Today I have a new release California Thyme from Casey Dawes. Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you can win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and $10.00 Donation to FISHER HOUSE in the Winner’s Name,
Starting a bit slowly for me as Dawes took the time to establish necessary elements for scene and character that would prove useful further on, I reached the point where the story took hold and kept me reading on. Incorporating the film industry, and the behind-the-scenes elements that really are where the drama ensues, and the day-to-day monotony of a movie set, with a quickly developed and solved sub-plot with a saboteur, the story rolls forward giving a solid feel for characters and place.
My huge hang-up in this story was the character’s lack of forward movement for far too long: Mandy likes James, James likes Mandy: neither has the sense to deal with their multiple issues and move forward. I understand the need, really I do, but this just seemed to drag on over the same issues, repeatedly. At some point, you have to stop blaming your past, your upbringing and your fear and make a move.
And they had issues: Mandy’s are childhood related, a bad parent and a divorce where she was the obvious pawn has her struggling with daddy and abandonment issues. James is licking his wounds after a bad break up. Neither is incapable of being honest in their discussions about relationships, but Mandy can’t seem to manage to make a decision. Of course there are other factors, and she doesn’t seem to make a decision about focusing on work and herself, or a relationship, or even making a choice before one is made for her.
But, they do manage to engage in some honest discussions and make a bit of progress before the end, and while I didn’t see a great growth trajectory in their own personal choices, I did see the relationship strengthen despite the outside interferences. Dawes wrote a ‘clean romance’ where the sexual elements are behind closed doors, leaving everything to the imagination. Curiosity about a happy ever after or a happy for now kept me involved and interested until the final pages. Not a light, easy, ‘you know what will happen’ romance, there is plenty of character depth and angst, emotional pulls and pushes to keep you thinking and wondering long after the book is over.
Title: California Thyme
Author: Casey Dawes
Published by: Crimson Romance
Source: Author via Tour Company
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
Caterer Mandy Parker doesn’t want to turn out like her mother, an aging bi-polar actress desperate for the love. Avoiding anything Hollywood-related is vital for Mandy’s sanity. Her ideal man has a nine-to-five job and coaches Little League—someone true to her and to their family, unlike her philandering Hollywood producer father. But when waitress shifts at Costanoa Grill are cut, she’s forced to find additional work as a movie caterer.
Since the woman he’d loved had married his best friend, movie set location manager James Lubbock has put women far behind advancing in his career. The assistant caterer is attractive, but he’s more focused on figuring out who was sabotaging his set. If he can’t determine the culprit, he’ll lose everything he’s worked for over the last five years.
Sparks fly between Mandy and James, but can they overcome their painful pasts to risk a chance on each other?
A copy of this title was provided via Author via Tour Company for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.