by Lia Riley
Series: Brightwater #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Sometimes the worst mistakes turn out to be the best… Smoke jumper Wilder Kane once reveled in the rush from putting out dangerous wildfires. But after a tragic accident, he’s cut himself off from the world, refusing to leave his isolated cabin. When a headstrong beauty bursts in, Wilder finds himself craving the fire she ignites in him, but letting anyone near his darkness would be a mistake. After her Hollywood life went up in smoke, Quinn Higsby decided to leave Tinseltown behind and return to Brightwater to care for her ailing father. She spends her days in a small bookstore, until her peaceful existence is up-ended by a fascinating but damaged man. Quinn is determined not to be scared off by Wilder, not once she’s experienced the heat of his passions. But when an arsonist targets the community and Wilder is accused, he must confront the ghosts of his past. Will his desire for Quinn burn him up or will he be able to tame the wildness inside and rekindle a hope for their future?
Can I just say I love author Lia Riley and her Brightwater series. Best Worst Mistake is the third book in the series and I quickly became caught up in Wilder Kane and Quinn Higsby’s romance. A touch of heat, a dash of heart and a nip of suspense made Best Worst Mistake a winner.
Coffee dates with Best Worst Mistake
- First date: I was anxious to meet Wilder Kane after hints in the earlier book. A tragic accident has him living as a recluse in an isolated cabin by the lake. Quinn Higsby has recently returned to Brightwater and is dealing with some life changes. She works at the local bookstore and as a lover of books with an unstoppable sweet tooth, she and I are going to get along just fine. Riley hints at something from his past that causing him guilt and Wilder is grumpy and obviously hurting. However, the man ordered a Nora Roberts book and I plan to stick around to meet the man beneath his rough exterior. I am anxious for these two to meet. She is all sugar and spice and Wilder is a big old bear..this should be interesting!!
- Second date: A snowstorm and a confused man force Quinn and Wilder to spend time together. I love this trope and have snuggled in. Everyone steps lightly around Wilder particularly his family so he does not quite know what to think of Quinn. She never stops talking and is not the least bit intimidated. It is hilarious. I can just see his eyes rolling to the back of his head. Right away, I love the banter between these two as Riley fleshed them out and shares their stories. An unexpected invitation has Quinn joining the Kane’s Thanksgiving and we shared several awe moments with these two as the attraction builds. Gads, I love interfering siblings. Don’t you? Riley adds in a little suspense to this second date when an arsonist begins setting fires. Quinn is struggling with a secret and things are heating up. The relationship begins with attraction, but it slowly develops into something more. Quinn has a positive effect on Wilder and while I thought his turnaround was a little fast I do believe that some folks shine brightly and that they can draw people to them. Quinn is that type of person. I loved seeing her handle Grandma and Wilder, it was hilarious.
- Third date: OMG, who knew Wilder was such a romantic. I loved discovering that beneath that grumpy façade there was this big old teddy bear. I swooned my friends and when you see Wilder’s idea of a date I am telling you, he will be your next book boyfriend. A little suspense, danger and Quinn’s secret propel us towards our HEA. Riley creates just enough tension and allows her characters to grow without putting her readers through the wringer. If you like a light romance, with a dash of heat and a few twists this read is for you. Our third date ended with an epilogue that had me grinning and I ended this date with a satisfied smile.
Best Worst Mistake was another delightful edition in the Brightwater series. The Kane brothers are all swoon worthy. We did get updates on earlier couples, but each book works as a standalone. I recommend reading them in order since as it will enhance each story.
Read an Excerpt
She patted the side of the bed. “Come here. Be next to me. We don’t have to sleep together to sleep together. Maybe I’m not ready to go whole hog, but what about cuddling?”
“Cuddling?” His breath sounded labored.
“Don’t be so dismissive.”
“I’m not, it’s just that … no one has ever asked me to before. I don’t exactly have a reputation as the warm and cuddly type.”
“Or no one’s ever bothered to look close enough.”
He froze before sitting on the edge of the bed, the mattress creaking from his weight.
“There we go, that’s a start,” she said encouragingly.
“Now we both lie back on your pillows, get under the blankets.”
“What about shoes?”
“Right. Shoes. Very practical. Glad one of us handles the details. See? This is what makes me a terrible Virgo.”
“You nervous?” He slowly undid the zipper to her ankle boot, easing it off, giving her toes a squeeze before proceeding to the next boot. Her stomach muscles clenched. This guy would give amazing foot rubs; she knew it.
“A little, but in a good way.”
He considered her. “You’re strange.”
“And you are terrible at giving compliments.”
He chuckled at that, tossing her boots on the floor and pulling back the blankets, tucking her in.
“Aren’t you getting in too?”
“For my sanity, I’d rather have this as a barrier.” He tugged on the thick comforter, “Otherwise, I’ll never fall asleep.”
“Am I that hard to resist?” She batted her lashes with a faux-seductive voice.
“Woman, you drive me crazy.” But he sounded happy or at least not angry, which was a change. And for not being a cuddler, he had an excellent way of putting his arm around the hollow of her waist and spooning her against him.
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