Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Talking After Midnight by Dakota Cassidy

Title: Talking After Midnight 
Author: Dakota Cassidy
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Plum Orchard #3
Main Characters: MaryBell and Tag
Release Date: June 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Shields up, sugar—things in Plum Orchard are about to get real. 

Marybell Lyman is notorious for two things: 

Her look. The wicked hairstyle, multiple piercings and practiced sneer that say: "Stay back—I bite." 

Her voice. The syrupy lilt that's her bread and butter at Call Girls, the prim little town's flourishing phone-sex company. 

Hunky handyman Taggart Hawthorn is mesmerized by the contradiction: such sweet tones inside such a spiky shell! He wants to know more about mysterious Marybell, to hear more of her sexy talk—all for himself. 

But Tag's attentions, delicious as they are, have Marybell panicked. She's been hiding a long time. She's finally got a home, a job and friends she adores. She won't have it all snatched away by another stupid mistake—like falling in love. So when Marybell's past comes calling, she and the Call Girls will prove no one handles scandals like a Southern girl!

My Review:

This entire series has appealed to this reader who loves a serving of angst in her romance...and this book had that in spades., who would have guessed that she was hiding so much under that facade of makeup? And it goes so far beyond having a rough childhood, because she definitely had that. No, this book goes to the point of 'how much bad luck can one person have in life?' Marybell spent her whole life shuffled around the foster system...never with anyone she could count on and she spent a lot of that time basically fending for herself, but she managed it and graduated from high school with good enough grades to get a scholarship to college, where she was doing fairly well. She was in her senior year and landed a prestigious internship that cost her everything. Within two years, she was homeless and eating out of dumpsters when Landon rescued her off the street and took her under his wing. After the debacle of the internship, she became nationally infamous so she began to hide under a goth facade of heavy make-up and spiked hair that hid the vulnerable girl and her real identity. She's managed that way now for two years...until Tag.

Tag has his own road of hardships. He made a bad business decision which cost him everything financially. His resulting depression and alcoholism cost him everything else...besides his brothers. Now he's finally getting his life back and will to move on and he's intrigued by the sexy little Marybell. He has no doubt that the "get-up" hides some secret hurt, but he has no idea that his hurt and her hurt are tied together. She does...which is why she's insistent that he stay away from her...something he doesn't do. 

Literally, my heart breaks in this book for Marybell. The levels of unfairness of what happens to her in this book and her life made me want to sob for her. And I just loved the way that Dakota Cassidy revealed her story. It's a very slow reveal. As the reader you know from the very beginning that somehow she is recognizable and that if Tag saw her without her mask, he would know who she was. But it takes a while for it all to come out as to how exactly they are tied together and by then, I absolutely loved her character and was completely emotionally involved with the entire story. 

And like with all these books, I loved the phone sex girls. Landon did such an incredible thing with the creation of this company. All of them needed the support he offered and they formed their own pseudo-family. For someone like Marybell who has NEVER had anyone, this is HUGE. And it's why she is so terrified of her secret coming out. It's one thing to never have a support system. As a person, you get used to that. But to have it and lose it all would be simply devastating. She can't risk it. *sob* I did love her and her entire story. 

I HIGHLY recommend this one!

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