**WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS! If you don't like spoilers then please don't read below the initial review!
Emma Dodd has always taken care of everyone. She raised her niece when they were orphaned and she cares for the students that she works with. Deciding to move to Fairfield where her niece now lives, she was hoping to finally find a place to call home.
Jake Campbell, was gorgeous enough to catch any woman's eye, but he had a hard time finding the right one for him. A Fairfield detective, he lives with his mother to help care for her since she was diagnosed with a debilitating disease. After meeting Emma, he knows he has met the woman of his dreams. Now he just has to convince the independent Emma that it is time someone took care of her.
While helping one of her students, Emma becomes suspicious of criminal activity in her new town. Will Jake be able to save Emma in time for them to build a life together?
Emma's home was ok. It's an easy going book with just enough drama thrown in to keep you interested. The hero is an alpha male detective. The heroine is a strong, independent woman who has had more tragedy and hardship than most. They made a good couple. Now that being said...honestly there just wasn't a wow factor for me. This book reads like a lot of other light weight, easy going books read. It's what I like to call a "bathtub book". There is drama but it wasn't so much that I stayed on the edge of my seat, it just kept me reading. There isn't anything wrong with that of course, but I tend to enjoy a little more depth to my books. In all honesty it read like a Harlequin. It was enjoyable but I won't remember the character's name in a few days and it will be one of those books I have to double check that I've read when I come across it again somewhere.
Things I liked:
- Jake the Alpha Male
- The friendships
- The epilogue
Things I didn't like:
- There isn't a lot of depth
- The use of !!!!! marks...
The one thing that really grates on me as a reader is punctuation. I can handle a few grammatical errors without it really getting under my skin. I have trouble staying with a book though when every word of dialogue ends with an exclamation point...this causes me to take stars away. I always feel like the characters are yelling at each other or are overly excited about things that are not exciting.
"Dammit, Emma, you scared the shit out of me. I thought the house was on fire!" (Correct use)
"Leave everything to me--I will take care of your garden!" (not needed. Normal conversation with 3 people going. Talking about general things with flowers. Nothing exciting about it.)
So other than those few things this is a light read with an easy relationship. If you're into "bathtub books" then take a chance with this one.
Emma is 18 in the prologue when she takes guardianship of her 12 year old niece. Her mother and sister are killed in a car accident and there is no other family. She raises this girl and they are very close. She's had a hard life but she's been happy. 13 years later she moves to another town to be closer to her niece. She's strong, independent, and doesn't like to be taken care of.
Jake is a detective. He's 6'2, muscular...tall dark and handsome. He's a complete alpha male but he isn't a womanizer. He's looking for the love of his life and wants what his friend's have with their spouses but just hasn't found it yet. He is 33 and lives at home with his mom because she's got RA and can't fully take care of herself.
They meet in a bar. He's supposed to be meeting up with his friends and being Laurie's aunt's "date" for the night. Laurie is 25 and Emma's niece. Jake is expecting someone older and isn't looking forward to the night. His sight lands on her before he realizes who she is and he's completely drawn to her. Insta-love at it's best. She spends a few days thinking he's not into her when it's actually the direct opposite. Within a few weeks they begin dating. He's very protective of her. He's also very possessive when it comes to other men. He has no problem staking a claim on her to every single male in town. Things go smoothly for awhile. They fall in love and begin thinking about a future together. He introduces her to his mom and they become close.
There is something going on in town. Drugs are being slipped into town somehow but he and his partners at work can't figure out how. Emma is a counselor at the high school and she begins to notice changes in her students. It's not long before she begins receiving threatening notes telling her to back off. Being so independent she doesn't mention this to Jake until someone tries to break into her house. He explodes but then calms down and moves her into his house for the time being.
When things come to a head she follows a cop named Mike into the woods behind her house and overhears a conversation between him and the high school football coach. Mike shoots the guy before turning the gun on her. He drags her up the mountain behind her house with the intention of losing her in the woods. He doesn't realize that Jake called her while she was still hiding from them and has never disconnected the connection. He reaches them and Mike holds her hostage before he throws both of them over the side of a cliff. Mike is killed by the fall and Emma is badly injured.
In the epilogue we jump ahead four months and they are getting married. We skip ahead 4 years and they are happily married with a 3 yr old son and a baby girl.