I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Rebel's Return by Victoria James
Series: Red River #4
Published by Entangled: Bliss on August 22, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Natalia Puccini has spent her entire life playing by her overbearing but well-intentioned Italian family's rules...except the one time she took a chance on a bad boy and fell hard. She's worked to get her life back on track so when Aiden McCann comes sauntering back into town with his heart-stopping smile, Natalia vows not to fall for him again. There's no way she'll let him mess with her perfectly planned life...and there's no way she'll let him near her heart again...
Now reformed and a self-made success, Aiden is tormented by regrets and secrets. He left Red River years ago filled with anger and resentment and a promise to never come back. But when his ill father needs help, Aiden knows it's time to face the mess he left behind, and face the one woman he never got over. It doesn't matter how beautiful or intriguing she is, though, because he'll never be able to give her what she needs. As soon as his father is healthy, Aiden is leaving Red River...for good.
Natalia Puccini is the successful owner of her family’s bakery. If only she wasn’t so lousy with her relationships, especially the two that cheated on her. The most recent is now engaged to her traitorous cousin and Natalia has to do the family thing and serve as the brat’s maid of honor. As if things couldn’t get worse, her first love, Aiden McCann, is back in town after a ten-year absence.
This was a sweet story but tackled some pretty heavy themes…alcoholism, cancer, infidelity, trust, redemption…just to name a few. Aiden’s absence had much more to do with his awful relationship with his father but the impact was the same. I enjoyed how their struggle to come to terms with the old relationship was woven into Aiden’s issues involving his own family.
I was thrilled to learn Red River wasn’t over and based on the ending, looks like we should be back here again. Aiden and Natalia are nice people who deserved a second chance. The scenes involving her cousin provided comic relief to the heavier issues but I was pretty satisfied with how all that turned out. I enjoyed this story and hope my instincts are correct about another book in the works.