Title: Once & Again
Author: Lauren Dane
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Petal Georgia #1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Number of Pages: Ebook
Release Date: August 30th, 2011
Source: Won on twitter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Once and Again is one of those books were even there is some smokin' hot lovin' going on it's all about the relationships between the two main characters and their families. It's just a genuinely sweet romance. It tells the story of Lily Travis and Nathan Murphy. Lily has come home after being away for 7 yrs to whip her younger brother Chris into shape. Her brother is in danger of failing school and has fallen in with a bad crowd. Lily's mom is in no shape to help him as she's fallen into the habit of taking pills and drinking after Lily's dad left her for a women in her 20s. Lily goes to the high school to talk to Chris' teachers to see just how bad of shape he is in grade wise, and if there is anything he can do to pass his classes.
One of his teachers just happens to be Nathan Murphy~one of Lily's exs...the one who burned her badly 7 yrs ago and is why she left town. She's never really gotten over him and doesn't want to have anything to do with him. Nathan, though can't believe how stupid he was all those years ago when he cheated on Lily when they were in college. They might've been on a break from each other, but he's stunned by how beautiful she is now, and strong etc, etc...he's all set to win her back and is shocked when Lily tells him to take a hike because a.) he cheated on her and b.) he's her younger brothers teacher. I absolutely loved that about Lily. I also loved how Lily was tough and strong and how devoted she was to helping her younger brother get out of a tough situation with their mom. In so many romances the heroine just caves into the hot guy, but in this case Lily really made Nathan prove himself to her.
Nathan was so much fun. I enjoyed watching him struggle and try to win Lily back. He was used to getting everything really easily, but Lily proved to be a big challenge. It took some help from his Chase and Murphy relatives to make him see things from Lily's point of view and how to win her over. I've only read one Chase book, but it was enough for me to recognize all the secondary characters. I liked how they didn't take over the story, but were there to intervene just enough to make Nathan and Lily see that they really needed to be together-like yesterday. The relationship between Nathan and Lily was slow to build, but once it built it was well, refreshing. Nathan and Lily just took time to get to know each other, and the passion was there, but they also had more.
This series is very different then her Brown Siblings series, and well, moves at a somewhat slower, but just as nice pace. Fans of Lauren Dane won't be disappointed by this new series, and I can't wait to go back and read all of the Chase Brothers books! I just want to thank the author for holding an EARC giveaway on twitter. Winning this book totally made my day.
Edited to add: You don't need to read the Chase books first to read this book, but it helps.
Barrons Hero Hotness Meter: High
Curran Crush Meter: Medium
Martini Sigh Meter: High
Ethan/Merit Sizzle Meter: Medium
Rhiannon Kick Ass Heroine Meter: Medium (Not really a lot of action, but Lily kicks her brothers but into gear a lot)
Finn Sidekick Meter: High