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?
I have been in the mood for some lighter reading these days; it’s the time of year, I think, making me crave something fun and nothing too serious. As I scrolled through Amazon looking for something that looked interesting, this one stood out to me. Hmm, bearded guy and a park ranger – sure, why not? I like nature and national parks. And bearded guys. My decision was made.
And I am glad I picked this one! I really loved it. I loved the characters and the setting, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Trail (the AT). And it was funny! One of the ways to my heart is humor, and this book made me smile and chuckle out loud a few times.
Jay is a bit of a loner, preferring the woods to the city, and flocks of birds to crowds of people, and loves his job as a Ranger for the National Parks. While he is Ranger, his primary role is that of a biologist, specifically studying birds. That’s not to say that is all he does – he does have to do other job duties, such as clearing the trail of hikers when there is impending bad weather. Which is what brings him to Snowbird, aka Olive. With a big storm system on the way, Jay sets off to clear the trail of hikers that could caught out in it, a dangerous position to be in. By the time he locates her, it is too late to avoid the snowstorm and the two must take refuge in an old moonshiner cabin off trail.
The interactions between these two are adorable. While Jay is a gentleman, Olive can’t seem to help putting her foot in her mouth occasionally, slipping up with the random innuendo. Olive had found herself stranded on the AT after her boyfriend dumped her and abandoned her on the trail alone. Prior to the three miles they had hiked together, the only other long walks Olive had taken were on big city streets and in heels – this was a totally new experience. And after finding herself stranded, she had two choices – quit or keep going. She chose to keep going (but for more reasons than I will tell you) and found that she actually really liked it. When Jay found her, she was reluctant to stop for the night but in a refreshing twist in a romance novel, she took professional advice, stating that if someone like him was worried about the weather, then she would be kind of stupid if she ignored that. (paraphrasing here) I hate it when characters self-sabotage and she didn’t do that, which was nice.
I pretty much devoured this book. Jay and Olive were so cute together, and both were carrying around what they felt were secrets about themselves, and carried the weight of the bias of other people, for two totally different reasons. Jay, for feeling like he never fit in with either side of his family or even in his community, for being half-Japanese and half-American, Olive for being.. well I will let you read it.
This book is part of the Penny Reid universe, something I was confused about until my friend cleared it up for me. I kept seeing this book linked to Penny Reid and I was confused since the author is Daisy Prescott. There is a whole universe that Reid has created and now other authors are writing under the umbrella of that world. I haven’t read any Penny Reid before, but I am definitely going to start – and I know where I am starting too, with the Winston Brothers series. The Winston brothers show up in Happy Trail so it will be fun to read their stories now that I have met them. Overall, I am super happy I read this book and am looking forward to exploring this world that Reid has created, and the characters that other authors are adding to it.