Slow Burn by Missouri Vaun is a very gentle, slow burn romance set in one of the loveliest places in North America. This book is like a breath of fresh air after a hard day. In fact, this is the kind of book I would grab to read after a bad day, or after reading something very intense. For me, this story is a great literary palate cleanser.
The novel tells the love story of two women who meet in the small town of Sky Valley, NC, located where the Great Smoky Mountains meet the Blue Ridge Mountains. Grayson (Gray) Reeves is returning to her hometown after surviving a devastating California wildfire where she lost her best friend and fellow firefighter. Faith Owens has come to town to help her best friend run the small cafe in town as she tries to recover from an unexpected breakup with her girlfriend. Both are going through the grieving process and are definitely not looking for romance. But sometimes love just sneaks up on you anyway.
This is a tender, easy to read, character driven love story. It does, however, have a thread of angst that runs through the tale. Gray is dealing with major grief and loss, and this affects how she interacts with everyone. Faith is recovering from a relationship gone bad and just wants to help her friend at the cafe and focus on her work as an artist. I connected with both characters, but I really fell for Gray in this tale. She is a beautiful person, inside and out. I also enjoyed how both women interacted with the rest of the community and the little side stories that came from this.
The setting of this book is one of its biggest strengths. The author is an expert at placing the reader into the scene with her descriptions, and she had a gorgeous place to use as a setting in this novel. I felt like I was right there with the characters.
This is a charming and tender romance with great characters, a wonderful setting, moments of excitement and lots of love. I really enjoyed this book, and I think you will too.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.