Need You Now by Nicole Helm

Need You Now by Nicole HelmNeed You Now by Nicole Helm
Series: Mile High Romance #1
Published by Zebra on May 30th 2017
Pages: 304
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He s mountain-tough. She s city-smart. The sparks are about to fly . . . Only the most resilient of souls could breathe new life into an all-but-forgotten town nestled in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains but what they get in return might be worth the heartache it takes to make it happen . . . Gracely, Colorado, was once a booming mining town. No one knows that better than Brandon Evans. His father s company kept the town thriving for years until Brandon threatened to expose his illegal practices and drove him away. Everyone blames Brandon and his brother for turning Gracely into a ghost town but the tenacious residents cling to a long-held legend about the land s healing powers. And Brandon has a plan to spin that legend into reality . . . Lilly Preston took a leap of faith and moved to Gracely a year ago to save her nephew from an abusive situation. She would do anything for him, even sacrifice her glamorous job. Reluctantly, the former PR hot shot takes a job at the ruggedly handsome Evans brothers Mile High Adventures, a company offering restorative Rocky Mountain vacations. Brandon thinks PR is pointless, and Lilly knows less than nothing about the outdoors. Which is exactly why they need each other in ways neither ever imagined . . .

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with ‘Need You Now’, since small-town stories can be charming as they can be vicious depending on the genre that I actually get into. But Nicole Helm has written quite a heartfelt one about a man who’s trying his hardest to establish his business in a town that hates him and his brothers and a woman whose family burdens lie squarely on her shoulders, mirroring reality closely in such a way that their situation is a relatable one. I felt for the Evans brothers as they cleaned up the mess their good-for-nothing father left them as much as I felt Lilly’s frustration at being trapped as the provider of a family that’s more broken than complete. Both Brandon and Lilly were hard on themselves in a way that made them the harshest critics of their own circumstances in a way I could definitely understand, as Helm makes both these characters face some hard truths about themselves.

It’s slow-going (with a lovely slow-burn) as Helm brings some nuanced emotions and well-timed humour into a prickly relationship but I genuinely enjoyed the rounds that Brandon and Lilly engaged in as they argued constantly over how to get Mile High Adventures up and on the map once more. Their disagreements were not only funny, but served to amp up the tension between them, which was always a fun way of getting them closer without both parties realising how much their mutual attraction had grown. Before I knew it, half the book was gone with Brandon/Lilly finding themselves in awkward situations until it all, well, explodes.

But as always, it gets worse before it gets better, business in town declines and Lilly/Brandon hit a very rough patch in their relationship. I did think Lilly tended to severely over-react in several parts because of her own issues, second-guessing everything and her lashing out seemed unjustified as she judged Brandon through these black-coloured lenses of her past. Her irrational behaviour towards the end was over the top as she only looked to protect herself, which made her harder to like when she selfishly refused to give Brandon a chance for anything and pretty much eviscerated him where it hurt the most.

The end of the road (read: the end of the book) came sooner than I thought and the curtain fell on Lilly/Brandon with a HFN ending, which is probably the most realistic one to expect in this case. Yet Mile High Adventures has barely gotten off the ground and Helm seems to promise more to come despite this rather abrupt conclusion.