“Her Unexpected Engagement” is the second book in the Checkerberry Inn series by Kyra Jacobs. I read the first one and enjoyed it, so I was more than ready for this book. The Checkerberry Inn is the perfect backdrop for romance; it’s like a Hallmark movie with a touch of extra spiciness. Like a cup of warm cider with just a splash of bourbon.
Stephanie has had a crap time of it. Her jerk ex-husband is a famous golfer who cheated on her in a very public way, which has made her suspicious, self-conscious, and defeated. When a chance at a great new job and new start presents itself, she doesn’t expect to come face to face with her almost past. Miles has been spinning his wheels while everyone else’s lives seem to be sprinting by. He wants a new shot at being his own man, but when Stephanie comes back to town, he must decide what that change will be.
While not earth-shattering, this story feels very real. I identified with Stephanie and loved seeing her regain her confidence. Miles is the kind of “hero” that almost any gal could see themselves settling down with: kind, funny, adores you, and helps make you a stronger, better person. I loved their relationship and really felt like the history justified how it develops. I would have liked to see more from the secondary characters, particularly the ones we met in the original Checkerberry novel, but when they were there, they brought a nice depth to the story. I also could have used even more description of the scenery and the inn. As someone who is enduring the longest summer of my life in southern Louisiana, a beautiful B&B in Michigan sounds like a slice of heaven.
Like I said, Miles is wonderful. He’s the hot “guy next door” that we wish we actually lived next door to. Stephanie’s journey and progression was compelling, and I loved the outcome at the party. Everyone wants that moment in their lives. The Checkerberry Inn is a great backdrop, especially for people who love quaint and comfy settings. (Like me)
The Bottom Line-
I enjoyed this read. It was relaxing and happy and comforting: all the things I look for when I pick up a Bliss novel. At the same time, it deals with some very real issues in a very satisfying way. I will definitely be reading the next books in this series! 4 stars