Tessa Tarrington's life is swirling out of control. No job. No apartment. Sick Dad...And she's back in high school! Teaching at her Gibson's Run alma mater would be tolerable, except she's sharing purgatory with her mortal enemy, Ryland Jessup. But eight years post-high-school, and after tragedies, she can barely understand, Ryland no longer fits her mental image of the over-sized bully he once was. In fact, much to her disgust, he's finding his way into her heart. After the sudden death of his wife, Ryland hung up his professional shoulder pads and picked up a whistle. Now he's focused on coaching the high school football team and raising his daughter. The sudden return of his childhood crush, Tessa Tarrington, has reawakened long-ago feelings. But if God's giving him a second chance to impress Tessa, the Man Upstairs has a funny way of showing it. Just when Tessa starts to lighten up, Ryland's best friend returns. Will the always-irresistible Joey Taylor stifle any hope Ryland has to ignite the dream of a relationship with Tessa?

    This book had so many layers to it that it was like peeling an onion but a lot more pleasurable.
     Yes, this is a religious book, in fact, at any time the character may stop and offer up a prayer of hope, thanks, or ask for guidance. It is not about religion but of faith. It does not beat you over the head either.
     I will tell you it is a very funny story with a lot of heart too. There is a great deal of family, friends, and community conflict to keep this story moving.
     You see at the ripe old age of six Ryland Jessup falls in love with the new girl in town Tessa Tarrington the preacher’s daughter. She has long blonde hair she wears in pigtails and the greenest eyes you ever saw.
     The first day he saw her after school he ran all the way home and told his mom he found the girl he was going to marry. He has loved her since forever. She was going to was going to have her sixth birthday party and they were all invited. He asked all his friends what he should get her. He settled on his best friends’ advice.
Joey said, “The two best things he loves are his baseball glove and my superhero under ware.”
     He said because they make him brave against the third graders that picked on them and steal his lunch. Give her under ware she’ll never be scared about nothin’. Then she’ll think of you seven days a week. So, he rides his bike four blocks all alone to a special store and buys them in a tube and everything. He was so excited.
     The day of though, when she saw the under ware and the kids did and she was so embarrassed she tickled her panties. He thought he was being quiet and trying to help he said in a stage whisper, “PEE PEE, TEE TEE.” All the kids started laughing and pointing and that became her new name and the next thing he knew his mom was dragging him out of the party.
     After that, she wouldn’t look or talk to him. By junior high, her nickname got shortened to TT but she hated it. She was so glad when she went off to college and could leave the town and her nickname behind her.
     But her dad has a heart attack and now she and Ryland are working at their high school together. Her being a Sub English teacher and him the football coach. After losing his wife and needing to raise his daughter he thought it was best to move home where he would have the support of his five sisters and his mom.
     Once he sees her the feelings, he had for her that first day in kindergarten come rushing back. But for Tessa, not the same she is still holding on to her pain of being teased and lets him have it all guns a blazing. But being the football worrier of the NFL that he was he keeps bouncing back.
     Yet, when she starts to show some interest, he gets spooked. Until his best friend Joey comes into town and he shows interest and even asks Tessa out. Turns out they both had a crush on each other. Ryland is not happy, it’s the case of the snooze you lose. But it doesn’t stop him from being around her at school. Causing her to have mixed emotions and seeing him in a different light.
     See what has brought them back other than the obvious. If they can co-exist at the same teaching assignment, go to the same church, and both be concerned about her father who had a heart attack. Which causes them both pain and heartache.
     I give this: 5++++ stars. Provided by
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