A workplace romance between boss lady and landscape contractor in small town Australia engaging and heartwarming in an easy-read pace. My first time with the author and I liked the setup of her story and characters.
The story opens with billionaire cut-throat businessman’s daughter, Kate Moore working on her first independent project overseeing the renovation of an old Victorian place and opening of a new elegant hotel. It’s her chance to gain respect and a ‘well done’ from her cold and calculating father for the first time. She knows her family isn’t normal. Her parents are ambitious for power and wealth and lacking in any tender feeling or compassion even toward her. The Moores didn’t make friends they made acquaintances they could use and anyone in their way is bulldozed to the side. Kate knows this is what drove her sister to runaway three years ago. It pains her that she doesn’t have love from her father, but she will work herself into the ground trying and push those who work for her to impressive him. But then she encounters the one landscaper who impressed her with his previous work and makes the ice she has surrounded herself with melt.
David Wright needs this job for the Moores. He’s caring for his folks now that his dad’s cancer has driven up the medical bills and his brother is trying to get through college. David gave up his dreams to come back and work at something he has a real talent for as well. His encounter with the demanding and unreasonable ice queen Kate leaves him irritated, but determined to impress her with his work. But he also sees right through those walls she has erected around her to the lonely, broken woman who desperately chases after something that will never be and is losing her own soul in the effort. David is attracted as is she, but the job comes first. That is until he gives in to the attraction and discovers they have chemistry and they understand each other.
However, David is not what Moore has in mind for his daughter and Kate is suspicious David is a gold digger. David grows tired of trying to get through to Kate. Kate has to decide once and for all if she will strive for her father’s approval and take a chance on her happiness.
When I began the story, I was pretty sure that I would be setting it aside. I did not like Kate. At all. She was a jerk and I saw no reason for her attitude and rudeness. It was like she had to live up to some icy cut throat persona to impress her bigger jerk of a father. I get the need to work for a parent’s approbation and I get the need to be hard as steel in a workplace to earn respect, but many times she was just rude. But then I got curious about the missing sister with the little mystery there and I was eager to see David landscape that garden.
Once I got a third of the way in, all my early reluctance was gone. I was vested. This is the story of an adult woman who had grown up with emotional neglect and psychological abuse on top of the struggles of being an adopted child seeking acceptance and love. It became Kate the survivor’s story and I liked how the author showed her struggles to connect with people in healthy families and relationships. I think that is important when it comes to people reared in unhealthy situations. They really don’t know how to behave.
And David… just wow. He creates breath-taking gardens, he’s caring for his folks, he’s got a good relationship with his brother, and he sings, plays, and writes music. He also looks below the surface to see the real person and is willing to keep trying when he’s given little encouragement or incentive from Kate. Le sigh…
All in all, this was a good outing with the author’s work. I have one more of her books and look forward to it as well. I would point this one toward those who appreciate contemporary romances with a damaged yet strong heroine and a hero who can help her heal.
My thanks to Escape Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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