Reviewed by Mandi
Porchia Summers was born into a family who gave her everything except affection. She acted out until her parents sent her to Whispering Springs before their high-society friends found out about her arrest record.
She builds a good life in Texas, but then the old boyfriend who got her in trouble tracks her down. Desperate to find a way to keep her past and present separate, she places a bid at a bachelor auction on the one man who’ll get her out of town for a few days.
Darren Montgomery is thrilled when Porchia wins him and a week of camping with his entire family in a charity bachelor auction. He’s also curious. He’s been flirting with the town’s sweet, sexy baker for years. Sometimes she flirts back, but she’s never let things go further than that. Darren’s not complaining, but he wonders just what’s going on behind Porchia’s pretty eyes.
Porchia owns her own bakery and is really proud of it. She has a few employees and is generally happy in life – until an old boyfriend shows up. Slade has been in prison for the past sixteen years for a crime he committed while with Porchia, although she had nothing to do with it. Now he has served his full term, and wants revenge of sorts. He isn’t a very stable person and he wants Porchia to give him a million dollar, as he thinks that is the debt she owes him for him going to jail. He threatens her and acts very shady and Porchia doesn’t know what to do.
Meanwhile, Porchia attends a local bachelor charity auction and she ends up bidding on one of her friends named Darren. The prize is not only a date, but ten days spent camping on his ranch with his entire big family. Happy to leave town and get away from Slade, she goes. Darren has always had a thing for Porchia, but wasn’t sure if she reciprocated his feelings.
This one didn’t work so well for me for a few reasons. First, the friends to lovers trope seemed a little too easy in this one. Maybe it was a lack of build up to the relationship – but I didn’t have a great sense of how good of friends they were before they went on their camping trip. SO when they jump right into super lustful thoughts and actions, it just took me by surprise. I didn’t realize they were at that stage of the game already.
Second, the stalker plot didn’t work for me. Porchia knows this criminal who has been in jail for seventeen years is dangerous. He demands money and threatens her – and instead of giving the local sherif a heads up, she leaves town and doesn’t even warn her other bakery employees that Slade might be coming around. I can’t stand it when characters do this. The suspense slightly builds up throughout the book but the outcome is anti-climatic.
Third, the wording in the sex scenes didn’t work for me. Things like, “The tip of his tongue dug between her vulva lips…” or dribbling of liquid down thighs.
Or “Over and over, he would lick, stab into her canal and suck various pieces of flesh between his lips.”
I don’t want to read about canal stabbing and flesh in my romance scenes. Those words just don’t work for me.
This is the first I’ve read of this series, and I didn’t feel lost, although we do get glimpess into a lot of other characters past HEAs. Just not a book for me.