Smokey’s Mountain by Savannah Maris

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Smokey Thompson is considered one of his town’s most eligible bachelors.  His only relationship was a horrible experience where his girlfriend abused him emotionally, cheated on him and forced him into things he wasn’t comfortable with.  Though he broke up with her more than two years earlier, when he starts seeing Gwen Chavis, a gorgeous, new in town, bank executive, Heather can’t stand it and starts trying to get Smokey back.

Gwen has also been through a bad experience with a relationship, although her experience wasn’t abusive the way Smokey’s was.  Robert was a cheater, but that was the worst of it.

When Gwen and Smokey meet, their chemistry is undeniable, and while neither one of them is looking for a relationship, things start to happen between them.

Both Gwen and Smokey struggle with trusting each other, but they each make a really serious effort to treat each other with respect, and to always be honest with each other – no matter how scary it may seem.

Because they are so open and trusting with each other, their relationship gets very deep quite quickly, which enrages Heather, Smokey’s ex.  She starts stalking Gwen and Smokey, leading them to go to the police to file a complaint against her.  But she gets crazier, doing weirder and weirder things to try and get Smokey’s attention.

In the meantime, the trust between Smokey and Gwen leads them into a level of intimacy, both physical and emotional, that neither one of them has ever felt before, and while it’s scary for them, it’s also rewarding as they come to realize how amazing real, honest love can be.

I liked how honest the characters are with each other, but I did struggle a little bit with some of the stuff they said to each other…. In some cases it crossed the line into corny, and just wasn’t believable for me.  But overall Smokey’s Mountain is an entertaining, low angst, super-steamy read, and there’s always a time and a place for that kind of book!