Eight years ago, May Anderson made the biggest mistake of her life and watched her high school sweetheart Tom Riley leave Hillsboro, California—and her—in his rearview mirror. Now, after traveling the world, he’s come back home.
While Tom and May would much rather avoid each other and any painful reminders of their past, their plans are ruined when they’re the only ones able to step in as organizers of the prestigious Northwest Food and Wine Festival.
May wants only to forget and move on, but how can she when the boy she used to love is now an even more irresistible man? And it doesn’t matter how badly May once broke his heart—Tom can’t tear his gaze away from her sweet smile. With old feelings clearly surfacing, can they find the courage to face the fears that once kept them apart?
Sweet Pea Summer by Alys Murray earned five stars from this reader. This is the second book in a series that follows the love lives of the Anderson sisters and friends in their hometown of Hillsboro, California. Sweet Pea Summer focuses on May Anderson, the town sweetheart and Tom Riley, its resident bad boy.
At least, that’s what he was eight years ago when they were dating and before he left town to see the world. Then he came back to run the family winery after studying winemaking around the world. Unfortunately, the town still sees him as the bad boy who abandoned and broke May’s heart when, in fact, the opposite was true. May never corrected her family’s and the town’s assumptions when it was May who bulked at leaving the cocoon of Hillsboro.
They both nursed broken hearts and each decided that it was better to avoid one another. Good luck with that in a small town with meddlesome friends and a wine and food festival that needs to go on without a hitch. Tom is hoping the draw of the festival brings much needed traffic and revenue to his family’s winery. Sadly, the town is effectively boycotting his efforts.
Tom and May are persuaded to work together to make the festival a rousing success. They struggle with their attraction to one another. They think second chances are not for them. The author makes them work for it. May, especially, has to break free of the safe cage she has put herself in. Tom for all his worldly travels, was still tethered to that teenage boy.
I felt they both had a lot of growing up to do. They really had to work to come together. I was cheering for them by the end! And I look forward to future books in this series.