Title: Love Me Sweet
Author: Tracy Brogan
Series: Bell Harbor, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance (January 20th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
Delaney Masterson isn’t looking for fame.
Yes, she has famous parents and a reality TV show, but she’s not the wild-child celebrity the paparazzi have painted her to be. Until…The Scandal. When an old boyfriend releases a private video, Delaney’s name becomes every comedian’s favorite punch line. To escape the media, she sneaks away to Bell Harbor, Michigan—during the worst winter in fifty years.
Adventure show cameraman Grant Connelly has stayed away from Bell Harbor—mostly by choice—but when a family obligation converges with a spontaneous career decision, it’s time to return home.
When bad weather, missing money, honky-tonk musicians, and Elvis impersonators throw Grant and Delaney together on an unexpected road trip, emotions get all shook up. They know only fools fall in love, but they can’t help falling. Still, Delaney has a secret that could tear them apart forever.
Can they weather the storm? Or will this romantic ride end at the Heartbreak Hotel?
As the daughter of a rock star, Delaney Masterson, grew up in the limelight and her family reality show has only increased her notoriety as a wild-child. She is used to people thinking of her as a party girl, but when her ex-boyfriend releases a secretly recorded sex tape of her, Delaney realizes she has had enough of the crazy media and needs a change in scenery.
Delaney withdraws her savings, buys a cheap car and drives north to Bell Harbor, Michigan. There she rents a house for 6 months. Her plan is to wait out the scandal and then return to California and to her family.
Grant Connelly has kept his distance from his family. After being many years away, he finally returns to Bell Harbor for his brother wedding. His idea was to surprise his family, but he is the one surprised when he arrives to his house and finds Delaney living there. In his absence his mother rented his house to Delaney; she paid the six months rent in advance in cash. The only problem with this is Grant’s mother, Donna, already spent the money. Grant and Delaney decided to share the house until Grant can get some money to pay her back, an arrangement that is working for them. What they were not counting was in Donna stealing the money Delaney kept and home and skipping town.
Grant knows he needs to catch his mother before she spends all of Delaney’s money. Together they embark on a road trip in the worst weather conditions of recent decades. What ensues helps them to get even closer; but Delaney is keeping secrets from Grant, secrets that could tear them apart.
I understand Delaney’s need for privacy and for a change in her life, but I didn’t like her keeping secrets from Grant. I don’t like when people don’t trust the significant other enough to be honest, especially when it’s obvious that sooner or later the truth will come to light. Delaney had many opportunities to be honest, but she preferred to live in a lie than to give Grant a chance. She could have been a great heroine, but her character weakness diminished my appreciation towards her.
Grant is a more likeable hero. He is not perfect, but he owns his mistakes and is trying to do better towards his family this time around. I really liked how protective and caring he was towards Delaney; maybe that’s why Delaney’s actions were harder to digest, he deserved somebody better or at least somebody more honest with him.
Since the very first time they met there was an obvious chemistry between Grant and Delaney, but they didn’t act upon until they knew each other better. Their relationship developed slowly, so it was easy to believe in it.
One thing I really liked about Love Me Sweet were the secondary characters. Tracy Brogan does an excellent job with Grant’s mother, Donna. She does some terrible things, but it was very clear she wasn’t a bad person, she was simply sick and needed help. You don’t want to like her because of her actions, but at the end, you can only feel bad for her and for her family.
Brogan brings light to the story with the introduction of the Paradise Brothers, a group of very generous and fun honky-tonk musicians. They not only brought some laughs, but also some very needed insight to certain circumstances. I really liked every single one of them and I wouldn’t be hesitant to read their stories, if one day Brogan decides to write their books.
Love Me Sweet is a sweet, fun, entertaining, fast paced story. Even though Love Me Sweet is the third book in the series it could be easily read as a stand-alone.
Love Me Sweet was my first book by Tracy Brogan, but it won’t be my last.
My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Crazy Little Thing
The Best Medicine
Love Me Sweet (January 20th)
Other reviews Goodreads