I’m a big fan of Victoria Dahl and overall enjoy her contemporary romances and this one is no different. The heroine, Isabelle West, is an artist and has her reasons for living in the middle of nowhere. She likes her quiet life the way it is and has no desire to really ever face her past. Because of that past she has trust issues and prefers one night stands or quick flings. Tom Duncan has always led his life by the letter of the law and when he meets Isabelle something about her just seems off to him. He can’t help himself to try to figure out what exactly that is but the more he gets to know her the more he’s drawn to her.
I found this book refreshing in a few ways. I thought that the concentration was mostly on Isabelle and so many romances seem to focus on the heroes so this was a nice change of pace to see. Isabelle is a complicated character and I can imagine some readers may not fall in love with her but I really liked her, even with all of her issues. She pretty much evolves throughout the book in a very real way.
The friendships in this book were another aspect that seemed very real as well. They were open about sex and how much they have it. I love that Dahl doesn’t take the easy way out and slut shame her characters. The female friendships were open and I liked Isabelle’s relationship with her neighbor. They were more like family and the same can be said for the relationship between Tom and his female partner. I feel like I never see male/female friendships portrayed in a positive light. No spoilers but the ending was very realistic as well, no fairy tale happy ending but a solid HEA was had.
Overall this is a good read and one I would recommend if you like contemporary romance. ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.