This is a fairly low-angst read. I really felt for Tempest, who finds her husband in bed with her highschool nemesis. To make matters worse, they’d been trying for a baby when she found them. Ouch! I also liked how she didn’t just immediately get over the hurt and betrayal like some heroines seem to do in Romancelandia. It took time, and she had trust issues to work out, which felt realistic to me.
Now, I will say that her insistence that Cage is merely friend wore thin after a while. After about the tenth instance of “But we’re just friends...aren’t we?” I was ready to reach through my Kindle and throat punch her. But I cut her some slack based on everything she’d been through. (I side-eyed her pretty hard at some points, though)
Cage, on the other hand, was a damn near perfect cinnamon roll hero. He was sweet and supportive and all kinds of hot. He was also BEYOND patient with Tempest’s mood swings and instance that they remain “just friends,” even when it was clear to EVERYONE BUT TEMPEST that they were way more than that.
Another minor little thing (other than Tempest) that cost the book a part of a star were the side characters. They were a little judge-y and mean-spirited, even by small town romance standards. (And for those of you who don’t read a lot of small town romance, side characters are very often judge-y and mean-spirited.These were just a little excessive, in my opinion)
But, minor nitpicks notwithstanding, this one is worth reading for Cage alone. I won’t say he’s a real Stud Muffin, because that’d be lame. But...yeah. Also, all the references to Vikings brought up some pretty awesome imagery, too.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
It’s clean and sober. No rehab needed.
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