Ever since I fell in love with Lauren Gilley’s Dartmoor motorcycle series, I’ve been itching to hit her back list. Gilley seems to like to write about extended families, which is awesome because they are usually my favorite kind of books. This is the first book in her contemporary series where readers are introduced to the blue collar southern Walker family.
Joanna “Jo” Walker has always felt fortunate to have her family. As the youngest of the five siblings and proud tomboy, Jo often tagged along with her two older brothers, Mike and Jordan, growing up. Cupid’s arrow hit Jo at the tender age of 10 when Mike brought home his friend, Tammeron “Tam” Wales, for their regular yard football game. As time went on, Tam became a constant fixture in the Walker household and Jo’s feelings only intensified until one day she found out that the feelings were mutual.
Fast forward four years and Jo, now 23, has been roped into traveling to Ireland to attend Mike’s wedding where Tam will be best man. The man who, four years ago, broke her heart and left her without any explanation. Jo decides that, instead of avoiding Tam like she has been, she is finally going to get some answers. Why did he keep them a secret? What was he hiding? Did he ever really love her?
The story flips back and forth between the past and present day to unveil a tender story with a bit of the forbidden. Jo is very young when they first get involved, but it was written in a way that didn’t skeeve me out. As the story unfolds, readers begin to see that this story is really Tam’s – his secrets and how he finds solace with the Walkers. The romance, though enjoyable, is more of the foundation of the story than the meat of it.
One of the reasons I fell in love with the author’s writing is that she really knows how to write such rich characters so that, as a reader, you feel like you even have a good handle on minor characters. I also appreciate that all of her characters are flawed and entirely relatable and the family dynamics as imperfect as real life.
A solid contemporary romance with well-drawn characters and a family as imperfect as your own.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Lauren Gilley
Release Date: August 1, 2012