It’s In His Arms is the 4th book in Red River Valley but can be read as a stand alone book (I did and I enjoyed it a lot).
This book centers around Lorenda Lawson who is the widow of the town’s golden boy. She married her husband at a young age and was almost immediately pregnant. Unfortunately, Cameron her husband changed a lot while he was away in the military and except for a few brief visits (one that resulted in the birth of her second son) he didn’t come home much. Lorenda never let anyone in the town know just how distant her husband was and that he didn’t want to come home to her and the boys and then he died.
Fast forward years later and Mitchell Lawson, Cameron’s twin brother has returned home. Mitch was the black sheep who was always in trouble as a teen. He’s a decorated Navy Seal who is trying to change his image in the town and repair his relationship with his father. When Lorenda is mugged on his first day back he thinks there may be more to the situation and so moves into the garage apartment to keep her and her two sons safe. It becomes evident early on that Mitchell and Lorenda don’t see each other the same way they used to and there is a lot of chemistry and desire between the two of them. However, someone else doesn’t want Mitchell back and is willing to go to great lengths to get him out of town.
I really liked both Mitchell and Lorenda although some of Lorenda’s actions towards the end of the book were a bit frustrating. Her refusal to consider Mitchell’s intuition of who could be causing all the problems didn’t make a lot of sense to me and seemed to be an obvious way to add drama to the story when I think I would have preferred the fact that he was her brother in law and her dead husband’s twin the issue that made her hesitate. I haven’t read any previous Red River Valley books so I didn’t particularly care for the town. The fact that most of the town that held a grudge against a teen when he has obviously grown up and changed was off-putting to me. I did love that Lorenda never doubted Mitchell’s innocence and stood by him and I could understand her reluctance to get involved with him when considering her experience with his brother who didn’t want to be tied to her and the boys and the small town they live in. Mitchell was an amazing hero and I loved everything about him. The fact that he loved his twin so much that he was willing to take all the blame, that he understood that he had been a troublemaker and needed to convince people he’d changed and his obvious feelings for Lorenda and her boys. He was protective, caring, sweet and I loved how he was with both Lorenda and her sons.
The villain was obvious but I think it was intentionally written that way. There were a lot of things going against Lorenda and Mitchell and I really enjoyed watching them overcome those odds and fighting for what they wanted. It was a sweet love story with some heartbreaking family angst, great friendships and overall a tale of forgiveness, redemption and hope. I will definitely go back and read the three prior books. I give this book 4 charms.