his-first-and-lastTitle:  His First and Last
Series:  Ardent Springs #1
Author:  Terri Osburn
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  April 21, 2015
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  Kindle Unlimited
Cover Description:

At eighteen, Lorelei Pratchett couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown. Twelve years later, her Hollywood dreams have fizzled and she’s back—temporarily, she thinks. Though she throws herself into saving the old theater and starting a baking business, small towns have long memories, and Lorelei’s wild past still haunts her. It doesn’t help that her ex-boyfriend, Spencer Boyd, is even hotter, smarter, and more distracting than before.

The fiery Lorelei that Spencer knew years ago may have become closed off and cautious, but their chemistry hasn’t faded one bit. Losing her a second time is unthinkable to him, yet Lorelei is convinced she doesn’t belong in Ardent Springs. Somehow, Spencer needs to show her that everything she needs is right here: family, friendship, new beginnings…and a man who’s never stopped loving her.

Titles in this series include:  His First and last – Our Now and Forever – My One and Only – Her Hopes and Dreams

Read on for my thoughts on His First and Last.

Small towns have incredibly long memories.  Even when the “memory” is nothing more than rumor and speculation, gossip at it’s worst.  Lorelei never thought she’d return home again.  She had been so certain that she’d dusted off the opinions of Ardent Springs and would never look back.  Unfortunately, she was wrong.  And now it’s time to start over in a town with a long, inaccurate memory.

Spencer had thought he’d accepted that his first love had moved on long ago.  He’d built another life since then and lost it as well.  Now Lorelei is back in town, temporarily according to her.  She’s changed from the fiery, confident young woman she once was.  In place of that girl lives a woman who’s been beaten down by life, had dreams fall away and still has to contend with the opinion of people who never knew her at all.  But he knew her, and loved her then… and maybe even still.  Now he has to convince her that coming home was the best thing that could have happened for them both.

It isn’t often that we get a second chance with our first love.  Fate, karma, life seems to not allow that to happen often – but when it does it’s all the sweeter and more precious for the years lost… and found once again.

I adored the opening story in the Ardent Spring series.  It is such a slice of small town America that I felt right at home.  I grew up in a very small town, so I’ve got the memories to compare with and Ardent Springs is every bit as wonderful and opinionated as any small town could ever be.  The first story of a series has a lot hanging on it.  Enough background to make sense of situations but not an overload of information that will soon bog the reader down.  His First and Last gave us a good mix of the past and the present through dialog, memories and the easy, natural introduction of the townsfolk in a way that flowed with Lorelei and Spencer’s story.  I had a few chuckles as I “recognized” many of the secondary characters from my  own memories.

Lorelei and Spencer are not the same people they once were.  I appreciated that they were allowed to be their current selves when they first meet again and slowly begin to grow and change as they react and learn from each other.  There were revelations and misconceptions cleared up.  There are threads of background stories of things to possibly come scattered here and there.  But mostly there are two people learning how to love again, knowing the pain of the past yet willing to go past that and on to a future that could be everything they ever dreamed of… if they could take the risk.

I would highly recommend His First and Last, as well as the entire series to any Romance reader who loves a good story with believable and likable characters.  I already have the next story downloaded and ready to read.

I read this story through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. For ten dollars a month you get access to thousands of really great stories across all genre, and the authors get paid for you reading the story through to the 100% mark. It’s a win-win. Probably the best 10 bucks I spend a month.

Available for the Kindle