About the Book
Book: One Fine Day
Series: Hearts Bend Collection #1
Author: Rachel Hauck, Carrie Padgett
Release Date: May 24, 2022
All she wants is a fresh start…
Chloe Beason LaRue left Hearts Bend after high school, determined to never look back. She shed her unrequited crush on Sam Hardy, moved to Paris, went to pastry school, found a good job, fell in love, and got married. She was happy in France. Then her husband tragically died. Now, Chloe just wants to move forward…but when her mom’s health is in jeopardy, Chloe heads right back to Hearts Bend where she’s hired as head baker for Haven’s, the premier bakery in town. She has no idea that moving home will push her right into the arms of the man who broke her heart.
He’s not looking to fall in love…
Tennessee Titans quarterback Sam Hardy has too many broken memories in Hearts Bend to Return. But when he’s sidelined by an injury, he desperately needs to invest in something to safeguard his future. Haven’s Bakery is up for sale—and his business partner believes the deal is too good to pass up. He has no idea that the owners have hired the one girl he can’t seem to forget…and the last thing he expects is to be her boss.
But it’s a recipe for romance…
Back in Hearts Bend for the first time in ten years and thrown together at Haven’s Bakery, Chloe and Sam have a second chance at first love. Indeed, the more time Sam spends selling pastries, the more he sees a new future. But when Paris beckons Chloe back, where does her heart belong? Can they find the recipe for leaving regrets behind and start something new?
Escape to Hearts Bend for a sweet story of romance, faith, and an unexpected happy ending.
One Fine Day by Rachel Hauck and Carrie Padgett is a lovely Contemporary Romance, one I enjoyed very much. There is so much packed into this story: a reformed rake turning a new leaf, a grieving widow caring for her beloved cancer-stricken mother, parents attempting to repair relationships with their adult children, and a community coming together to support what matters most. And this is a story that doesn’t shy away from delving into some of life’s hardest moments and truths. I love that this Romance is more than just two people falling in love. This book has some serious substance.
Three topics struck me the most from this wonderful story:
- Sam Hardy is a reformed rake. As a very popular, super successful quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, Sam has had unlimited access to women. He is very honest about the kind of man he was before he realized that he was not being the best man he could be. I’ve read many novels with reformed rakes, so Sam’s honesty is not really new or shocking. But what is different is Sam’s admission about the final woman he used for his selfish pleasure. I don’t want to spill the beans on this moment. It’s not that it’s a HUGE moment, but it struck me hard, which means it could strike you as momentous, too. Suffice to say, his admission about this woman hurt me deeply. She wasn’t a football groupie and definitely wasn’t a girl who threw herself at rich men. What hurt me about this girl isn’t necessarily that Sam used her (although that certainly stinks), but that she thought a sexual encounter could change a man enough to make him love her. This, for me, is one of the saddest moments in the story.
- Chloe has recently lost her beloved husband to a freak accident and is now back home in Hearts Bend to care for her mother who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her grief is ginormous and her fear about her mother’s diagnosis is palpable. It’s true to life that tragedies seem to strike en masse. It’s not enough to deal with a grieving heart over the loss of a husband — no, life has to throw cancer in the mix, too. What struck me the most about Chloe’s character is how honest she is through all this calamity. She struggles with God. She struggles with moving on in her future. I mean, can she love again? Is it forgetting her husband if she does? And how could she make it if her truly wonderful and loving mother dies too? I like that she asks these questions and then is willing to work through all the questions with the help of well-meaning and wise friends, her mother, and eventually, God Himself. Chloe’s character feels very real and very relatable through all of her internal struggles.
- Frank Hardy says to his adult son the thing that all children of divorced families hate to hear — I should have told you the truth a long time ago. Why do parents think kids are “too young” to hear the truth? You’re literally destroying the family because of these truths, yet you believe kids don’t deserve to know why? I don’t expect parents to explain adult things to very young kids in blunt terms, but there should be an age-appropriate conversation regardless of the kids’ ages. It’s just the respectful thing to do. And when your kid is a teenager and the family is being blown-up, yeah, you really need to be honest about things. Trust me, most kids whose parents are getting a divorce aren’t weaklings. We can handle our parents’ truths. I get that Sam and Frank’s animosity is an important part to the storyline, but it really brought out all those angry kid feelings in me. And when Frank says to Sam that he should have been honest with him I wanted to throw the book across the room in frustration. All the pain and distrust of the past for no real good reason — what a waste! But I appreciate that this is included in the story. I’m not sure I’ve read a fictional story where this topic is actually discussed. It doesn’t take up a lot of space in the overall plot, but the fact that it’s recognized and it’s there means a lot to this reader who was once in Sam’s shoes (the divorce kid shoes, not the womanizer shoes 🤣).
Can you believe I barely touched the surface of this story with this review?! It’s the truth though. One Fine Day is a fantastic Contemporary Romance filled with so much STUFF. This book would make an excellent choice for any Book Club willing to talk about some heavy topics mixed in with some super steamy kisses. All in all, I loved this story and cannot wait for the next installment!
I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on May 23, 2022, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.