Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne
Rating: 4 Stars
Description: McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her beloved hometown of Haven Point. It may be small and struggling, but it's never let her down...unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed down his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now he's back - his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.
What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? He left Haven Point behind years ago, for good reason. Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie - its fiery young mayor - he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing... a place where love arrives when it's least expected.(from Goodreads)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Why I Picked This Book: I absolutely loved Snow Angel Cove, the first in this series, and couldn't wait to see Ben's story.
My Impression: Snow Angel Cove was the first book in the Haven Point series and a standout of the holiday reads for 2014. Ben Kilpatrick was as much of a villain as the first book had so I was looking forward to seeing his story and seeing him redeemed. It's always entertaining to see the bad guy turn into the hero (Lisa Kleypas' The Devil in Winter comes to mind).
While this story isn't as sweetly simple as Snow Angel Cove it is still full of wonderful characters and a number of heart tugging moments. Both Ben and McKenzie have some shadows in their past and while McKenzie has full embraced the town that took her in Ben is staying as far away from Haven Point as possible.
While the book takes place over a fairly short time period - 2 weeks - Ben and McKenzie knew each other as kids so I liked that they weren't completely starting over. I loved how they worked together and not only could we watch the attraction develop but it really felt like watching a friendship develop. Haven Point is really fleshed out nicely. We meet townspeople, we get an idea of the economic situation and the history of the town. This isn't a town full of beautiful perfect people which is nice. This really feels like a small town that is struggling to survive.
Ben and McKenzie were nice to watch - particularly watching Ben learn to open up and McKenzie being there to help him. There was one aspect about Caine enterprises that seemed a little to entwined with their relationship but I was pleased that it was resolved before the end. The one thing that I really had questions about was the closing of the boatworks. Ben says something at one point that is completely different from public perception and it's never really cleared up beyond McKenzie being surprised to hear that.
Oh and I also want to adopt Hondo though I don't think Ben will actually be parting with him! This was my 2nd visit to Haven Point and I'm already looking forward to my next visit!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes! I already have the next book in this series!
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! If you love a nice small town romance do not pass this one up.
Challenges Met? Reading Road Trip (Idaho)