Book Review, Coming Soon, Romance Review

Review: Bittersweet by Carrie Aarons

The last place Cassandra Mauer ever thought she’d step foot again was Hope Crest, Pennsylvania. But once the world famous actress gets the call that her estranged father has passed, and his only living relative will need to settle his estate, she finds herself back in the small town that sent her running once upon a time.

Little do her dilapidated childhood home and her father’s affairs know, Cassandra was in need of a project exactly like this to distract from the glamorous life she no longer wants or recognizes. That is, until she bumps into the man whose family is considered Main Street royalty.

Patrick Ashton is the boy next door, a Hope Crest celebrity, and one of the heirs to the most famous restaurants on the East Coast. He has no problem reminding her just how much the town hated her old man … and in turn her for sharing his last name. But when he realizes she’s going to sell the land their two families have fought over for decades, Patrick might have to change his tune.

As he begins scheming to charm the woman the entire country wants to be or be with, she can’t deny the spark of chemistry between them still exists after all these years. The one that simmered in the shared woods behind their homes where no one else could see.

And when the danger that sent her fleeing as a teenager returns to seek revenge, she finds Patrick genuinely in her corner, despite his family’s objections. In the place she swore never to return, she might have just found the love and life she was searching for.

Except old wounds and unsettled scores might not let her keep it.

Cassandra has a complicated relationship with “home” so she never expected to visit there again. Her father was the most hated man in town, so much so that people are glad he’s dead. She was an innocent child, but the town made her a pariah, taking out all their frustrations with her father on Cassandra herself. She couldn’t wait to grow up and leave this place behind her for good and she more than succeeded. Cassandra is the biggest star in Hollywood, but fame is ruining acting for her, and she wants a break. She’s not sure what she wants out of life, but she knows it’s not Hollywood. When she’s summoned home to settle her father’s estate, she welcomes the distraction, even if the town is no friendlier than they were years ago.

Running into Patrick was unavoidable, but she wasn’t prepared for him to be nice now. There’s a lot of history between her and the boy next door, but those are just more painful memories from before. She needed a friend and Patrick wanted to be one, but he wasn’t strong enough to be what she needed. He isn’t proud of the way he acted back then, but knows he finally has a chance to make it up to her.

Cassandra wrestles with her feelings for him as he struggles to protect her. There’s no question that someone is out to get her and the police refuse to help, so it’s up to them to keep her safe. This one is full of heat and suspense. The chemistry between Cassandra and Patrick is explosive and I really loved these characters. The mystery and suspense elements give this love story another dimension and it’s just right. I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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