Title: All In by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Bridgeport Social Club Series Book Two
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
Meredith Hunt is content with her solo life. She owns and runs a successful Pilates studio, volunteers at the high school every week, and recently bought a house. She can take care of herself, which is good because she has a hard time relying on other people. When she’s mugged and a handsome man comes to her rescue, she doesn’t know how to accept his help-or how to stop staring into his chocolate-brown eyes.
Ace Vance moved to Bridgeport to offer his fifteen-year-old son, Finn, a better life. Here, Finn has a chance to play football for a good team and maybe even earn a college scholarship. And Ace scored a job at a top-notch garage, where he gets to fix up classic cars. Plus, they could both use some distance from Finn’s toxic mom. The last thing on his mind is falling in love, but he can’t help offering assistance to a gorgeous redhead in need.
Thrown together by a careless criminal, Meredith and Ace can’t deny their attraction. But can they open their hearts-and their lives-to make room for love?
Shelley Shepard Gray’s Bridgeport Social Club series explores how communities can come together to support each other, whether it’s around a poker table, in a Pilates studio, or anywhere in between. Get ready to fall in love with a group of men and women who, even when they feel lost, refuse to lose hope.
All In by Shelley Shepard Gray is a sweet contemporary romance. Although this latest release is the second installment in The Bridgeport Social Club series, it can be read as a standalone.
Meredith Hunt is a successful business owner who finds it difficult to ask for help or trust other people. Her childhood is at the root of her issues but she is still in contact with her mother . Their relationship suffers because of her mom’s continued disappointment over her daughter’s life choices. Meredith has not been in a relationship for over a year and she is in no hurry to meet anyone. However, when she is mugged, her chance encounter with Ace Vance and his son, Finn, has the potential to be life altering.
Ace and Finn have recently relocated to Bridgeport in an attempt to escape his son’s indifferent mother, Liz. Ace plans to concentrate on rebuilding his career working on classic cars and improving his relationship with Finn. Although he has always been involved in Finn’s life, he has never been his son’s primary caregiver. Despite his son’s somewhat dysfunctional relationship with Liz, he is a good kid who does not get into any trouble. Since Finn does not object to his father dating, Ace is willing to let their fledgling relationship develop its full potential.
The romance between Ace and Meredith is low-key and without conflict. Meredith already knows Finn a little through her volunteering at the high school so he is more than happy to support his dad’s unexpected relationship. Finn has a fairly extensive support network in place so he fully understands the importance of asking for and accepting help when he needs it. Meredith, on the other hand, has never had anyone she can count on, so she is working to lower her defenses and let people in. She feels somewhat alone despite the fact that she has more friends than she realizes. Recognizing she has a strong circle of friends in turn leads to Meredith becoming more open to her burgeoning relationship with Ace.
All In is a heartwarming novel of love, friendship and family. The characters are multi-dimensional and easy to like. The dialogue is realistic and the heartfelt discussions between Ace and Finn are quite endearing. Ace and Meredith take the time to get to know each other which makes their romance more believable. The Bridgeport Social Club series is a pleasant change of pace from Shelley Shepard Gray’s faith-based fiction that old and new fans are sure to enjoy.