25 August, 2014

#BookReview :: The Chocolate Garden (Dare River #2) by Ava Miles

Visionary gardener Tammy Hollins is making a new life for herself and her children after a tragic marriage. Plants she understands, but men…well, they’re of the weed variety. She’s started her own landscaping business, catering to her country music rock star brother’s friends. Her first client is sexy, soulful, Alpha hero material, and the one man who tantalizes her and scares her to death.

John Parker McGuiness is a man of many talents, working as a songwriter and lawyer for country music’s biggest stars. He’s drawn to Tammy like no other and hires her as his landscaper, wanting to show her they’re made for each other. When Tammy learns he’s a professed chocoholic, she fashions a magical garden for him—a chocolate garden.

As the garden comes to life, their love for each other grows. When tragedy strikes Tammy’s home, John Parker is willing to move mountains to protect her and her children. Tammy struggles to guard her newfound independence as they use the magic of the chocolate garden to help her children feel safe again. But when secrets from Tammy’s past resurface, can their love and passion survive the memories haunting her?

This is the second book in the Dare River Series, but the first one that I have picked up. The book has references to what must have happened in the first installment, but this book can be read as a standalone too.

Tammy Hollins has a scarred past, but she is trying to overcome it by starting a new life for herself along with her two young children. With her family by her side, Tammy plans to start her own gardening business – with her experience of turning her brother’s garden around behind her, she feels confident. John Parker, Tammy’s brother’s best friend, has always loved Tammy. With Tammy’s past behind her, John Parker is ready to offer her the world. But first, he needs to get close to her… So he becomes her second client. With his love for chocolate, Tammy builds him a chocolate garden, all the while growing closer to each other. When a trespasser breaks into Tammy’s home, John Parker comes to her rescue. But Tammy has secrets from her past that stops her from getting to too close to make new commitments. 

Tammy is a strong woman. Not many women have it in them to walk out of an abusive relationship, especially when children are involved. I admired her for walking out before it was too late and to have the strength to build a new life for herself and her children. John Parker is a strong and patient man who respects the fact that Tammy needs time to recover. As rest of the family rallies around Tammy, the author portrays the importance of family in any situation. The love flowing between the family is really something. However the male ego got on my nerves at times. It is good to be possessive and only normal to want to protect your loved ones, but the men in the story tend to smother the women till the stand up for themselves. Also, the women tear up pretty too easily in the family.

I liked the simple language of the author. I also liked the fact that the author worked on parallel stories of the rest of the family throughout the book. It gave me a feeling of being in loop with the whole horde. Overall, a light and fast read for an idle afternoon.




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