Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Elysia Whisler - Forever Home

If home is where the heart is, Dogwood County may have just what Delaney Monroe needs
Newly retired from the Marine Corps, Delaney is looking for somewhere to start over. It’s not going to be easy, but when she finds the perfect place to open her dream motorcycle shop, she goes for it. What she doesn’t expect is an abandoned pit bull to come with the building. The shy pup is slow to trust, but Delaney is determined to win it over.
Detective Sean Callahan is smitten from the moment he sees Delaney, but her cool demeanor throws him off his game. When her late father's vintage motorcycle is stolen from Delaney's shop, Sean gets to turn up in his element: chasing the bad guy and showing his best self to a woman who’s gotten under his skin in a bad way.
Delaney isn't used to lasting relationships, but letting love in—both human and canine—helps her see that she may have found a place she belongs, forever.

Comment: Last year I've read and immensely enjoyed Rescue You by this author. I saw there was a sequel - and now there's a third story too - and felt like reading it as well, which I only managed to do now. I did like this one but perhaps a little less than the other one.

Delaney Monroe has left the Marines and is at last ready to fulfill her father's dream of having a motorcycle shop... it is just sad he isn't alive anymore to do it with her, but she is eager to try. She finds a great place in Dogwood County but she didn't expect to have a dog come with the spot but talking to Sunny, from the nearby kennel, explains the dog's situation a little. Delaney also joins the gym to remain in shape and starts to have an idea of those she will be close to, including another Marine who just can't help be shy and feel a bit of guilt over the last mission. Delaney still hopes to fit in and be part of this new community but she feels a bit discouraged when one of her favorite motorcycle, one that belonged to her father, is stolen. By chance, the detective who comes to investigate is a familiar face from the gym, Sean, with whom she didn't start on the best terms. However, being closer because of this investigation might show them that the other one is so much more than their gym attitude...

As it had happened with the previous book, so this one is focused on character development, mainly Delaney's. We are aware she is an independent woman, used to the military way of doing things and although her civilian life isn't radically different, she understands others won't have the same expectations. Nevertheless, she is following a dream and hoping to be successful at it, which means she is definitely likable as a heroine in a book. However, I must confess I kind of wanted to see more romance... the other book was all about woman empowerment and wanting more of life but the romance was a wonderful slow burn which paid off at the end.

I've felt that with this one, things were taken for granted with only a few scenes and assumptions to justify it. I know the main couple would be "destined" to be together but I wanted more than just a few things in common... I suppose this might have been achieved with more or longer scenes where the two protagonists would interact or would have to see the other one doing something, which is always a good way to get character development and growing feelings without dialogues. I think the romance wasn't as convincing as it could be.

Delaney is a captivating character, someone who is used to not act or behave in what we would say a feminine way and there are hints of how women in the military do try to subdue their "womanly" side so that they aren't accused of not being part of the team and I suppose this might have influenced her way of dealing with others too, but I think the author could have shown us her transition from someone used to be alone and acting on her own to someone who could trust and love others in a more romantic or sweet manner, without losing her essence.

Sean was a secondary character in the first book and is the hero now. We get to learn more things about him but I got the feeling the focus was obviously more on Delaney and his side of the equation wasn't as balanced. In my opinion, he remains a bit superficial, even though we have the notion he is a good guy, he is a police officer but a good person too, someone who trusted easily and has had disappointments... but in general I don't think his characterization was as emotionally profound as I would have preferred, so that their relationship would feel stronger.

The plot revolves around changing one's life, pursuing a dream, trusting others while dealing with some scars from the past and there's the stolen Motorcycle to investigate. I also think we have way too many scenes with Tabitha, who will be the heroine of the next story and who was in active duty alongside with Delaney. She is a shy person and so on but we might have had enough hints without so many pages on her; instead, perhaps more romantic scenes between Delaney and Sean would have given this book a sweeter vibe.

All in all, I liked it, I enjoyed knowing what happened to he characters we've met in the other book and it was easy to turn the pages, but the romance could have been better.
Grade: 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment