Chasing Serenity by Eden Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So, there I was searching about for a book that had some of the things I love which include: rugby, The South and romance. I saw Chasing Serenity listed as being on sale at Amazon and snapped it up. I am so glad I did! It ended up being one of those unexpected gems that come my way when I take a chance on a new author.
The story takes place in a small university town in Tennessee that is a bastion of naturalized and expatriate Irish. A rugby loving town with a rich history, surrounded by the beautiful Smokey Mountains. I fell in love with this town and was heartbroken when I couldn't find it on the map. I so wanted it to be real because the author made it real for me.
One of my pet peeves is weak heroines, so imagine my joy when I met Autumn. She has had a rough life of great loss, yet she persevere with amazing grace. She is educated, self supporting, independent, loves rugby and is a survivor. Her personality quirks and occasional defensiveness are understandable and normal.
The Hero, Declan, originally comes off as a big lug rugby player on a sports scholarship. He begins to expose the layers of his personality to Autumn as she learns of his sensitivity and intelligence. Their eventual love almost becomes an unrequited love.
Secondary characters are well written and interesting. I believe the second book in this series, Seeking Serenity, will involve two of them, but this is a stand alone novel.
There is a satisfying HEA. This is a heart warming romance and an amazing first novel.
*Warning - Does include some sex acts.