I am back today with another review…if I don’t melt around here before I finish getting it typed. It might would help if I enjoyed being indoors more, but I much prefer the trees and the birdsong of my backyard. At least I have a lot of shade.
Happy Trail is the fourth book that I completed for #TropeAthon. It fulfills the forced proximity and celebrity prompts.
A man of few words, Ranger Jay Daniels values the calm, quiet solitude of the Great Smoky Mountains. Never quite fitting in with either side of his family, he prefers the company of birds and trees to people.
Yeah, he’d most definitely prefer a bird—any bird, any bird at all, take a vulture for instance—to the human-tornado hybrid that just blew onto his peaceful stretch of the Appalachian Trail.
The path of true love never has run smooth for Olive Perry. After getting dumped and promptly abandoned in the middle of her multi-month hike, Olive swears off men. Determined to finish the long trek by herself, she doesn’t need a prince—or broody and taciturn ranger—to save her.
Yet, when an early snowstorm threatens the mountains, and Ranger Daniels is charged with getting hikers to safety, that includes hot-tempered Olive Perry. Snowed in and forced to share an abandoned cabin, can Olive’s heated intensity melt Jay’s cool reserve?
And if so, will this happy trail lead to true love? Or will their time together be just another bump in the road?
‘Happy Trail’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book #1 in the Park Ranger series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
I haven’t finished the Winston Brothers series yet, but I’m totally in love with the family and the setting. So, I knew I wanted to at least give some of the spin-offs a try. Throw in hiking through the Smoky’s and it was a no brainer for me. Hiking in the Smoky’s is my happy place, and Daisy Prescott didn’t let me down.
Okay, let’s discuss the book. Olive’s boyfriend convinces her to hike the A.T. with him. There’s a lot of prep work and then they set out. It’s grueling work even with the prep, but they’re making it. Lots of pics and videos are going up along the way because he’s an influencer. She understands this. But, when he surprises her with a proposal that really seems a whole lot more about his viewers, she isn’t okay with it. They split ways.
Olive isn’t up for returning to her life, though. She decides to finish walking the trail for herself and sets out on the trail alone in what becomes a life-changing adventure for her. She earns the respect of her fellow hikers and becomes known as Snow Bird.
Months later it’s October in Tennessee and a snow storm is brewing. Ranger Jay is tasked with walking the trails to make sure all of the hikers have sought out shelter. But, he discovers that one hiker isn’t accounted for. By the time Jay finds Snow Bird, they’re out of time. Jay has to reroute them to an old moonshiner’s cabin, and we now have a forced proximity/snowed in situation happening. While this scenario doesn’t play out for too much of the story, their time together has a lasting impression on them both.
Other interesting aspects to the story include the fact that Olive is granddaughter to a former president. Her family is wealthy and very well-known. Olive has broken off several engagements, and now the most recent ex she turned down tells the world that she said yes. Being that she’s hiking, she doesn’t know this for quite a while. Then it appears as if she’s broken another engagement when word gets out that she isn’t currently engaged. She makes celebrity news and this too comes into play.
I didn’t enjoy the way Olive handled the third act problems. It’s one of those situations where a bit of time passes before things are resolved. But, I appreciated that she made sure Jay knew she was still thinking about him during this time. I did appreciate the focus Olive put on personal growth, but thought it was a bit much that she tells Jay that he’s the reason she’s grown. And finally, I absolutely adored the way bird watching played such a sweet role in their story.
Overall, I adored this story. The setting was written to perfection, and I felt like I was right there hiking the trails – WISHING I was right there hiking the trails. Prescott did such a great job at appealing to my senses. And then the romance was cute, too, so that didn’t hurt.
The book was a great reminder to enjoy the journey of life. P.S. I feel like Jay was me in a male body. I could relate to him on sooo many levels. You get first person povs from both, so that helped connect better to both Olive and Jay. Oh, and only one sexy times scene for those interested. 4.5 Stars
Have you read Happy Trail? My absolute favorite thing is to go hiking. My perfect day would be hiking most of the day and coming home afterward to rest and read. This probably isn’t surprising if you follow my blog and have seen my vacation pics ( I have my next trip planned for August). Any ways, if you have any book recs for me with hiking, I’d absolutely love for you to share them!