The First Time at Firelight Falls Review
Title: The First Time at Firelight Falls (Hellcat Canyon, #4)
Author: Julie Anne Long
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Rating: ★ ★
Single mom Eden Harwood has a lively daughter, a blooming business—and a juicy secret she’s hung on to for ten years. She doesn’t mind a bit that there’s no room for romance in her whirlwind life … until six-foot-infinity, smoldery-eyed, bass-voiced Gabe Caldera reminds her of what she might be missing.
The principal of Hellcat Elementary is usually knee-deep in fawning PTA moms, but Gabe only has eyes for the fiery, funny, skittish redhead who barely knows he’s alive. But this ex-Navy SEAL never fails to get what he wants. And what he wants is to fan those sparks between him and Eden into the kind of bonfire you can see two counties away.
The passion is explosive … and the tenderness has them thinking about forever. But when Eden’s past waltzes into town for a reckoning, her secret blows them apart. Still, Gabe will never back down from a fight … especially if the ultimate prize is Eden’s heart.
This was the first novel by Julie Anne Long that I have read. The blurb really peaked my interest. However, I was not really all that enthralled with the book. This may sound strange but it seemed like the story was trying too hard to be smart- the problem was the smart quips or huge words did not mesh with the rest of the story. They just seemed like they were randomly added in as an afterthought.
I did love the characters though. Eden was a strong female lead that was doing everything she possibly could to make her and her daughter’s life better. She was smart and ambitious. And Gabe was every women’s dream book boyfriend. He was sweet and caring and sexy as hell. They were a great couple and I loved their interactions. They had an amazing chemistry. Nonetheless, the back and forth got monotonous after a while. I understood the reasons for the quick break offs and interruptions between the characters; Eden is a single mom and Gabe is a highly respected and sought after member of the community- of course there are going to be interruptions but the back and forth did not bring much progress to the plot. It just got to be too much of nothing. Literally about 60% of the book was Gabe and Eden only getting small snippets of time together.
Then a surprise from Eden’s past suddenly renters her life and messes everything up. I thought ok, now the story will pick up and get going. But it didn’t- It did get better- but not by much.
Something about this book just fell flat for me. Maybe it was the over-explaining that Eden and Gabe did for Eden’s daughter or it was the way the book tried to be too sharp. Whatever it was, it just did not hold my attention. I had to force myself to finish the book. Even after I took a break from it for a couple of weeks. I think that Long’s style of writing is just not the style for me. I encourage people to try the book however, everyone has different types of books they enjoy. It just wasn't my cup of tea.