Release Date: Jun 22, 2018
Series: The Blackwells of Crystal Lake
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: Juliana Stone
The reason for Honey Harrison’s presence in Crystal Lake is evident very early on in the book. And honestly, thank goodness for that. I’m not overly fond of books where there’s a secret that is constantly and obliquely thought about but never made clear or articulated to the reader. I mean there’s only so much one of the main characters can think about something while not thinking about it thoroughly enough to let the reader in on the secret. Ms. Stone doesn’t put us through that frustration. Honey is in Crystal Lake working as a bartender with the express purpose of exposing a family connection, although her intentions in doing so isn’t borne out of affection.
Nash Booker happens to be the owner of the bar where Honey works. He’s noticed her. How could he not with her eye-catching tattoos, her porcupine prickly self, and then there’s the fact that she’s sexy as hell. But Nash has a strict rule: no romantic involvements between boss and employee. He’d done it once and vowed it would never happen again. Honey, however, turns out to be the exception to that new rule.
I felt bad for Honey. Okay, maybe empathetic is a better word. She’s so alone and her guard is way up. My heart got all soppy and soft when Nash found her in her scarcely furnished apartment above the bar burning Kraft dinner (her Thanksgiving dinner) and commandeered her to his parents’ place. I was afraid she’d stubbornly put up more of a fuss. I was so glad she didn’t. And it was then the ice was broken between them. The boss/employee wall slowly began to come down. In pretty short order, they were working off the sexual edge that stood between them. A small aside: I love when romantic leads have sex and then shrug it off as a one-off. Of course, we the readers know better.
One thing you learn about Nash is he acts first and asks questions later. He does that with his younger brother and he repeats it again in dramatic fashion with Honey. That said, my heart broke during the black moment, which was shades of Karen Robards’ historical romance Loving Julia. I wanted to drop kick Nash—in the groin. Man, I wanted him to crawl. Grovel like a man has never groveled before.
I’m happy to say the ending left me completely satisfied. He and Hudson (one of his best friends and the hero of You Make Me Weak (it’s FREE)) do a good job of making up for the devastation they caused. And Honey’s transition from the guarded, prickly porcupine with a chip on her slender shoulders to the openly vulnerable, sweet person she tries so hard to hide is complete and beautifully done. Toss in an emotional, heart-squeezing epilogue and You Own My Heart does a wonderful job in owning mine. I can’t wait for the next book in The Blackwells of Crystal Lake series.