Confession time … I picked up Daisy’s Back in Town by Rachel Gibson thinking it was the sequel to Sex, Lies and Online Dating, and was hoping to read Clare Wingate’s story, judging from the excerpt at the end of Sex.
Right silly of me, I know. But this book didn’t turn out too bad after all. It tells of newly widowed Daisy Lee’s attempt to right a wrong done to a man she loved, still loves and is still crazy about, when she decided to return to her hometown after finally accepting her husband’s sad demise to a terminal illness. She had good intentions to seek forgiveness of Jackson Parrish, who’s sworn off falling in love since she ran off and married his best friend 15 years ago. But Daisy has a secret that involves him, and the fire between them may just prove too strong for them to stay away from each other.
What I like about this roller coaster romance is the powerful emotions packed between its pages, and the sweet, small town Texan setting that gives this contemporary tale a wee touch of nostalgia. The twangs, the cowboy boots, the references to the auto business, and some of the most heart warming scenes of a close-knit family’s love for each other, are the ingredients that make this a pretty decent book to curl up with for a cosy evening in.
There aren’t any thrilling heart thumping car chasing action, but the tense, sexually charged confrontations between the H/H lends some speed and interest to this otherwise leisurely paced novel. I’m likely to give this up for bookcrossing, since I’m not really a great fan of contemporary romance.
Having already met Prince Rainger in her previous two instalments, I was intrigued by this enigmatic man who has yet to reveal his sufferings in the dungeons of the traitorous Count duBelle, and his quest to find his betrothed, Crown Princess Sorcha. Flushed out of hiding in a remote convent, Sorcha must now find her way home to her Grandmother, with only a rough and cozened fisherman (Rainger in disguise) as her companion.
Rainger has changed much since his imprisonment, and is determined to win his kingdom back, and for that he would do anything to win over the woman he wants more than life itself. Sorcha didn’t have much of a good impression of the Rainger from her past, and while she knows she must wed him (if he’s still alive) when she reaches home to take up her royal responsibilities, she’s determined to savour the last of her freedom while on the road. Rainger, on the other hand, is exasperated at her propensity to draw strangers into her confidence, unaware that assassins are seeking their death for reward at every turn of the road. While he struggles to protect her, he has to try very hard to keep his hands away from her. And so, in order to keep her safe, and preserve his sanity, it would seem he has no choice but to seduce her into marrying him.
Of course they both fell in love with each other but were both too stubborn to profess their feelings, for Sorcha felt hurt at the deception Rainger practiced on her. While Rainger has sworn that he will never kneel or bow to another woman, or let passion rule his head. But when a crisis threatens to tear them apart, they must fight to save not just their kingdom, but also their love.
All in all, this was a satisfying finale to the series and another classic Dodd success. She has been a pretty safe and consistent author to me. Her trademark spunky heroines, flawed Alpha heroes and saucy humour are what kept her tales lively and engaging. I think this is why I keep returning to her, just like I keep returning to Elizabeth Thornton, Lisa Klepas, Eloisa James and Madeline Hunter. Very comfortable and enjoyable reading this has been.