When she was a teenger, Raven Bella Stratton’s father was killed in a horrible car crash. The bigger shock was the discovery of a woman with him—Diana Pierce—and their two fully packed suitcases with airline tickets to Paris. Devastated by her father’s betrayal, Raven went to live with her aunt, never truly overcoming the traumatic event. When she discovers that the mysterious woman had a family with a husband and three boys, Raven vows to leave the memory of her father behind.
Until Dalton Pierce visits one night and suddenly her past challenges her future…
Leaving his life in California behind to run Pierce Construction with his two older brothers, Dalton Pierce has enjoyed returning home and studying his passion of woodworking. But when he visits the local bar with his brothers one evening, he’s immediately drawn to the smart-mouthed, badass, sexy bartender who sets his body on fire. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem as intrigued by him, and his multiple advances are met with rejection. When he offers to restore the bar back to its original glory, he begins to work with her on a daily basis, and falls harder. His plan of seduction slowly weaves a web around them both, until they are caught up in the spell. But Dalton doesn’t know the secret that can either destroy them both…or finally mend two broken hearts.
This is the second book of the series featuring the youngest Pierce brother, Dalton, who’s very good working with wood and the bartender who threw them out of the bar (on the first book), Raven.
From the moment Raven knew that the Pierce brothers are those Pierce brothers, sons of the woman who died with her father in a car crash on the way to the airport to Paris (Raven’s dad and the Pierce’s mom were together), she knew she wanted revenge. Revenge for what the Pierces did to her father, to her family that they made him like a home-wrecker. It’s just so convenient that Dalton, the youngest of the three brothers, seemed to be attracted to her and she’d use it to her advantage to unlock what was it with his mother that her father threw her away for that woman.
The story weighs a little heavy because it dealt with death and the unresolved whys of both parents going away without anyone knowing. It’s a little slow in the beginning, a little too narrative but I think that is to establish the connection between Dalton and Raven. Raven knew about Dalton’s mother but Dalton was clueless about her being the daughter of his mom’s lover and the way why she just flat out refused him.
It’s Raven that I liked most. She’s independent, fierce, great in mixing exotic drinks and responsible for her own actions. It was also very nice the way she ignored Dalton’s advances, and hit him where he was very afraid of: settling down.
For some reason, I couldn’t seem to connect with Dalton though he’s an OK guy. He loves wood and working with them, sleeps around but is respectful of the ladies, is a happy-go-lucky guy overall and not the marrying type because he knew how love could steal and wreck you.
A magazine feature for My Place forced Raven to work with Dalton because she needed the bar to be renovated and ready for the feature. From there, things got started to heat up more. Dalton still wanted Raven but not for the long haul. (Guy was still scarred because of his mom’s death.) And Raven still wanted marriage. While there wasn’t any talk of their agreement to be each other’s fuck buddies, things began to get serious and Raven realized she didn’t want to harbor hate with Dalton’s mother anymore. And because Dalton had been opening up to her more, she wanted to do the same, only it was too late and he took the hit hard as nothing short of a betrayal.
I liked that story still managed to be a bit fun, thanks to Dalton’s constant chase of Raven and Raven turning her down, and their banter. I liked that both characters knew what they wanted as individuals. I even liked the painful parts and the grovelling that occurred right after. I was just having a difficulty relating to Dalton’s attitude.
The story could’ve paced a bit fast, though. The lack of any marriage proposal/marriage itself threw me off a little when in fact this was what Raven’s focus on setting aside Dalton throughout the story. It didn’t happen. The mystery of their parents’ death was dealt nicely with closure. The grand gesture was a bit underwhelming and so were the winning-back strategies to have Raven back.
Overall, this was a decent read and I’m looking forward to the next one which is hopefully Tristan’s book.