24 June 2013

Review: Riverbend by Tess Thompson

I received a copy of Riverbend in exchange for an honest review!

What they say: “Tag. I found you.”

Just as Annie Bell’s reputation as one of the best chefs in the Pacific Northwest grows to new heights, she receives a threatening phone call from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Marco is out on parole and hungry for revenge, blaming her for his ten-year imprisonment. Fearing for her life and that of her young son, Annie reluctantly accepts help from Drake Webber, a cold and wealthy recluse hiding a dark history of his own. Supported by the gang of misfits from their restaurant Riversong, Annie forges ahead despite her growing terror that Marco will appear at any moment and make good on his threats.

Author Tess Thompson reunites the colorful cast of endearing small-town characters from her bestselling novel Riversong and takes you on a journey that will renew your faith in love, friendship and the power of community – even in the face of seemingly insurmountable grief and fear. You’ll find yourself once again cheering for the residents of River Valley, especially the big-hearted and compassionate Annie Bell.

Escape with a blend of love, laughter, friendship, suspense and gourmet food while remembering it’s never too late for second chances.

What I say: Riverbend is the second book in Thompson's River Valley series! It features single mother and chef, Annie Bell (a secondary character from Riversong). It is set around two years after the end of book one. The restaurant is doing well with Lee as the manager and Annie as the chef. A great review leads Annie's abusive and all round bad guy ex, Marco, straight to her and their 10-year-old son Alder.
Annie develops a friendship with the extremely rich and highly secretive loner Drake after he hires her as his personal chef. Watching their friendship grow was my favourite part of Riverbend. Although they both have many problems to overcome, their friendship was really sweet and totally believable.
It was nice to see the characters from the first book return and seeing them further down the line (Tommy and Lee's baby girl Ellie-Rose is now two), but also to meet new character's such as Bella, Ben and of course the enigmatic Drake.
My favourite characters were Annie's son Alder (he has some brilliant lines) and Drake's sister Bella, who was hilarious. I often forgot that Alder was only 10, because he seemed much older at times. I loved how protective he was of Annie and how quickly he takes to Drake.
Riverbend maintained the charm I enjoyed in Riversong, but was somewhat less sentimental. I did get frustrated with Drake at times because even after Annie trusted and opened up to him, he still kept her in the dark and kept his secrets. Perhaps it's a guy thing?! A good contemporary romance, with action and humour.

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "Either he stayed over to play kissy face with Bella or he was too drunk to drive home and is passed out on the deck."
  • Quite handsome, in a dark and brooding kind of way, like a character from one of those British miniseries Lee and her Grandmother Ellen devoured.
  • "Ever since I started taking those lessons from Coyote Jack over at the range nothing can stop me."


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