Published October 7th, 2013
Bridget Grant is back in Paradise. Paradise, North Dakota, that is.
She's swallowed her pride and moved back to her hometown with her daughter after her divorce and the loss of her catering company. Now she's trying to navigate the strained relationships she'd left behind—including her first love, Jack Davison.
Jack never forgot Bridget, or the day she left town—and him. When Bridget caters a lunch at Jack's tourist ranch, old flames reignite. They have more in common than ever—Jack's also a single parent. Though they both try to keep things casual, Bridget, Jack and their girls are starting to look a lot like a family.
But Bridget's only planning to stay in Paradise until she's saved enough to relaunch her business. Jack's invested too much in his ranch to leave. And with their daughters involved, both have a lot more at stake than heartbreak. How can they risk falling in love?
Love in a Small Town
When you live in a small town, there’s nowhere to hide. You and your boyfriend have broken up, you say? It might be a little hard to get over him in a small town because you’ll likely see him every day, whether you want to or not. He’ll be in line at the coffee shop getting his morning coffee the same time you do, because really, there is only one place you can get a decent cup of coffee in town. You’ll probably run into him at the town’s one bank, the grocery store, the gas station. Wherever you look, there he is. It’s enough to make a girl want to lock her doors and turn into a recluse.
Of course, that wouldn’t work either, because your absence would be noticed and soon people would be knocking on your door, asking what was wrong. Heaven help you if you wanted to indulge in a little private wallowing! Everything is a spectator sport. Small town life is like living in fishbowl. Except you usually don’t have any castles or plastic weeds to hide in.
That’s how Bridget Grant feels when she returns to her hometown of Paradise, North Dakota in my contemporary romance novel FIRST AND AGAIN. The fishbowl thing drives her crazy. Everyone knows her business, and what they don’t know, they make up.
The last person she wants to meet again shows up on her very first night back in town. Bridget and Jack Davison had loved each other deeply twenty years ago in high school. But Bridget had dreams that didn’t include staying in Paradise, while Jack’s dreams were all wrapped up in the land and the ranch he hoped to buy one day. He begged her to stay, but she knew that if she stayed and abandoned her dreams, she’d soon grow to resent him. Better a clean break than a slow death.
Now she’s returned to Paradise, brought back by the dissolution of her marriage and the spectacular failure of her catering business. And of course she can’t avoid Jack in a town the size of Paradise.
So she’s just going to have to suffer through it. But the really great thing about small towns is that it does throw people together. Soon Bridget and Jack are starting to remember what they loved about each other. And together with their daughters, they’re starting to look a whole lot like a family. Will they be brave enough to take a chance on love this time?
Have you ever lived in a small town? What’s the worst thing about living in a small town? What’s the best thing?
About the author:
When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.
In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her.
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