Forrest For The Trees (Green Valley Heroes #1) by Kilby Blade (2021)
Fire Marshal Forrest and Park Ranger Sierra team up to investigate a series of fires in the national park and in the process start to see a different side to each other. This book was kind of a mixed bag for me. I felt like we kind of came in during the middle of the story, since some of the fires had already happened and the characters were trying to start the investigation. The writing didn't always work for me; there was too much telling and not enough showing. But, there were things I enjoyed. I like learning about the ins and outs of working at a national park. I also liked the growing relationship between Forrest and Sierra; there was this fun dichotomy of being attracted to each other while also being supremely annoyed by the other one. It made for lots of sparks! 3 stars
Before and After You (Leffersbee #2) by Hope Ellis (2021)
Leigh has always had a crush on Walker, but he's been off-limits since he's Leigh's best friend's brother. However, now that they're adults and running into each other all the time, the two might finally take a chance on love. I really enjoyed this book! Leigh and Walker are both really smart characters, and I loved their sassy, snappy banter. Leigh especially felt like such a strong woman - she's been through a lot and she's not afraid to speak her mind anymore. The story had a lot more than romance, though. Both Leigh and Walker are facing obstacles in their careers, and I appreciated seeing that aspect of their lives on the page. They also each have some major family issues to work through. It made for a well-rounded story. One of my few issues with this book is that while it's the second in a series, it's noted that it can be read as a stand-alone. However, I really felt like I was missing a lot of backstory and development of the secondary characters, especially, by not having read the first book. 4 stars
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