Hope Burns is the third full length book in the Hope series by Jaci Burton and I was really looking forward to this one. The story focuses on Emma’s sister Molly Burnett and local business man Carter Richards, and it was clear from previous books that there was some serious history between these two. The former high school sweethearts have not seen each other for 13 years as Molly has not been back since she skipped town all those years ago. Coming home for Emma’s wedding, Molly is determined to get through the ceremony and get right back on the road. A family emergency puts her careful plans – and her heart – at risk.
Molly Burnett hit the road right after her high school graduation and never looked back. Her family and friends have speculated as to why she refused to even visit, but no one could have guessed what really happened. Convincing herself that she likes the freedom of moving from place to place and job to job, Molly is content to reassure everyone that her life is great. Her sister’s wedding, and her position as the maid of honor, have left her with no more room to run. She will return to Hope, get through the wedding and get the hell out of Dodge right after.
Carter Richards has made a good life for himself in Hope. He purchased the auto shop where he had his first job, and over the years has opened more locations. He earns a decent living, owns his own home that he is renovating and is ready to settle down and have kids. Running in to Molly when she is literally just rolling in to town, it becomes clear to him that he has not quite gotten over his first love. Unfortunately she is still running from him and cannot say loud enough that she is heading out of town right after the wedding.
With Emma off to her honeymoon, Molly prepares to head out of town and get back to her life. After her mother takes a fall and will be immobilized for several weeks, Molly knows she has to step up and stay. Emma has been handling everything on her own for years and she deserves her honeymoon. When she finds out her mother has been working on a town revitalization project she is excited to take over. Unfortunately her mother has been working closely with Carter on the project and that means a lot more time with the man she was hoping to avoid.
During the time they spend together, Molly has a chance to get to know the adult Carter and realizes that he is nothing like the young man she left behind. Telling herself that she can just have a fling with him and move on, the duo begin heating up the sheets and spending time together doing couple things. Carter knows he wants her to stay and have a future with him, but every time things get close Molly panics and pulls back.
I loved these two. They experienced something as teenagers that many adults would have had difficulty handling and they reacted as typical teenagers would. There were two scenes that really stood out for me and I thought Ms. Burton wrote them perfectly. The first was when Molly confronted Carter after her sister’s wedding and let out all of her hurt and frustration. He allowed her to vent and get things off her chest, but was quiet about how he had been affected. His turn comes later and Carter does not hold back when he unloads on Molly, saying the things he has been keeping pent up for all those years. It was clear that no matter how much time had passed, those two were stuck in the past and in their pain.
One of the enjoyable things about this series is that the community is very close knit and even though some people have had “their” story already, we still get to see a lot of them. I am really looking forward to Chelsea’s story and we get a glimpse at who her HEA will be with. Thankfully its not a crazy long wait, their book hits stores in April 2015.
So far this is my favorite book of the series. I loved both main characters and I was dying to find out what this history was between them. I was a bit worried there would be build up but a unsatisfactory story, but I was wrong. The couple had crazy chemistry and the book was not crammed full of plot points distracting from them. Cannot wait for the next one.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Jaci Burton
Release Date: September 30, 2014