Description: National Guardsman Aiden King has been attracted to Hannah Walters for a while, but he never made a move because of her close relationship with his best friend. But when circumstances change, Aiden is surprised when his friend gives his blessing. Problem is, there’s a reason he’s still alone after all these years, and as much as he wants her, that secret keeps him from acting on his desires.
Hannah has finally decided to wait for the kind of love you read about in books and see in movies. After her failed engagement, Aiden’s unassuming support has become a touchstone for Hannah. It soon becomes apparent that he may be exactly the kind of man she’s been looking for. But the closer they become, the more he keeps her at arm’s length.
When Aiden suggests a road trip to take Hannah’s mind off her troubles, the two of them go on a journey neither one expected. She just hopes that the final destination is them together for good.
Genre: Romance - Contemporary
Why I Picked This Book: I love a road trip in a romance!
My Impression: This was my first Nicole McLaughlin and I really enjoyed it! It wasn't quite as light and breezy as I expected. Both Hannah and Aidan have real issues and this isn't a relationship that is just an instant connection. The issues that they have are very real (and Aidan's is especially heartbreaking) and it's easy to see what's holding them each back from really becoming a couple at first.
Hannah is very sweet and talkative but there's a lot of insecurity hiding behind her bright façade. I loved how her job as a 3rd grade teacher was really part of the book and liked her interactions with her coworkers. It added a bit of depth and a bit of realism to her character and it was nice to have her be able to confide or talk to people who were out of her usual circle of friends.
Aidan is a really wonderful hero. He's so sweet and kind and a touch shy. Why he has some very dark demons he isn't bitter or mean he just has a tendency to disconnect to a situation. There's a disconnect to how Hannah and Aidan interact which leads to some misunderstandings. Normally this would drive me crazy but it actually worked here. Part of this is because while the relationship stretches out over the course of months the pacing is very fast so we don't really wallow in the conflict. As well it just kind of worked for the characters. Yes they needed to talk to each other but the reasons they weren't wasn't because they were being unnecessarily stubborn but because of their own personal issues.
I really liked the timeline. This wasn't a whirlwind romance. While it's a short book the plot stretches out over the course of months which I really liked. There are some real issues here and McLaughlin doesn't just wave a magic wand and fix everything which I really appreciated. If you're looking for a fast read with developed and sympathetic characters and a lovely romance this is a great choice!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would! I've already got her next book waiting for me and am looking forward to it.
Would I Recommend this Book? If you enjoy contemporary romance with a touch of spice than I think you'd enjoy this one.