The Bitterroot Inn by Devney Perry
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Jamison Valley #5 (standalone)
Published on: January 16, 2018
POV: Dual First Point of View
Rating: 4.5 STARS
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The Bitterroot Inn is the amazing Devney Perry’s fifth and final book in the Jamison Valley series. After devouring each of the books (The Coppersmith Farmhouse, The Clover Chapel, The Lucky Heart, and The Outpost) in this small-town contemporary series and falling in love with all the characters, I ended The Bitterroot Inn with a smile on my face and warm heart. Although it is a part of the Jamison Valley series and best to be read in order since all the stories are interconnected, you can enjoy this story without reading the prior books because it works as a complete standalone.
The Bitterroot Inn follows the journey of a single mother named Maisy Holt. After experiencing a traumatic relationship that resulted in her being a single parent and ending up killing the father of her son in self-defense for kidnapping her and trying to kill their unborn child, trusting another man (except her families and friends) is nearly impossible. Hence, starting a new relationship has since been a struggle despite the number of efforts from her best friends in setting her up, getting her back into a dating life.
With a growing business and a healthy son, Maisy doesn’t have any dream for her in the future although she secretly envies her best friends for their happy marriages and hopes the same for herself. One evening, however, a handsome man walks into her Inn and turns her world upside-down. The attraction between them is inevitable which gradually rocks her quiet, simple life and dares her heart to dream more. He is beyond everything she has ever hoped for in a man: he loves her son, admires her, and captures her family’s hearts. However, as they start to spend more time together, it is apparent that he seems to hold things about himself from her, which both terrifies her and triggers her deep-buried painful past.
I’d come to Prescott with a plan: to look out for this beautiful soul. My plan had just changed. Now I was here to win her heart.
Hunter Faraday is a man with a mission. He left his career in Chicago and moved to Prescott with one purpose: Maisy. After years of being away from the woman he has sworn to stay away, the constant thoughts of her brought him back to the town and met her. After some interactions, he finally gains her trust even though the road to completely win her heart is still long. One thing he is not ready yet, though, is to share his past with her. Fears of losing her after she learns it, have made him buying some time. Unfortunately, his past comes sooner than he anticipates and forces them apart. Determined to both protect and save her at all cost, he hopes she will, someday, forgive him.
As I have always said in my previous reviews of Devney Perry’s books, I admired her story-telling skill. I was amazed by the fact that this was only the fifth book she has written since each of her stories was unique, emotionally touching, and memorable, which I experienced in The Bitterroot Inn as well. Her writing flowed smoothly; it moved the plot with ease and brought the characters to life while keeping my anticipation high. It was exquisitely detailed and thoughtful which made each moment of the story special.
As typical in each of her books, the romance was the main aspect of the story and in The Bitterroot Inn it was the center. Insta-attraction or love was often a hit or miss for me but it worked for Maisy and Hunter’s story. I admired the author for making it emotionally deeper through the inner voices of the characters. I was immersed in their buildup-romance from the beginning and easily connected with them. Besides, I loved that despite their insta-attraction, their relationship didn’t get physical too fast. It made their slow-burn romance felt even more special.
“I get that, but I’m asking you to take a leap of faith with me. Trust me with your heart.”
“So you can crush it?” That was unfair. I knew it the second it came out. The second before pain slashed across Hunter’s face.
“If you really think I’d crush your heart, then you’re right. You don’t know me at all.”
Having children in a story, especially in romance, could be a downside sometimes but it was not the case in this story. Maisy’s son was highlighted in the most appropriate way. The dialogs and interactions relating to him worked well with his age and added a plus to the whole story. Not only it provided humor but it made the story felt real and believable as well. I couldn’t count how many times I smiled and laughed whenever Coby interacted with adults.
“How do we move past it all?”
“One day at a time,” he whispered. “And when you’re ready to start again, I’ll be right here.”
I had a hard time connecting with Maisie in the beginning but was able to bond with her character toward the end. Her trust issues were frustrating at times, but considering her past, I understood her reasoning. Devney Perry’s writing had me understand Maisy’s inner struggles (how her past preventing her from living her current dreams) and connect with her. She was real and relatable, and as I got to know her deeper, my connection with her grew stronger.
“She was rude and practically mauling you,” I snapped and stepped away from his side. “But if that doesn’t bother you, then fine. Maybe women throwing themselves at you isn’t a big deal. I mean, you’re single or whatever, so I guess you can do whoever—”
“What was that?” His hand grabbed my elbow and spun me in front of him, stopping my rambling rant. “Say that again. Single? You think I’m single?” I shrugged. “I guess.”
His jaw set in an angry lock. “Do you think you’re single?”
“I, um . . . no.”
“Then why and the fuck would you think I’m single?”
Hunter was the hero every romance reader would fall head-over-heels in love with. He was perfect in his imperfections. While being far from perfect, all his actions were unselfish. I loved how he always put Maisy’s and her son’s needs above all and admired him for his determination and patience on winning her trust again. What won me over, though, was the way he saw and treated Coby, which was heart-melting. However, I would have loved to understand the reasons he found Maisy special in the beginning since it was not well-described throughout the story unfortunately.
The drama was free of angst but—along with the romance—it provided a great amount of surprise that kept me on my feet. The free of angst and the fact that I had been able to guess the main secret from the beginning didn’t lessen my excitement whatsoever. In fact, the additional elements (on top of the romance itself) did help strengthen my whole experience with this story instead. If you love angsty romance, you might find this story lacking, but if you appreciate a free of angst story, you will enjoy this story.
The characters of the previous books brought different lights to the story as well. I loved the family-oriented focus that took place in the story: the support and love that each character showed to one another and the messages behind them. It was heartwarming as well as refreshing watching them interact. I left the story with a bittersweet feeling at the end—despite witnessing a wonderful happy ending for the whole characters involved—and wished I could have been with them longer.
We all had our special places.
For Jess and Gigi, it was the Farmhouse.
Nick and Emmeline’s was the chapel where they had gotten married.
For Silas and Felicity, it was their ranch.
Beau and Sabrina would forever cherish the outpost where they had spent their first months together.
And for me, my happy started the day Hunter Faraday walked into The Bitterroot Inn and changed my life forever.
I highly recommend The Bitterroot Inn by Devney Perry to those interested in small-town, heart-touching romance with great-developed characters and well-plotted drama. You will fall in love with all the character as well as the story, as I did, if you give this book a chance.
“I’m the man falling in love with you, Maisy. I’m the man falling in love with your son.”
Thank you to the publisher for giving me this review copy for my unbiased review.