Love & Hope (Stanford Creek #2) by R.J. Scott #mf #review


Falling in love can be easy if you want it badly enough.

Danny Hudson has finally found a place to stop. With his daughter Hope in his arms, and his place in the music group Hudson Hart gone, he has a future to plan and a family to raise. Staying at his friend Cody’s house is hard enough, but finding a home of his own is impossible. A place to stay over the coffee shop in town is a godsend, but it comes with one proviso—he must work the cost of the room off in redecorating and rebuilding.

Rachel has secrets that she doesn’t even want to admit to herself, let alone her close-knit family. Dating the wrong guys is one way to protect her heart, but meeting Danny could change all that.

Can Danny and Hope show Rachel that love is the only thing that actually matters??

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Love and Hope is the second book in the trilogy that began with Notes and Roses. I wasn’t a fan of Notes and Roses, and as such, was a bit skeptical when it came to reading the second book. I’m happy to report that my skepticism was unfounded. Rozenn has redeemed herself with this book. It’s a solid story with relatable characters, and while I wouldn’t call it spectacular, I did enjoy it.

Rachel has opened a stationary and flower store with her cousin Megan and hopes to one day expand into the area of doing wedding planning. She is confident, successful, and underneath it all – terrified. After a series of dramatic events when she was a freshman in college, she has sworn off men and any hopes of a stable relationship. She only dates meant that she knows there will be no hope of a future with. She’s been burned once and is determined never to do it again.

Then Danny, Megan’s fiancé’s best friend, arrives on scene – single, hot, and with an adorable baby daughter to boot. He says and does all the right things. He’s a perfect gentleman even when Rachel is practically throwing herself at him. He’s just the kind of guy Rachel has sworn off of yet she finds herself drawn to him nonetheless.

Danny, like his best friend Cody, is a former member of the popular boy band, but all that crashed around him when he was tricked into marriage by his now ex-wife who subsequently got pregnant but didn’t want the child. They divorced, and Danny gave her everything she wanted, including ruining himself financially just to get to keep custody of his daughter, Hope. Now he’s a broke single father living with his best friend in small-town Vermont and romance should be the last thing on his mind. However, his heart doesn’t seem to care. He likes Rachel, maybe even loves her, circumstances be damned.

This was a classic romance. It touched on some sensitive themes with Rachel’s past but they were handled with care and in a way that I thought was realistic. I liked that in this story Danny was the caregiver and the fixer. So many times that is a stereotypical female role, and this story turned that on its head. It was a nice twist that kept the story from being cookie-cutter. WARNING. This story deals with topics of rape, abortion, and suicide. If those are triggers for you, proceed with caution.

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