A Better Man is the first book in Candis Terry's new Sunshine Creek Vineyard series, and it is a standalone story. I enjoyed meeting the Kincade siblings and look forward to more in the series. This book was sweet and I enjoyed seeing the growth that Jordan made here as well as some of the others. This family is easy to like and I think that readers will enjoy getting to know each of them here and as this series continues.
After the death of his parents, Jordan Kincade heads home to help his family. The timing couldn't be worse as his NHL team needs him if they hope to make it to the playoffs, yet he knows that after years of giving hockey everything he has, it is time to put his family first. When Jordan arrives home his little sister wants nothing to do with him, and the more he learns about her the more he sees that she is struggling with more than just their parents death. With his brothers wrapped up in their lives, Jordan sets out to help his sister, even if she doesn't want his help. But the one person that can help him with Nicole happens to be her teacher Lucy, the very girl whose heart Jordan broke years before. Lucy is so much more than just the girl he left behind before though, and Jordan is determined to win both her and his sister over and change his ways for good. But after so much time and everything that has happened, will either of them be willing to give him another chance?
I really liked the Kincade family. It was great to see them all band together in the face of tragedy, even though there had been a lot of time and distance between them. I loved that Jordan was willing to give up everything for them and to help Nicole. The change in him seemed so genuine, and I was glad that he was able to realize that he needed to readjust his priorities. Lucy was sweet and easy to like as well, and she genuinely cared about Nicole and her potential. I was glad that she was there for Nicole and Jordan, and I liked seeing them all spend time together. I thought that Jordan and Lucy made a great couple and fit well together. I will say that while I liked them and believed in their relationship, I didn't feel entirely invested in them and had a bit of a tough time connecting with them. For some reason here it felt like something was missing, and that we just didn't really dig that deep with either of them despite all that was going on. I think part of that was because the Kincade family and tragedy sort of took over at times and there wasn't as much focus on just Jordan and Lucy as I would have liked to have seen.
I also felt like while I did enjoy the family dynamic here, that things were brought up and not entirely resolved. I am hoping that as the series continues some of that will be dealt with more. There was a situation with the family business here that we were given a bit more on, but I felt like it was mostly left up in the air. I would love to get more answers and see exactly what had been going on in the future. While I did have those criticisms, this book was still a good story and I enjoyed it. The beginning was a little slow and hard for me to get into, but it picked up and I am really glad that I stuck with. It was sweet and full of hope and love, and I am looking forward to seeing where Candis Terry takes these characters as the series continues.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**