Delaney Hart has come a long way from her wild youth, dating tattooed bikers at her father’s bar, The Bad Seed. But when his death pulls her back to Wildwood, California, she must stay to renovate the dive he left her. And also face the lies and secrets that sent her running ten years before.
When Wildwood’s chief building inspector, Ethan Hayes, shows up on the property, Delaney doesn’t recognize him. The last thing he wants to do is save the bar where his cousin died in a brawl. But the good boy from her past is all too willing to remind her of the bad girl she used to be. And one night of passion leaves them both in a compromising position.
The last place Ethan should be is in Delaney’s bed. Guilt, family pressure, and plans for a brewpub of his own make shutting down The Bad Seed his top priority…until his feelings for Delaney interfere. Because her future depends on the success of the bar’s renovation and his dreams are rooted in its failure, their forbidden romance may be destined for heartbreak
She’d walked into town, and Ethan’s life had spun on its ever-loving axis.
As a long time fan of all things Skye Jordan, I was thrilled to see she has a brand new series in the works. Not only does she write some seriously swoony heroes, but she always matches them up with fantastic heroines. Delaney Hart may easily be my favorite heroine by this author to date. Here was a woman that while she may be damaged in her own way, still had a backbone of steel and never backed down from a challenge. She wasn’t brash, she wasn’t OTT, she wasn’t obnoxious about it. But there was just this understated strength to her to go along with the playful bad girl that added an irresistible vibe to her character that I absolutely adored.
She’d been back in town for only a couple of hours, and all the hurt and guilt that had run her out of town a decade ago had already clawed their way back into her heart.
Coming back to the small town that she grew up in that only carried with it memories of past pain and regret isn’t exactly Delaney’s idea of fun. But with her father’s death and her two sisters are in the wind, there’s no one else to take care of the decrepit old bar before it gets demolished on her dime. If it’s not enough that she carries the guilt of the past, there’s definitely a few people to remind her that she’s not welcome. Delaney is made of tougher stuff than to back down from a challenge though.
But then she spends one delectable night with a sexy stranger….that turns out not to be a stranger at all. Ethan Hayes. The good boy that’s always harbored a crush on her, but with their past and present still between them, Delaney is even more hands off than she was ten years ago.
I loved the small town setting of the story. I also loved that even though the characters do share a sizzling night together pretty early into the book, there is more than enough slow burn sizzle with the added element of the forbidden added in to make the romance more delicious. Ethan was absolute perfection and it was great to see him come into his own and finally start standing up to his family. But I have to say that Delaney was my favorite part. She definitely stole the show for me. I loved her quiet strength and playfulness. I loved how she doesn’t let anything tear her down and maintains her equilibrium at any cost. I also loved watching Ethan fall harder and harder for the reformed bad girl.
He’d never been addicted to anything, but just looking at her standing on his porch made clawlike craving sting in his gut. Made his mouth water. Made him want to take risks he’d never contemplated before.
My one quibble is I wished the ending didn’t fell quite so rushed. While it’s my understanding that the story will continue with the other two Hart sisters, I would have loved a little more in that ending. It felt almost rushed after all the build up leading up to it, but then again I’m just greedy for more when it comes to Skye’s books. Perhaps we’ll get more of this couple with the future installments in the series.
All I know is I definitely enjoyed this one and have a feeling I’ll enjoy the next two even more. Especially with that set up for who I’m hoping will be the next couple. Because…rarrr. Seriously.
Skye Jordan is a pseudonym for New York Times bestselling romantic suspense author Joan Swan. Skye’s novels are about enjoying that little wild streak we don’t let out often enough. About those fantasies we rarely get the opportunity to indulge. About stretching limits, checking out the dark side, and maybe even acting a little naughty. They’re about escape and fun and pleasure and romance. And, yes, even love, because while wicked-great sex is good, happily ever after with wicked-great sex is even better.
When she’s not writing, Skye loves to read, knit, craft, row, ride, and dabble in photography.