Mending Fences by Angie WilliamsMending Fences by Angie Williams is a heartwarming second chance romance that highlights the importance of following your heart and being true to yourself no matter how daunting it may seem.

Bobbie Del Rey’s regular work day has gone totally haywire from the moment she finds an injured puppy on her property. Bobbie didn’t think that her long day could have gotten any more complicated than driving through a storm to carry the puppy to the vet but she was proven wrong when she laid eyes on the only woman she could never forget.

Veterinarian Grace Hammond has returned to her hometown to start over from scratch. She is still haunted by her past and a lot of unresolved family issues but she hopes that moving back to her hometown will put some of those painful memories and issues to rest for good. Grace also wants to find the strength to finally live her life on her own terms without constantly trying to win her mother’s approval and affection. From the moment her first love, Bobbie Del Rey, walks into her clinic totally drenched from head to toe with a tiny puppy cradled in her arms, Grace already knows that her life will never be the same again.

Does time really heal all wounds? Are some heartbreaks just too difficult to mend and move on from?

The Characters

April: Bobbie Del Rey is extremely proud of her family’s ranch and she does a fine job of running it with a gentle, hands-on approach. Bobbie is definitely the kind of woman who has always dominated my daydreams when I was supposed to be busy with my number crunching shenanigans. Bobbie has the biggest heart ever when it comes to taking care of all the animals on her ranch and she would go above and beyond to ensure that her family members and anyone dear to her is safe and happy in every sense of the word.

Dr. Grace Hammond is a veterinarian and she has recently returned to her hometown. She is working at the town’s vet clinic but she has a lot of loose ends to tie up where her personal life is concerned. Now I am going to be totally honest here, I wasn’t impressed with Grace at all in the beginning because she couldn’t make up her mind about choosing the things and the people who are important to her heart over her career ambitions. I eventually warmed up to Grace when I realized that she has spent her entire life trying to please others so that she could receive the love and acceptance that she has always been longing for. I just wanted to wrap my arms around Grace and give her one of my biggest and mushiest hugs ever!

Tara: I’d like to “yes, and…” everything you just said, April! One of my favourite things about Mending Fences is that Bobbi and Grace are both fundamentally good people. Not perfect, but the kind of people I’d want to spend time with, which is I so enjoyed seeing Bobbi and Grace come back into each other’s lives. I especially agree with your point about Grace being frustrating at times, but I was able to understand and empathize with why she behaved the way she did. I also think she made up for it in the end!

On a totally different note, I would like to give a shoutout to Riley, Bobbi’s dog because who doesn’t love an adorable dog in their romance?

The Writing Style

April: I’m raising my coffee mug in Angie Williams’ honor because this is her debut novel and she has completely blown my mind with the way she has brought these lovely characters to life for me. She has also managed to take me on an emotional roller-coaster ride with Bobbie and Grace as they tried their best to deal with their emotional baggage and figure out what truly matters the most to them. I am so glad that this story was told through Grace and Bobbie’s point of view because I could easily relate to their deepest fears and frustrations and I felt as though I was right there with them during their happiest moments as well.

Tara: So, it was a little different for me because I listened to this book, but I generally agree with you again on this one. Mending Fences drew me in and held my attention during a time when it’s been harder for me to connect with romance novels. I’m not sure how much of that was the characters versus the writing style, but the writing was surely part of it!

The Narration

Tara: Whether you’ll like the narration or not will depend on whether you like Paige McKinney, because I found it to be similar to other audiobooks she’s narrated. To me, she’s a good fit for the tone of the book. That said, I always turn up the playback speed when I listen to her performances because I generally find her pacing to be slow.

The Pros

April: I still can’t get over the fact that this author gave me a gorgeous butch rancher and a stunning veterinarian to fall head over heels in love with. Someone must have told Angie Williams about my love for cuddly, four-legged fur babies because I got to enjoy Riley’s adorableness through Bobbie and Grace’s eyes. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m a huge sucker for stories that feature small towns, cute puppies, wholesome ranch living and two lovely women who share an undeniable and sizzling attraction between them.

Tara: April, I couldn’t agree more! For me, the characters (including Riley!) are the standout element of the book.

The Cons

April: I do have a few concerns about the way some parts of the story felt a bit rushed because I think those parts should have been expanded in order for me to have more background information about some of the characters.

Tara: Yes, that’s a fair point. I also want to add a heads up for some people. Grace has a terrible, painful relationship with her mother, so if that’s a dynamic that’s hard for some readers, just be aware going in.

The Conclusion

aprils favourite booksApril: At first, this story may seem like just another angst-filled, second chance romance but it is actually so much more than that because this delightful story deals with class differences, strained family relationships and learning to value and embrace your deepest desires without needing anyone else’s approval. If you enjoy novels that highlight all of these issues, then you definitely need to read this story because I am pretty sure that you won’t be able to forget Grace, Bobbie and Riley. 

Tara: Ditto to everything you just said, my friend! Mending Fences was a nice surprise and I’m glad I read it. Now I want to read Williams’s second book!

TLDR (too long didn’t read)

Tara: Mending Fences is a lovely smalltown, second-chance romance. Definitely check it out if you love pets in romance novels and sweet, hunky butches.

Excerpt from Mending Fences by Angie Williams

She peeked out the window while turning off the entryway lights and noticed a truck slide to a stop in front of the clinic. A chill ran through her as she saw a tall figure in a cowboy hat exit the vehicle and run toward the door cradling a bundle in their arms. She grabbed her keys from behind the counter and opened the door when the stranger reached the first step. She moved out of the way to allow the late customer entry and noticed a puppy nose poking out through an opening in the blanket.

“Come in. You’re soaking wet. What seems to be the problem?”

The stranger turned to speak, and Grace gasped when she recognized the handsome woman standing in front of her. “Bobbie?”

It had been twenty years since she’d last seen her first love, but Grace recognized her immediately. The years apart did nothing to stop her heart from skipping a beat when she looked into the bright blue eyes she had thought she would drown in so many years ago.

Bobbie’s soaking wet hair and clothes dripped onto the clinic floor as she stood silently holding the bundle tightly against her body.

“Grace?” she finally asked in disbelief. “What are you doing here?”

“I work here. I’m a vet now. I… let’s take care of you and your little friend here, and then we’ll catch up. Explain to me what happened while I grab you some clean scrubs from the back. Doc Randolph has a stack in the closet that I think will fit you fine. You both look like you’ve been drug behind a boat.”

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Bits and Bobs

  • ISBN number: 9781635557077
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • Narrator: Paige McKinney
  • Angie Williams Online 

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