Any Day Now
By Robyn Carr
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Reviewed by Janga
Sierra Jones (sister of Cal Jones hero of What We Find) grew up with a schizophrenic father and an inattentive mother and with little sense of security and stability. As the youngest of the Jones siblings and the last to leave home, she felt abandoned and alone from the time her older siblings left, particularly her protector, Cal. With this background, it is perhaps not surprising that she turned to alcohol and drugs as an adult, although she told herself that she was never addicted to these substances and that she remained in control of her own life. But one night an abusive boyfriend behaved in a manner that literally frightened her into rehab as a safe zone. After completing a rehabilitation program, she spent time in a group home. Sierra wants a different life from what she has known for the first three decades of her life, and the invitation from her brother Cal to visit him in Sullivan’s Crossing, Colorado, to meet her new sister-in-law Maggie seems like the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. Nine months sober and counting, Sierra may be searching for a lot of things, but love, at least in the romantic sense, is emphatically not on her list.
Conrad Boyle, who grew up in Timberlake, the town nearest Sullivan’s Crossing, has less baggage than Sierra, but his upbringing was not idyllic. Undersized as a child and saddled with a name that was inevitably shortened to “Connie,” he was the target for bullies at school and at home he had to cope with an angry, verbally abusive man, first his father and then his step-father. He was seventeen before he discovered the joy of being part of a loving family. When his mother divorced his step-father and moved to Denver, Conrad moved in with the family of his best friend, Rafe Vadas. Rafe’s parents treated him like one of their own, and Conrad’s dream of having his own happy, healthy family was born. He thought he had found his dream once, but that dream ended in betrayal and infidelity. Since then, Connie has dated a great many women, but he has no plans for a committed relationship. As a firefighter, a volunteer with a rescue squad, and a well-liked guy in his community, his life is full. Even the nickname “Connie” is a non-issue for a confident, brawny, good-looking guy.
Sierra and Connie are attracted to one another from their first meeting, but as soon as Connie realizes that Sierra is Cal’s sister, he knows she will not be one of his short-term flings. As for Sierra, she has no confidence in her judgment of men, and she is intent on directing her energies toward creating her new life. But as they spend more time together, Sierra and Connie find that they genuinely like each other, they have common interests, and that spark of attraction is igniting. But Connie knows Sierra has secrets she has yet to share. Just when it seems they have moved past all obstacles, Sierra’s past shows up in Colorado, and he is more dangerous than ever.
Any Day Now, the second book in the Sullivan’s Crossing series, is more proof that nobody creates community-centered romance better than Robyn Carr. Sierra and Conrad are interesting, likable characters who have overcome real difficulties. Readers will find it easy to be pulled into their story and to root for their HEA. Their story gains depth because it is told within the context of Sullivan’s Crossing and a full cast of dimensional characters who have their own stories. Fans of the first book in the series will especially enjoy seeing more of Cal and Maggie and Maggie’s dad, Sully, an irresistible and unique father figure. There is also a sweet secondary romance for builder Tom Canaday and an intriguing appearance by another Jones sibling, brother Dakota.
The down side to Carr’s gift for creating series that engage the readers fully with the community is that readers are reluctant to leave. For readers who responded to What We Find with complaints that Sullivan’s Crossing was not Thunder Point or Virgin River, this second book promises that Sullivan’s Crossing will earn its place alongside Carr’s other communities in your affections. I found the second book even better than the first. If you like Robyn Carr or small-town romance generally, I think you will like this book. I give it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.