rating: 4 of 5 stars
At first I was just reading this because I got it for Tell Harlequin. I was somewhat interested because of the dynamic between Axel and Tara. Then it became very interesting to me. I tend to enjoy book set in small towns, and books that show the interactions of people in those towns. I also liked the way Axel's very large, extended family spend time together, watching out for one another, teasing and loving each other. I really like books with big families interacting. Maybe because my family bickers so much I don't want to be around them. The tension between Axel and Tara builds slowly. This is no Harlequin Blaze, but I did feel there was good romantic tension and pretty good sensual interactions for a Silhouette Special Edition, not one of the hotter series in HQN/Silhouette.
Axel really grew on me. He was a good guy, and had conflicting loyalties, all intersecting at the same time. Should he have called? Yes. Did he have a good reason for not calling? Yes. He was pretty yummy I thought.
I liked Tara a lot. She had good reason to be wary and hold herself back. She had been subjected to endless moves throughout her young life, and then her life imploaded when her brother went undercover in a gang and became a wanted man through testifying against them. She finally established herself in a new place, although she was still trying to keep her distance out of fear of losing those connections again. Then she has the weekend with Axel and he doesn't contact her again for four months, that's after her brother stood her up when they were supposed to meet on her birthday. I could definitely understand her cold feet. Was she wrong about keeping her and Axel's baby secret? Yes. Did she have a good reason in her mind? Maybe. But I was glad she finally told him before the baby got here. I can deal with a secret pregnancy and a secret infant. Secret child and teenager really annoy me. That's just plain wrong unless the baby's father is the antichrist. Maybe then, I might take that into consideration.
Although this book about small town life and a wary heart learning to trust probably wouldn't be for everyone, I have to say I really enjoyed it, although it got off to a bit of a slow start. But then, I like the small town slice of life and family books a lot.
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