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His Southern Temptation (The Boys are Back in Town) (Volume 2) Paperback – April 1, 2013
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And the first time they've entertained the possibility of hooking up in their home town. A typical small Southern home town where everybody knows everybody's business the second there's a whisper in the air.
A place they've both steered well clear of from the moment they were each old enough to see it in their respective rear-view mirrors.
But neither of them is an eighteen-year-old kid anymore. Lucky has spent more than a decade doing "wetwork" for the U.S. Marines. The special ops he's been on are part of the shadow war that he can't reveal to anyone, the kind that leaves a stain on a man's soul.
The rare times he's hooked up with Taylor over the years have been his only slice of heaven, his bit of redemption. He's given the U.S. Marines all the soul that he can stand to give, and he's come home to heal what's left. He wants a real relationship with Taylor, instead of being just her dirty secret.
Taylor has spent her time as far away from the South as she could get. Her family wanted her to do something with her education. Instead, Taylor became a massage therapist and aesthetician. She's on her way to owning her own business. In Hawaii. She's also the wildest and most adventurous woman Lucky has ever met. What she won't do is have a real relationship, not with him, not with anyone. She doesn't want to let her emotions get involved.
The one and only time before she let herself fall for a man, she found out he was screwing the wedding planner. On the day of the wedding. She ran out of the ceremony and never looked back.
Her mother thought she should have forgiven the bastard. Which probably says all there is to say about Taylor's relationship with her mother. And Taylor's parents' broken marriage.
Taylor left that ceremony by stealing Lucky's car. He never pressed charges, because he loved her then. He loves her now, but the trick is getting her to deal with that. All while chasing a mobster who seems to have Taylor in his sights.
Just how Lucky is lucky, after all?
Escape Rating B: This sequel to A Night of Southern Comfort has all the chemistry and heat of the first story and all the fun with a slightly more plausible plot.
His Southern Temptation also has the slightly goofball suspense element that characterized the story of Comfort, but the characters in Temptation are more believable, which made the story work better for me.
Lucky's just plain done with the military. He's served more than honorably, and has earned his peace. Working with his friend Beck to solve a missing persons case looks like a way of helping a friend using some of his skills. Then Taylor gets involved and everything goes pear-shaped.
Both Lucky and Taylor have problematic relationships with their parents that contributed to both of them leaving home, and in Taylor's case, definitely factor into why she is so gun-shy about relationships. Her mother didn't just give up everything to support her father's career, she constantly needles Taylor to make sure Taylor doesn't do the same thing. And intentionally or not, tells Taylor what a disappointment she is. Taylor feels compelled to succeed alone, to prove her mother wrong.
But Lucky is an addiction that Taylor can't seem to give up. It just takes her a long time to stop listening to her mother and figure out why.
I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Like any person growing up in a small town, David "Lucky" Landon couldn't wait to leave and his chance came when he enrolled in the US military. As a former assassin in the military, he's done things he wishes he could forget. He decides he wants to buy his father's farm, but before he does, he has one more job to do. He's hired to find the whereabouts of Sarah Morgan and the case is proving more than he bargained for; no one will talk to him regarding Sarah. Meanwhile Taylor Elliott is only in town to help pack and sell her family's house. Thinking an intruder is in the house she holds him at gunpoint and realizes it's none other than Lucky. The feelings she had for him resurfaces and both must come to grips with what it all means. Will they be able to put the past aside or will they once again go their separate ways?
I really enjoyed Covington's writing and His Southern Temptation is a fast paced read. In terms of characterization, the characters are interesting and well-written. We find out how long Lucky and Taylor have known each other and the reason why they aren't together. The differences between their backgrounds are also pointed out, with Lucky growing up on a farm and Taylor being part of a prominent wealthy family. Taylor has some relationship issues. Her parents haven't had an ideal marriage and she's afraid of heading down the same path. The constant relationship / no relationship discussion got a bit old especially once Taylor had made her mind. I understand her mother's point when she tells Taylor she needs to live to her life and basically outlined what she gave up, but at the same time Taylor has had YEARS to think this through. That was my only small annoyance. While there are a lot of secondary characters, you'll enjoy them. I loved Sheriff Burke and his untimely arrival in three memorable scenes involving Lucky and Taylor. The real standout secondary character is Taylor's brother, Teague. He's so stuffy and proper and I can't wait for someone to come and turn his world upside down.
The mystery of Sarah Morgan plays a minor role and while I was disappointed there wasn't more to it, I realized after reading, this isn't about Sarah, but about Lucky and Taylor. While I wanted to give it a three, I debated with the rating. In the end, the romance between Lucky and Taylor is the center of the novel and because of that, I gave it a four.
My favorite quotes:
It was time to channel the late, great Patrick Swayze and take "Baby" out of the corner.
"Maybe what you're looking for isn't a place but a person."
I'll be going back to read A Night of Southern Comfort and am really looking forward to reading Teague Elliott's story. If you're a fan of romance, I recommend His Southern Temptation. Just be warned: it's a sizzling read. You might need a cold shower or two after.
**This review appears on my blog**