Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Comfort of Favorite Things by Alison Kent

Title: The Comfort of Favorite Things
Author: Alison Kent
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hope Springs #5
Main Characters: Dakota and Thea
Release Date: September 2015
Publisher: Montlake
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
No matter how many years Dakota Keller has spent trying, he can’t outrun his past, so when a private investigator tells him his sister needs him, he travels to the small Texas town of Hope Springs to start a new life with the support of his siblings. When he arrives to do a routine construction job at the town’s new espresso bar, he’s shocked to discover that the owner is Thea Clark—the girl he couldn’t resist in high school and whose memory kept him sane in prison.

Recovering from an abusive relationship, Thea decides that her past is off-limits for discussion, even with Dakota. After all, it feels like a lifetime since she last saw him. But when Dakota’s brother’s firm is tapped to renovate the women’s shelter Thea runs out of her home, old feelings quickly reignite. Could a casual affair from high school turn out to be the one connection neither of them can live without?

My Review:
I've only read one other book in this series, the one right before this one, and really liked it so when I saw this one come up for review, I grabbed it. While that one was all about chocolate, this one took place surrounding one of my other favorite substances...coffee.

Thea is super-woman...she's just opened a pseudo-shelter for battered women, is in the process of renovating a storefront for her coffee, soup, and bread shop, and she's also debating buying into another business in this book. She has a LOT on her plate. To complicate her life, her new construction foreman is the former love of her young life, Dakota. 

Dakota hasn't seen Thea since the night before he went to prison for three years. That night kept him somewhat sane during that time, but three years in prison took it's toll. He's not the same man she used to know. But she's not that same girl either. They are both broken. But what hasn't broken is their connection to one another. 

I love second chance love stories and the back story about these two is heartbreaking. I understand why Dakota didn't come home, but they both lost so much time and had so much more hurt in the meantime. That's a painful reality...but it did provide for some good emotional angst in the story.

There are a ton of secondary story lines within this book. Thea's home is a shelter for battered women, three other women and two children, to be exact. And each has her own story happening, two of them besides Thea include romantic story lines...so, yes there are three total romantic story lines in this book. 

There is also Dakota and his brother and sister. When he got out of prison, he didn't just ignore Thea, he ignored his siblings, too...and those are some difficult emotions for them to work through. I did enjoy this aspect of the story, but I always like stories that involve sibling relationships. I can't imagine growing up with their parents and circumstances...and none of them were left undamaged when Dakota went to prison for attacking his sister's attempted rapist. There are some really complex emotions underlying all these interactions. 

But to be honest...I feel like this was a book weakened by too many points of view. While I loved the romance between Thea and Dakota and his whole family dynamic, the momentum of the story kept getting sidelined by the other two romantic stories within the book. I liked them all, but I think it weakened my emotional investment with Thea and Dakota. It was distracting when I really wanted to be consumed by them and the possibilities for them, but just as the story would get good, the author would change the POV. I wasn't a fan of that technique.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

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