Cedar Hill, Book 3
Heat Factor: You can’t really tell sometimes if the heat is from the characters or getting all worked up about DANIEL, THAT STINKER
Character Chemistry: They’re drawn to each other from the start but they are in for a bumpy ride.
Plot: Daniel is deeply messed up because of the trauma his philandering father committed. Tammy is deeply messed up because she was seriously wounded by a disgusting troll of a famous conductor who blacklisted her from her career as a musician. They find each other working in the Veterinarian’s office together in good old Cedar Hill, but if you think this is one of those “they THINK he’s a cad but really he’s got a heart of gold!” you are SO mistaken. It’s going to string you along, friends.
Overall: I was on the edge of my seat with this one the whole time because I did not believe any author could pull this kind of hero off, but duh, Susan Craig wrote it.
As soon as we met Daniel in this series, I figured we’d have a “reformed rake” type situation on our hands down the line–and that’s what you’re going to get! But if you think the author is going to make this easy on you, you should probably think again. I started this book thinking we were going to have one of those “he’s terrible, everyone thinks he’s evil!! But then he’s actually this upstanding white knight and NO ONE SEES IT BUT HER!!” situations and oh boy. Nope. Not even close.
Anyone like antiheroes? Because Daniel is one. This guy is BAD. NEWS. He misjudges Tammy from the first sighting, continues to misjudge her the entire time, plays with her feelings, decides to enter into a relationship with her while harboring a hidden agenda, and that’s before it gets really bad.
I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I won’t tell you how it all unfolds exactly–but the author completely nails why both of these characters would slip into a relationship like this. She drags you along until you really, genuinely hate Daniel. If Tammy were my friend, I would sincerely consider poking a screwdriver in his tire. He’s misogynistic, he’s slimy, and he’s just a tiny bit too arrogant. So if that’s all true, how do you end up rooting for someone like that? You put him through the wringer, that’s how. And let me tell you, it’s cathartic to watch Daniel get dealt with so he and Tammy and sort out their crazy mess and find something real. What’s more subtle is that Tammy is also hiding things and being less than forthcoming, all because she’s terrified of getting destroyed like she had before.
I couldn’t stop thinking about this for a few days, because I had a hard time figuring out why I was still hoping they’d get together after everything Daniel does. Then I realized that while Daniel ends up needing a figurative hiney-whooping, Tammy has to take a real leap of faith. The author sets it up so they both have to burn all their hang-ups and baggage to ash and start over with something fresh and sexy.
Susan Craig writes romance novels that I find to be very, very subtly complicated. I always go into her books lulled by her straightforward and concise writing style and the plot is always more messy than I expected it would be — which has thus far resulted in deeply satisfying endings. I’ve read every book in this series and I would advise you to start from the beginning simply for maximum enjoyment, but you certainly don’t have to. They can standalone. Happy reading!
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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