The Rebel’s Return by Victoria James

The Rebel’s Return by Victoria JamesThe Rebel's Return by Victoria James
Series: Red River #4
Published by Entangled Bliss, Entangled Publishing, Entangled Publishing, LLC on August 22nd 2016
Pages: 130
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Natalia Puccini has spent her entire life playing by her overbearing but well-intentioned Italian family's rules...except the one time she took a chance on a bad boy and fell hard. She's worked to get her life back on track so when Aiden McCann comes sauntering back into town with his heart-stopping smile, Natalia vows not to fall for him again. There's no way she'll let him mess with her perfectly planned life...and there's no way she'll let him near her heart again...

Now reformed and a self-made success, Aiden is tormented by regrets and secrets. He left Red River years ago filled with anger and resentment and a promise to never come back. But when his ill father needs help, Aiden knows it's time to face the mess he left behind, and face the one woman he never got over. It doesn't matter how beautiful or intriguing she is, though, because he'll never be able to give her what she needs. As soon as his father is healthy, Aiden is leaving Red River...for good.

‘The Rebel’s Return’ is classic Victoria James: tooth-achingly sweet and so light that you can flutter away with stars in your eyes, especially with the Mayberry-like characters that populate the fictional town of Red River who always manage to get their heads screwed on in the right place at the very end.

I’d thought the Red River series complete, but jumped on this resurrected storyline just to revisit the cast of characters who now are part of the nosy ensemble as they watch Natalia and Aiden dance around each other, get over a decade-long wound and find their HEA. Pairing-wise, it all seemed a little too perfect as Nat and Aiden never quite wanted anyone else but each other, even as Aiden’s stupid mistake – and his inexplicable inability to own up to it until the very end – tore them apart. I did like Natalia’s personal convictions and her straight and narrow road of going down the path she wanted to go, but felt Aiden needed to grow a spine, own up to his actions because I simply thought at times, that Nat truly deserved much better than him.

Because of its length, this book wastes absolutely no time on doling out bucket loads of angst. James’s focus is and has always been really, a paved way to domestic bliss, even if some much-needed conflict and depth of character do get sacrificed a wee bit in the process.