I’ve found few things grow without care—not a garden and not friendship. Anything worth having is worth cultivating.
He’d stood there staring at the drinks for minutes until the owner, Marge, asked him what the problem was. He explained that he didn’t know what a four-year-old liked. She handed him a six-pack of fruit punch and told him he couldn’t go wrong with sugar and red dye. Two things all kids seemed to love.
She leaned into Sage and whispered, “She doesn’t talk.” Sage smiled. “Sure she does, she just doesn’t use words.”
There were three flavors available. Honeycomb Your Hair, which was bits of honeycombs in vanilla ice cream served in a bowl of cotton candy. Beds Bugs, which was chocolate ice cream with chocolate covered peanuts, drizzled with caramel syrup. Princess and the Pooper, which was rainbow sherbet sprinkled with Pop Rocks and a dollop of fudge.
“I went to prom. I lost my virginity to Roxanne Belvedere under the bleachers at homecoming. I had game.” “Roxanne Belvedere? Sounds like a porn star.”
Every time I have read one of these sweet and engaging Aspen Cove novels, I wistfully sigh and wish I knew of such a gentle and supportive community, as small-town living certainly wasn't anything like that in the tiny inbred hillbilly enclave where I unfortunately spent my formative years. But isn't that why most of us chose to read fiction? As with the other books in the series, the writing was easy to follow, observantly descriptive, deliciously steamy, and soul-satisfying.
I have adored each quirky character featured in this series and am now completely enamored with their swoon-worthy sheriff. Aiden was the consummate BBF and was uncommonly patient, insightful, thoughtful, and tender for a lawman. He was also the perfect match for the skittish Marina and her traumatized daughter. I appreciate the care and consideration Ms. Collins takes in establishing her uniquely appealing characters. Her storytelling never fails to hold my attention or interest. I especially admired and applauded the endowment of Marina's affirmation and credo of “victor, not a victim,” words we should all live by.