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First Step Forward (The Grand Valley Series) Mass Market Paperback – November 29, 2016
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"A sexy, smart romp that will appeal to both romance and sports fans." (RT Book Reviews, 4 stars)
"First Step Forward by Liora Blake is an entertaining read, filled with charming characters and plenty of humorous moments." (Harlequin Junkie)
"I loved this story! It’s a football romance with actual football! But it’s more than that. It’s an epic opposites attract love story that had me laughing out loud the entire time. From Cooper’s filthy mouth to Whitney’s granola view of life. I loved every second!" (Two Book Pushers)
"This book is funny, sweet, smart and sexy. Being inside the heads of these two characters as they navigate the challenges in their own lives while moving toward each other is pure joy." (Literary Gossip)
"I love books that when I finish reading them leave a smile on my face or a sigh escapes me. This is exactly what happened with this novel." (Mrs. Leif's Two Fangs About It)
"First Step Forward is a funny, witty, sexy, sweet, and just a bit quirky contemporary romance. It will make you smile, it will make you ache, and it will make you swoon." (Literati Literature Lovers)
"The author set up a fantastic series with this first book. The only problem... it's going to be hard for her to go up from here. This was pretty much contemporary romance perfection in my opinion." (Smitten With Reading)
"I loved this seriously sweet, romantic, sometimes silly, sometimes hot read!" (Cocktails and Books)
"Deeply affecting and absolutely outstanding." (Always Reviewing)
"Contemporary romance at its very best, heartfelt and light, something you start and cannot put down!" (Ramblings From a Chaotic Mind)
About the Author
Liora Blake is a contemporary romance author living in Colorado. She writes because it’s what she’s always wanted to do, she writes novels because she likes to tell the whole story, and she writes romance because a happily ever after is the best kind of story to tell. Visit her online at LioraBlake.com.
Top customer reviews
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Liora Blake’s writing has that elusive ‘it’ factor—that charm and charisma that manages to turn my insides to fairy dust*. I’m often awestruck by her wit and innate ability to create such lovable characters, all while spinning a story that feels sincere. Four books in and I have to wonder, how does she manage to pull it off each and every time?
This go-round, I found myself flying giddily through the pages, desperately consuming her words, leaving me completely lost to the world of adulting. Forgoing what I was supposed to get done, in favor of surrounding myself with two characters I couldn’t seem to get enough of and wallowing in all of their delicious possibility.
So, what does a hippy chasing her dream of being a successful organic apple farmer and a professional wide receiver have in common? A case of opposites attract, First Step Forward is riddled with great banter, straight shots of humor, scorching hotness, enviable intensity and that crucial component of any memorable story - emotional depth. Honestly, does it get any better than this?
When I wasn’t caught up in Whitney’s impending doom at losing her orchard to foreclosure or watching Cooper struggle with the reality that it might be time to retire his football jersey, I was waiting with bated breath for these two to see, that despite their differences, what they needed most was one other. That their connection was more than a few fleeting moments thrown together. Mixing Whitney’s quirkiness, Cooper’s grumpiness and their mutual stubbornness, makes for an interesting and wholly delectable recipe, that’s for sure. One I would personally order again and again.
“I was convinced that when you took your shirt off, I’d find a little blue thundercloud with raindrops, right here.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Like Grumpy Bear. The grouchy Care Bear.”
What strikes me, each and every time I pick up a book from Liora Blake, is how relatable her characters tend to be. Despite their fame, success, bank account balance or lack thereof, they all have heart and an intrinsic charm. It isn’t about ego or flaunting their status to get attention. There’s no sleeping around, over-the-top antics or the dreaded angsty-drama that plagues this genre. The focus of the story is always the genuine connection forged between the unlikely pair at the heart of the story and issues that feel reminiscent of many, here I go again with this word—relatable, relationship woes. Liora Blake doesn’t rely on unnecessary drama to keep the plot moving or drag the reader through a tirade of breakups. She doesn’t need to. Instead, through Whitney and Cooper’s eyes, she delivers a sincere and heartfelt love story that’s incredibly addicting.
Have I mentioned Garrett, yet? Book two, Second Chance Season, is told from the adorable co-op employee’s perspective. Suffice it to say, I might have a little bit of a crush on the redneck . . . already.
Blake is an exceptional writer. This book has excellent dialogue both external and internal. The settings are vivid and the character development spot on. The hero and the heroine like and then love each other with a huge dose of believable sexual chemistry.
It is a great romance. While they are different in many ways, as their falling in love occurs, we get to see all the wonderful connections they action do have below the surface.
It is a funny, charming love story that makes you feel good. They are both grow ups with individual issues, lives, friends, and talents, who are fine apart and glorious together.
This will go on my comfort read shelf for sure!
I love that this story transferred from the hustle and bustle of the big city to the quaint coziness of a small town. That difference is what I love about small towns in real life. Whether I'm in one for a while or a weekend, the change in atmosphere and environment is an invitation to see the world differently, to relax for more than five seconds, to be happy with where you are.
Which is funny, really, because it's in Hotchkiss that Cooper's struggle of "Do I keep playing or don't I?" becomes real. Not that it wasn't before, but it's there, with Whitney, with a life he didn't know he wanted or needed just within reach, that he sees there is so much more to life than football.
This story is an amusing push-and-pull, give-and-take between Cooper and Whitney. They've each only had this one thing that occupies every nook and cranny of their lives before meeting each other, and now they're suddenly pushing into each other's spaces, vying for attention, reaching for more. It's not necessarily a battle of who's going to give in first. It's a battle of who's going to figure out and admit first that they need the other.
This is my first book by Ms. Blake. It's heartwarming with loads of sexual tension and humor. The angst and conflict are minimal, enough of each for the characters to come to grasp with what could be a fabulous future if they're brave enough to take the chance.
Received from publisher for an honest review
Most recent customer reviews
Cooper Lowry is the man always surrounded by love, always fighting for making...Read more
First Step Forward is a charming romance set in the wonderful state of Colorado.Read more