Series: Hellcat Canyon #2
Published by Avon on November 29th 2016
“That was the paradox of his life. To be stretched out on a sort of Catherine wheel, pulled between equal and utterly opposing desires. And if you believed the legend of the Eternity Oak, he has only himself to blame.”
FINAL DECISION: No one does the slow burn romance better than Julie Anne Long. Destiny and fate, decision and mistake, the pushing and pulling of characters live. Glory and Eli are characters that feel fated and yet fate can be fickle. Loved this one.
THE STORY: Glory Greenleaf and Eli Barlow have been moving toward and away from one another almost all their lives. They grew up together in their small hometown and their lives have always been connected because Eli was Glory’s older brother’s best friend. At seventeen Eli carved their initials on the Eternity Tree which by local legend sealed his fate. He has loved Glory in the decade since but they have not gotten together. A year ago it seemed like things were finally moving toward them being together when Eli had to arrest Glory’s brother. Since that day, Glory has refused to talk to Eli.
OPINION: A story about fate and freewill about a love that is destined to be and life which gets in the way. Glory and Eli are a couple that I haven’t stopped thinking about since I finished reading this book over a week ago. I held off writing this review because it is hard for me to put into words why I find this book so appealing.
This is a second – third – fourth chance at love story. Eli and Glory have been so close so many times to having a relationship but decisions, situations and life keep getting in their way. As this book progresses it seems like once again Eli and Glory might pass one another by.
Eli is completely devoted to Glory. He is the man who is willing to stand beside and behind Glory — who Eli knows is an amazing woman. He has been satisfied with the idea of being Sir Walter Raleigh to Glory’s Queen Elizabeth. Honest, dedicated and a genuinely good person, Eli has finally come to the decision that he needs to build a life for himself apart from Glory.
Glory is a woman who comes from a family from the “wrong side of the tracks”. Everyone knows that she is an amazing singer who is destined for more. A year ago it seemed likely that she was on her way. But when her brother was arrested for drug dealing by Eli, not only did it destroy the budding romance between Eli and Glory, but it also left Glory with a series of dead-end jobs rather than her flight to stardom.
This is a book of small moments, little decisions, close calls, missed opportunities and choices. I loved in this book how Eli and Glory are so obviously fated to be together and yet fate is not enough. They both have choices. Choices that can bring them together or drive them apart. The combination of fate and choices makes the story of Eli and Glory powerful and left me thinking.
One of the other wonderful things about this book is how completely Long has captured the small town world. Her secondary characters are memorable and fun and they create a sense of community and interest. Hellcat Canyon has a true sense of place, of identity. I feel like I could drive up the California coast and right into this story.
And perhaps that is why I can’t stop thinking about this story. Everything about this story feels so real to me. Glory’s ambition and dreams and hopes. The pain and sorrow that keeps Eli and Glory apart. The strange, snarky California vibe that combines celebrity with quirky places.
This is a book I will read again and again. (I already have a playlist of the songs mentioned in this book on my phone). Bravo!
WORTH MENTIONING: Pornographic garden gnomes. (Do you need any other information to try this book?)
CONNECTED BOOKS: WILD AT WHISKEY CREEK is the second book in the Hellcat Canyon series. This book can be read as a standalone although there are overlapping characters.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.