Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Brevia Beginning - Michelle Major (HSE #2340 - June 2014)

Series: Brevia North Carolina (Book 3)

The higher your walls…

Lexi Preston has gone from the courtroom to the barroom–as the world's worst waitress at Brevia's hot spot Riley's Bar. Lexi's back in town to right old wrongs, not to fall in love—but she's finding it awfully hard to avoid her impossibly gorgeous new boss.

The harder you fall

Former U.S. marshal Scott Callahan is still grieving his partner's death—and recovering from one drunken night when he bought himself a bar. Scott just can't deal with the way Lexi makes him feel. The ravishing redhead might get his heart racing, but she couldn't take an order if her life depended on it! Will Scott resist Lexi and all she has to offer, or will he find the love he's always craved?

Wonderful second chances story. Lexi first appeared in Her Accidental Engagement as the attorney working against Julia in her custody battle. She was the one digging up dirt on Julia to threaten her with. By the end of that book, she had realized that Julia was the one who deserved custody and provided her with the leverage to win. This got her in big trouble with her father who humiliated her in front of her coworkers and then fired her. She has come back to Brevia to apologize to Julia and beg her help. She wants a chance to stand on her own feet and see who she is. Julia gets her a job as a waitress at the bar and gives her a place to stay while Lexi tries to figure out what happens next.

Scott is in Brevia because that is where his brother and father are, even though they haven't gotten along in years. Scott is on leave from his marshal's job, still grieving the death of his partner. One night he's at the bar, drinking too much, and gets into an argument with the owner. The next think he knows, he owns the place. While he doesn't plan to leave the marshals anytime soon, fixing up the bar and running it for a few weeks will be just the distraction he needs. Another distraction is Lexi, who is probably the worst waitress he's ever seen, but sure gets his motor running. 

Scott and Lexi clash pretty hard at the beginning, but they can't deny the attraction that has flared up between them. He doesn't trust her because of her role in the custody battle. Lexi doesn't think much of his attitude toward his brother and everything else. Scott sees Lexi's need to be out from under her father's control and to live a little, and offers to help her do it. I loved seeing him encourage her independence. I also liked seeing Scott confront Lexi's father. Lexi sees a deep loneliness in Scott that she has plenty of experience with herself. I loved seeing her open up her heart to him in hopes that he would find what he was looking for.

Both Lexi and Scott go through some wonderful changes. Scott's attentions to Lexi give her a self confidence that she's never had before. Her father was always in control of what she wore, who she spent time with, the cases she worked on. Out from under his thumb, Lexi learns how much she still likes what she does as she provides legal advice to various townspeople who come to her. I also loved seeing her overcome some of her fears (the zip line scene was great) and learn to stand up for herself. I loved a couple of scenes where she stood up to her father and stood firm about what she wanted. 

Scott is the kind of guy who always feels responsible when things go wrong. From his mother's death to his partner's, he tends to blame himself. He also feels that he's a bad risk for any relationships. His attraction to Lexi is strong and they start something together knowing it has an end date. Even though he keeps talking about his return to the marshals, Scott gets really involved in his ownership of the bar. I loved seeing him make connections with customers and also with the people who worked for him. He found something in Brevia that he hadn't been looking for and those feelings scared him. He always felt that he couldn't live up to peoples' expectations and would inevitably mess things up. He had to find the courage to stay.

I loved the ending and the faith that Lexi showed in Scott. She believed in him the way that no one else did. I really enjoyed seeing her faith rewarded. What he said to her in front of all those women was really sweet and really showed how much Lexi's love had changed him.

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