She shuttered her heart and walked away…
Heading home always stirs up mixed emotions for Laney Calhoun. Twelve years ago she left for graduate school, broken-hearted. She’s found professional success, but positive personal relationships have proved elusive. Running into her ex-boyfriend fans flames she thought long extinguished, and causes a renewed interest in love. Not with Kyle, of course. Never again. But as sparks fly and items of clothing disappear, she scrambles to keep her emotions in check.
…Now he has a second chance to get it right.
Kyle Nixon let Laney slip away once. Their chemistry together is undeniable, but steamy sex is not enough to convince her to let him back into her heart. Even if she did trust him again, her career as a paediatric surgeon is five hundred kilometers away from the hometown that he loves, and the life he once chose over her.
Come home to Wardham. Come home to love.
I’m a sucker for long-lost love stories, so I had high hopes when I started What Once Was Perfect. My biggest issue is that most of the elements of these types of stories were missing. The couple made up almost instantly without much conflict at all. The romance was sweet with plenty of steamy sex scenes, but I never doubted these two would end up together. When Delaney Calhoun goes home for Christmas, she runs into her ex, Kyle Nixon, for the first time since her father’s funeral. They both realize their raw attraction is still present and are rather quick to act upon it. When Laney needs to return to Chicago after the holidays, the two will have to figure out how a long-distance relationship could work this time around rather than break them up again.
The pacing moves okay, but there is a lack of significant conflict. Instead, the story moves with some obvious unresolved sexual tension, clearing up of some misunderstandings, and lots of steamy bedroom scenes. It’s clear immediately these two still love each other and the only real unknown is how they’re resolve a long-distance relationship. But they’re not teens anymore, so I was confident the responsible adults in them would figure it out.
The two main characters, Laney and Kyle, are both likeable and well-rounded. It’s clear that miscommunication and misunderstandings got in their way all those years ago, but they recognize it now. There is solid character growth and introspection that is realistic and a natural culmination of the events.
What Didn’t Work for Me
1. Lack of meaningful conflict. My personal preference is for stories laced with conflict, even sweet romances. I would have like a less easy path to HEA.
What I Enjoyed About What Once Was Perfect
1. The characters. They were well developed, interesting, and likeable.
2. Character growth. Both Laney and Kyle need to look inside and confront their own part in their past breakup in order to move beyond it.
3. Sexual tension. These two had it in spades and it worked well.
4. The setting. A picturesque small Canadian town at Christmas was the perfect setting for Laney and Kyle’s story. The author brought the scenes alive in all their white and wondrous glory.
5. Compromise. I love that the ending didn’t come together all nice and neat and that both needed to compromise on what they thought they wanted to get what they really needed.
What Once Was Perfect is a sweet holiday romance about enduring love and second chances.
About the Book
Title: What Once was Perfect
Series: Wardham #1
Author: Zoe York
Release Date: June 14, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Zoe York is a busy working mom of two young boys, wife to a very understanding soldier, and creator of modern, sexy, small town contemporary romances. Her debut novel, What Once Was Perfect, started the popular Wardham series, and her first military romance, Fall Out, was released as part of the international bestselling SEALs of Summer super bundle.
She lives in London, Ontario and is currently chugging Americanos, wiping sticky fingers, and dreaming of heroes in and out of uniform.