Indeed, 90% of the time, the books I read at night before I fall asleep are what the interwebs deem as “cozy mysteries.” They have murder, mystery, and suspense, but it’s done in a way that doesn’t make me cringe or get tense. For those of you who like this genre, you get it, and for those of you who don’t, there isn’t any other way to explain it, haha.
Last night, however, I finished reading “When We Left,” the first story in Elena Aitken’s Timber Creek series. I would describe this as a love story, but Amazon says it is “family life fiction,” and in seeing that description, I agree it fits.
She needs a fresh start.
He’s not the same man.
Can a second chance heal their hurt?
We follow Cam Riley and her daughter Morgan as they leave their home in Portland and start a new life in Timber Creek. Cam is from Timber Creek, and when her life falls into shambles, after a public announcement from her news anchor husband that he is seeing someone new and that she is pregnant with their baby, she returns to the one place she has always called home. Her 15-year-old daughter Morgan is along for the ride and is not at all pleased. The description and dialogue between mother and daughter were all too familiar because I’ve been there. In some ways, I am still there because I have a teenage son and two pre-teen kids that are full of emotions they don’t know how to let simmer.
We also meet Cam’s old friends and her old flame, Evan. Evan’s a police officer in town now and is not the same boy that Cam loved in high school. However, Evan has only ever loved one woman and I bet you can guess who.
“It just felt right. Does that make sense?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “Just being with you…it was…” “Like home.” It wasn’t a question, but it didn’t need to be because Evan was exactly right.
This is a quick read; it took me a couple of hours. Yes, it is predictable. There were a couple of pieces to the story that I didn’t expect, but for the most part, I knew how it was going to end pretty quickly. This did not deter me because I wanted to read a happy love story. This wasn’t a mystery, and I didn’t need to be surprised.
This story made me smile. I felt good while reading it, I needed that, and I’m thankful that Elena Aitken chose to write it the way she did.
For those who enjoy love stories, stories about second chances, or characters that feel familiar, I highly recommend this book!