ARC Review: All I Ever Wanted by Katrina Mills

Book Blurb

You Can’t Go Home Again…Except For Summer Love.

Eat a stick of butter or return to her hometown? School teacher, Kinsley Bailey, would rather risk the caloric overload. Staunton, Virginia is laced in bad memories of a mentally ill mother, an estranged father, and the first boy who broke her heart. Yet the news of her father’s death has forced her return to the nightmare. Now in the heat of the summer, Kinsley’s left unraveling the mysteries surrounding a house, an antique gun collection, a flabby basset hound, and a safety deposit box that no one in the family wants to discuss.

After a series of tough breaks, army soldier, Bastian Harris, desires the serenity of small town life in Staunton. Even with women signing up for his shooting courses and emphasizing their desires for a different kind of target practice, he keeps his nose down and his gun in his holster. Yet when a certain auburn-haired blast from the past comes blazing into his shop to sell her dead father’s antique gun collection, he might have to reconsider the tranquil life and take up arms for the one woman he never could forget.

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Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Kinsley had her future read one summer when she was thirteen.  The gypsy informed her that one week before her thirty-fourth birthday she would die.  She also told the heartbroken girl that she and Bass would never be girlfriend and boyfriend. 
Fast forward to years later and summer break, Kinsley is out of school.  She is enjoying her break from teaching science until she gets a call from her Aunt Debbie.  Her aunt informs her that her father died.  The father that she hasn’t spoken to for almost twenty years.  Kinsley has no desire to have anything to do with her father, but since he left her everything she has to go.  Her Aunt Debbie even guilts her into going to the funeral.
Kinsley doesn’t want to be in her hometown.  Her plan is to take care of everything quickly so she can leave.  She needs to find a home for the dog, sell the house and figure out what to do with the gun collection.  Unfortunately Kinsley comes face to face with Bastian Harris.  He is the boy who broke her heart.  She needs his help with the guns.  She also needs to keep her distance and handle things professionally.  She can’t afford to get involved again with the womanizing man that hasn’t changed.  She is afraid her heart won’t be able to take it.  When she gets shocking news Bass is the one she turns to.  Things continue to crumble when the cards turn out to be right.
I loved this book.  I immediately related to Kinsley being a teacher.  She was also sassy and didn’t put up with a lot of silly things.  The first scenes of her as an adult were hilarious.  I was hooked.  The author was quick to tell about her family issues and heartbreak.  She was a realistic character and her reactions were well within my expectations.  Kinsley is coming home to take care of the business she needs to then leaving as quickly as possible never to return.  It’s fun to read as all her plans are continually sidelined with different problems arising.

I also love her history with Bass.  There is a lot of underlying hurt from her dad and Bass.  It was fun to watch her try to stay professional with Bass and then applaud her for standing up for herself.  She was an awesome character and the journey she traveled through this story was one I couldn’t put down.  Nothing went as planned nor was as she always thought.  I was reeling with her when the bomb was dropped.  I was not expecting any of that which made the story more interesting.  I give this book a 4.5 out of 5.

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