Josie Barnes has always craved a sense of home. She’s found that in Hope, Oklahoma–she bought a house, has a new job as an English teacher at Hope High, she’s made wonderful friends, and she’s taking in stray animals that no one else wants. Now she’s flirting with fellow teacher and hot high school football coach Zach Powers. But he’s almost too good to be true, and Josie learned long ago not to trust in the too-good-to-be-true, because it has always let her down. A former pro football player, Zach had to pull back when a career-ending knee injury forced him to rethink his future. Now he’s happy calling plays as Coach. If he could just get Josie Barnes to stop benching his players for their poor grades, life would be perfect. Instead, she drives him crazy as the stern teacher at school and the sexy woman of his dreams outside of the classroom. He knows she’s been hurt in the past, but he wants to be that guy she can trust. The one thing Josie has never been able to count on is the people closest to her. But Zach intends to show her that what they have between them is a textbook case of love.
The Bottom Line: I failed myself and the author when I requested this book from NetGalley. I always try to check before requesting to ensure a book I’m interested in isn’t a part of a series I haven’t read. Apparently, I failed to do so this time and ended up reading the eighth book in a series I’ve never read. I can’t say I loved this book because I often felt like a duck out of water where the characters and their backstories are concerned, but I didn’t completely dislike it either. It’s not the author’s fault I’m an idiot 😊 Josie often read as a bit of a cynic and something of a coward, but I did like her naughty side and cheeky comments she often made to Zach. Zach and his little rescue dog are by far my favorite characters in this read and would have liked much more of the two of them. The romance is appropriately low heat, the hometown/small town setting is a personal favorite, and the focus on adopt don’t shop where animals are concerned made me wonderfully happy. The only thing that kept me from well and truly enjoying this read is the sense of disorientation where the cast of characters is concerned. I fully intend to rectify this situation and catch up on the Hope series as I think it is likely a very good one.