Release date: April 25, 2023
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley Romance
After being hospitalized for panic attacks two years after his mother’s death, charitable foundation executive Teagan van Zijl is dragged by his sister to a wilderness therapy retreat in Montana. Lost in the woods, Teagan nearly gets eaten by a bear but is saved by an angel in muddy hiking boots—the program’s handywoman, Darcy Albano, that is. After spending the summer with Darcy, Teagan realizes he doesn’t want to return to New York without her. He hires Darcy as his sober companion—a position he doesn’t actually need filled and for which Darcy is completely unqualified—hoping she can help him figure out how to move forward. But once they get to the city, all Teagan can think of is how to confess the truth while keeping her in his life.
Darcy Albano thought she was going to work as a wilderness guide when she was hired on the camp staff, but ended up a handywoman instead—only the latest screwing-over she’s endured since her ex stole her car and her parents ruined her credit score. But Teagan van Zijl is the silver lining she didn’t expect to appear—clearly going through something but willing to commit to Darcy’s unique brand of wilderness education as the cure for what ails him. They form an unlikely bond based on the unexpected support they provide each other. Darcy never imagined staying in the city, but with Teagan’s unshakeable belief in her abilities, anything seems possible.
Suspending some disbelief is something I’m used to doing when I read a thriller but I don’t tend to have to do this as much in a romance but it is absolutely necessary here. From the beginning when Teagan gets attacked by a bear things verge on outlandish and only proceeds from there. Everything about this one just felt off for me, I never bought into Teagan and Darcy’s relationship which makes things difficult when it’s a romance, I want to be invested and it just never happened for me. There is a lot of mental health rep here and while lots of it is portrayed well there were some big yikes moments for me too. I can’t even really explain it, I was just uncomfortable. Unfortunately this was just a miss for me.
Overall rating: 3/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.