Risking It all for Love, Book Review

Book Summary:(Per Goodreads Summary)
Clean Romance with a humorous bite!

Ever since her high school boyfriend's death from a car accident three years earlier, Jessica Mason and her hometown of Snow Valley, Montana with all its awful memories have NOT been compatible. Running away to New Orleans on a ballet scholarship, Jessica cringes when she thinks about confronting Pastor John and the community church--she doesn't want to talk about God, not after He took Michael, the boy she was going to marry ever since third grade.

In the local scene of funky New Orleans, Jessica seeks out Madame LaBlanc, hoping Michael will absolve her of her guilt the night of the car accident in a seance, but the spirit world is silent and she fears the grief will drown her.

Finally succumbing to family pressure, Jessica reluctantly returns for Christmas - and the little town of Snow Valley does Christmas BIG. When she visits Michael’s grave in the church yard, Jessica is shocked to meet handsome James Douglas, Pastor John’s nephew, who’s studying for the ministry. No, she is NOT going to be attracted to someone who wants to be a preacher! Definitely not compatible! But James Douglas is unlike any minister-in-training she's ever met. James can not only dish back Jessica’s finely-tuned sarcasm but understands grief all too well, turning Jessica’s world upside down.

Can Jessica forgive herself for that terrible, fateful night? Can she take another risk on love?

A fast-paced romance with humor, family dynamics, Christmas, and kissing.

My Thoughts:
A very quick and easy read though at times a bit jumpy between scenes/activities.  I enjoyed this story and was invested in the characters by the end of the story.  I would have enjoyed the story more if it was drawn out more and gave more information on the interaction between Jessica and James Douglas.

The author does a great job building the setting through descriptive words and scenes.  The book flowed in a direct  manner where I was not left wondering, but was quickly learning about what both characters endured to bring them this sadness and eventual bond.  The reason I said the book should be more drawn out is the story line discusses how Jessica had missed a lot, touched briefly on what seems like humorous times in New Orleans (especially with the Madame), struggles as a dancer, etc., and with the ease that the author was telling this descriptive story I wanted to learn more about these side thoughts/comments.

Overall this was a good read, but I did feel it could use a bit more development so that it would be a great read.  I enjoyed it and have mentioned it to some friends who were looking for a new read, but I would love to see another story with the same characters that goes into more depth or something to answer all the side stories of this book.

Memorable Quotations:
“I’m James Douglas,” he introduced himself, and then paused while I mused on the idea of whether a true stalker would give his true name. “What’s yours?” he asked next, despite the fact that I hadn’t made any kind of a welcoming gesture.
I continued to retreat closer to the sidewalk hoping it wasn’t covered in slippery ice. “Um, just call me the Sugar Plum Fairy.”

Could I do this? Did I have the courage? Could I let go of the past?
A voice whispered in my ear. Yes, you can. Oddly, the voice sounded just like Michael.

Whoever is praying for snow, please stop.
My heart felt as though it had stopped. “I feel so cold,” I whispered. “Sometimes I feel so dead inside.”

Important Links:

Where you can purchase: