small town settings will appreciate that about this story. Also the fact that there is no rush to sexual intimacy, but a nicely paced development of their relationship, may appeal to readers looking for a sweet rather than erotic contemporary romance.
Fearless Love is a short, enjoyable romance with a good lesson about how easy it is to judge people unfairly without taking the time to know them or understand them on a deeper level. It also has a good lesson about letting go of past fears and embracing future opportunities with courage.
Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
*Reviewed by guest reviewer, Danielle Hill.
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