Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Aftermath (Love in Chaos #2) by Amy Matayo

According to Riley Mae Floss, life is a ten-page menu of possibilities. As the owner of a cupcake shop in small-town Missouri, she thrives on candies and rainbows and spreading joy every chance she gets. Even her hair is the color of bubble gum. Life is just the way she likes it, so why would she want anything to change now?

But when a tornado rips into Riley Mae’s southern town and destroys nearly everything in its path, her happy little life changes in less than forty-two seconds. Buildings gone. Homes carried away. People missing or even dead. Her bakery a shell of what it once was; also her life. Riley Mae’s picture-perfect world is shattered, and everyone she cares about has been hurt in the process.
According to insurance adjuster Chad Gamble, life always works out exactly the way it’s supposed to…for other people. As for him, life is a bit of a crapfest—one where he never wins the prize, makes the starting team, or gets the girl. He’s straight-laced, suit-and-tie, all-business, and sees the world for the color it is: muted gray with a little black around the edges.

So when Chad Gamble walks into Riley Mae’s ruined bakery to “assess the damages”—his words, not hers—he has no intention of getting bogged down by sentimental nonsense. Sparks immediately start to fly, and not the good kind. Who does this pushy, pink-haired chick think she is, treating him like an outsider when all he came to do was help? He can’t figure out why the locals like her so much.

Or worse, why he can’t stop thinking about her.

 * Goodreads * Amazon

Wa-hoo!  I love reading books by Amy Matayo!  It is always so exciting when I sit down and get to open to that first page that will start me on a roller coaster of emotions with characters I will grow to love. 

This book was so good.  So full of grit and charm.  There is tragedy and adversity with struggle around every turn.  It's in those moments of struggle, when things seem to be at their worst, that the core of who we are really emerges.  Riley is, at her core, generous and compassionate.  She sees human need and gives of herself, whatever she can, to fill those empty places even when she is breaking apart too.  I absolutely loved her.  

"Rescuing people isn't always about pulling them from the depths.  Sometimes it's about being there, being present, letting someone know you care without words or platitudes or even heroic acts of courage.  Sometimes the most courageous thing you can do is just listen without walking away."

And Chad?  He really is a man who shows up.  Whatever the motivating factor, he shows up and acts like a man.  A good man.  Yes, please.

I loved the sparks.  I loved the cupcakes.  I loved the sense of triumph in tragedy.  I loved seeing characters from the previous book in this series.  I loved the love.  The growing, palpable love. 💙💙  I was so invested, from beginning to end.

Content:  a couple instances of mild swearing, peril, kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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