Series: The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor (#4) (Love in Bloom)
Author: Melissa Foster
Release Date: 21st September 2016
Challenges: 2016 New Release Challenge, 2016 Prequel & Sequel Challenge (2 points)
Links: Goodreads - Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): In CRUSHING ON LOVE...
Steve Johnson is living his life's passion watching over the Colorado Mountains as a ranger and wildlife consultant. But his peaceful life is upended when overzealous and insanely beautiful Shannon Braden flits back into his life after returning from a brief trip home to Maryland. He thought his attraction to her was under control--after all, she's only in Colorado temporarily, and he doesn't do casual affairs. Shannon's return to Colorado has as much to do with the game of cat and mouse she and Steve have been playing as it does the data she's been hired to collect. But despite her efforts to explore the undeniable heat simmering between them, Steve's intent on keeping his distance. When a ranch abutting the national park goes up for sale, Steve will do whatever it takes to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. And when all his attempts fail, he's left with no alternative but to follow Shannon's guidance into the online world he abhors in order to raise the funds. The more time they spend together, the deeper their attraction becomes, and a game of cat and mouse turns into an unstoppable connection. But when Shannon's assignment comes to an end, will it mean an end to them, too?
Crushing on Love can be read as a standalone, however the Love in Bloom is a connected series and there are characters from previous books in this one and it adds something to know those characters stories. However as this is romance, knowing that two people end up together isn't exactly a spoiler so you are safe from that!
There was a really weird coincidence that went on with Crushing on Love and that was that the previous book of Melissa Foster's that I read was that of the lead man's sister, and having finished it I wondered who he would end up with. The two books aren't actually next to each other in the suggested reading order, and are actually part of seperate Braden subseries. It was good for me that it happened like that because the little bit of Steve I'd already encountered was still fresh in my mind!
Steve and Shannon were super cute, and right from the very beginning (even before they gave into their desires they were using cute nicknames for each other (Butterfly and Grizz). They picked up on the little things that made them their own people and from the very beginning I was "awwwing" at the cuteness.
I loved that they had their "in" jokes too. Though the pink frosting was half joke and half really not, and probably one of the catalysts for the two of them finally getting together. Saying that there was also a more serious side to their relationship, that where they were working to save the natural habit that was part of Weston.
There were lots of previous characters that made an appearance and the building relationships were great, particularly the one between brother-in-laws Steve and Rex, though that again could be to do with the fact that Rex's story (with Steve's sister Jade) was the last one I read).
These two really worked well together, both chemistry wise as well as when it came to working together. There was no doubt in my mind that these two weren't meant for each other!