Published: 24 September 2021
Series: Blue Collar Romance #4
From author Kate Carley comes a blue collar, return to hometown romance with heat, heart and a happily ever after.
For Grace Holland, coming home to Oak Bend isn’t easy. The journey stirs up old memories, including the heartbreaking reason her family left town. But now that she’s inherited both her granddad’s old Victorian home and a World War II aircraft that he’d been working desperately to restore, Grace is ready to face down the demons of her past—if the people in Oak Bend will let her.
Aaron Beckett’s life is a balancing act. His aircraft mechanic business is booming and being a single parent of a young daughter keeps him on his toes. But when Gracie Jane Holland, granddaughter of his late friend, steps into his aircraft hangar, Aaron’s well-managed life soars out of control, and every free thought begins and ends with that beautiful blonde.
Even with plenty of excuses to avoid each other, sparks fly while they work together to restore an old fighter plane. And just for a moment, it feels as if they’ve found a deeper, more sustainable connection—until well-meaning half-truths threaten to tear them apart.
When her past and present collide, nothing can prepare Grace for the storm of hatred that pours down on her. Ruthless words leave her questioning whether staying in Oak Bend and putting her heart on the line is worth the pain. Can this small town ever be home again?
Escape to Oak Bend, where blue-collar hotties work hard and love even harder, especially when it comes to landing their happily ever after.
Just For A moment revolves around Grace. She has just moved back home to the town where she grew up, after inheriting her grandfather Win’s house. But coming home isn’t an easy choice for her, as there is some serious baggage from the past attached to this town.
Along with her grandfather’s house, Grace also inherits her grandfather’s collection of old planes. And with the old planes comes Aaron, an aircraft mechanic and close friend of her grandfather.
Neither Grace nor Aaron like each to start with – both have little mini temper tantrums and decide the other is someone they will never like. But about 10 seconds into their second meeting that is forgotten and the attraction between the pair takes over. Things move pretty quickly between them from that point.
I enjoyed this story as I liked the way the romance between Aaron and Grace moved along. But I did get annoyed in parts by Grace. I thought she was a bit prone to excessive reactions, without enough time to fully understand her reasoning. She has a lot of things going on in her life, as well as a lot to deal with from her past. But when people from her past pop up & verbally attack her, we don’t really get much inside her head – she just reacts, which to me feels a little shallow. And it also left me without the opportunity to really connect with her the way I would have liked.
Aaron is a really likable character. He’s just plain nice! I also felt more drawn to his character than I did with Grace. And I really liked the way that he is when he’s with his little daughter, too – their interactions definitely added opportunities for me to get to know him better.
This isn’t an overly long book, so it is easy to read in just a couple of sessions. I read most of it while sitting outdoors in a banana lounge, and found it to be just right for a lazy afternoon when I really didn’t want to have to put too much effort into my reading. It’s a fairly simple story, where the angst and drama don’t really build too much, so for me it was perfect relaxation reading material.
Thank you to author Kate Carley and The Indie Pen PR for sharing a copy of this ebook with me.
Copyright 2021 Kate Carley
“Beck, I’ve heard so many great things about you. It’s nice to finally meet you.”
“People been talking?” Beck chuckled again, but he was studying her face, assessing her with those stunning eyes.
“My grandfather, Win Ross. I’m Grace Holland, and he left instructions that I should reach out to you. That you would have something for me.”
Beck tilted his head a bit to the left, a tender expression passing over his face. “Gracie Jane. I figured you’d be stopping by here at some point. I was sorry to hear about Win’s passing. Everyone in town loved him. And I felt blessed to call him my friend. God, I miss him every day.”
“Thanks for saying that, Beck. I miss him, too. And it’s just Grace now. I think my granddad was the only one still calling me Gracie Jane.”
“He did.” Beck nodded. “He talked about his granddaughter all the time. He was so proud of you and how you started that company of your own.”
As he spoke about her granddad, Beck’s eyes softened and his voice warmed. Talking about the most important man in her life with someone she’d just met felt bittersweet. But according to her granddad, Beck was one of his dearest friends.
“I remember how proud he was when I told him about my new business venture.”
“A website design business. What’s it called again?”
“Right.” He bobbed his head. “Win said you had more work than you could do in a lifetime.”
“That sounds about right.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t make it to the memorial. I searched for information but never found anything.”
Grace bit her lower lip and then shook her head. The memorial had been a point of contention between her and her mother. “There wasn’t one.”
“Yeah, he always said he didn’t want anything like that, but I wondered if his family would have one anyway.”
“No. My mom and I…We just wanted to do exactly what he wanted.” Grace’s mother had an entirely different interpretation of what Edwin Ross had wanted. “And his wish was to not have people standing around, staring at him.”
Beck chuckled softly. “I remember Win saying that.”
Several unpleasant tasks still remained to be accomplished today, and they dampened the joy Grace generally experienced reminiscing about her granddad. “My granddad left something here for me. Do you have that?”
“Right.” Beck pointed toward the corner of the enormous hangar. “It’s in my office.”
With quickened steps, Grace kept pace beside Beck. “This place wasn’t here before. I mean, when I used to live here, there was the airstrip, but there weren’t many hangars. Maybe two or three.”
“It’s become a thing. Owning a plane. Faster than the ferry if you’re crossing Lake Michigan. Lots of people around the county can afford it. And none of the other towns in the area have an airstrip.”
Stopping at the door to his office, Grace watched while Aaron walked to his desk and lifted a heavy-looking silver paperweight shaped like an airplane. He plucked a key from underneath and went to a tall wooden cabinet in the corner. With a twist of his wrist, he unlocked the door. From her position outside his office, she could see the small black safe. He entered a code, and the door swung opened. Shifting the contents around, he produced a manilla envelope. Then, Beck reversed his steps until he was standing in front of her again, presenting her with the envelope.
The strained expression on his face was exactly how Grace’s heart felt in the moment. A deep ache—one of loneliness and sorrow—created by the loss of a precious soul. Slowly, she reached for the envelope.
“Thank you, Beck. Thank you for keeping my granddad’s wishes safe for him. For me.”
“Yeah, no problem.” Beck pinched his lips together and glanced around before meeting her eyes again. “So, are you ready for your tour?”
“Tour? Now? No.” Grace shook her head, fighting a choking feeling at the back of her throat. A tour—wasting time, wandering around—wasn’t part of her plans for today. Not even for a few minutes. “No. I don’t need a tour. But thanks for this.” She lifted the envelope to indicated she had all she needed at the moment.
Again, he tilted his head the slightest bit to the left and then gave a gruff grunt.
“Suit yourself,” he said. Like a switch had been flipped, his tone turned dark and sarcastic, and Grace had no idea why. “See ya around, Gracie Jane.”
Kate Carley broke onto the indie publishing scene in 2016 with her debut novel, Challenged, a 2017 RONE award winner. Since then, she has released ten additional titles that explore small town, family sagas in both the romantic suspense and contemporary romance genres.
Kate took a meandering path to get to the point of published author, including a short stint as a computer systems designer and an extraordinary journey as a home-schooling mom. After more than a dozen years of teaching her kids, Kate opened the front door, pointed the youngest in the direction of the local high school, and focused her attention on writing romance novels.
Now that her four children are off writing their own adventures, Kate is free to drift along in her fictional world, plotting the rise and fall of her characters. She has a passion for black coffee, dark chocolate, and red wine. Not necessarily in that order. Kate lives in the Midwest with her family.