Title: Small Town Secrets
Author: Alys Murray
Publication Date: March 24, 2021
Page Count: 254
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
Stepping off the Greyhound bus, I look at the town glinting in the distance beyond a crystal-clear mountain lake. The lines I’ve memorized from the ad are on repeat in my mind: accommodation and employment provided to women willing to relocate to a historic town with a shortage of women.
When Virginia first sees the ad, her breath catches. Female? Check. Small-town seclusion needed? Check. Currently without a home or a job? Check and check. She dabs an extra layer of concealer over the bruise on her cheek, bundles up her belongings, and her secrets, and escapes her life in Savannah.
But arriving at Fortune Springs, Colorado, Virginia realizes that her plan to lay low and heal her tattered heart won’t stand up against the prying questions from Calla, the brusque older woman who gives her a place to live. She’s on the brink of leaving when Calla’s twelve-year-old granddaughter arrives at the house, abandoned and alone. Virginia recognizes the feeling, and she realizes she can’t be another adult to let the girl down. Then there’s the handsome, aloof firefighter Owen, whose company is giving her a whole ’nother reason to stay…
But when she returns one day from a walk amongst the wildflowers to find a face from her past waiting for her, Virginia realizes that a secret she’s kept has exposed the people around her to a new world of danger. Can she find the strength to fight for the life, and love, she’s found in Fortune Springs?
An emotional, gripping story full of family drama. Fans of Carolyn Brown, Robyn Carr and Debbie Macomber will be hooked.
Small Town Secrets by Alys Murray is a new contemporary romance that seems that it may be the beginning to a new series set in Fortune Springs, Colorado. In this book Virginia was looking to escape her life when she hopped on a bus to Colorado after seeing an ad. The line in the ad, “accommodation and employment provided to women willing to relocate to a historic town with a shortage of women” was exactly the push to find her courage and leave that Virginia needed.
After arriving in Fortune Springs Virginia meets Owen, the town fire chief, who doesn’t hide it in the least that he is opposed to the program that brought Virginia to his small town. However, as much as Virginia would have liked to avoid Owen it seemed that their paths were meant to cross at every turn she made as she adjusted to her new small town life.
I have actually read a few books now by Alys Murray and I keep coming back because I have enjoyed several quite a bit. This time around however I did find a few issues that I personally had while reading this one. First, Virginia never felt the right age for me, I kept thinking of her as younger than she is meant to be. It took a while to get to her backstory and there wasn’t much depth given so perhaps that was what I needed to understand her more.
My other thing that held me back from really enjoying this one though was the realistic nature of the event that brought Owen and Virginia closer together. I honestly could not wrap my head around a firefighter reacting the way he did when Virginia found his dog and jumped into helping. To me Owen’s reaction wasn’t realistic in the slightest given his career so it was off putting to me so in the end that all being said this one really just ended up a so-so read but the setting holds promise so I’ll probably return if there is a book two.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Alys Murray writes novels for the romantic in all of us. Born and raised in New Orleans, she received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and her Master’s in Film Studies from King’s College London. She loves black and white movies, baseball games that go into extra innings, and reminding people like Michael Bay has two films in The Criterion Collection.