By Madison Hartt and Evan Asher
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Following the death of her grandmother, the last of her immediate family, Jade Broussard is overjoyed to discover a long-lost relative in New Orleans. Maylene Broussard-DuBois, an elderly widow, is likewise elated to hear from Jade and invites her to come for a visit. Meeting her new aunt at the airport, Jade is introduced to Gage Pichot, a family friend Maylene has gushed about in their correspondence. Matchmaking is obviously in the air, though the handsome and enigmatic Gage seems an unwilling participant. From the start, he questions Jade’s intentions concerning Maylene’s abundant wealth, and she bristles at his offensive insinuations. His suspicious reluctance keeps their attraction off-kilter even as passion ignites between them and sparks fly. If only Maylene would stop playing Cupid! If only Gage wouldn’t automatically believe the worst about her. If only Jade could resist his aggravating charm…
A two-star rating may be too harsh – I’m torn between awarding it a two- or a three-star. Here’s my rationale. Gage is too brash. For someone who is supposed to be in love with Jade, you could have fooled me. Typically by the end of a book, one gets the distinct feeling that the hero loves the heroine, not that he’s still pissed at her. The kisses may be passionate and the one love scene was sweet, but his actions and words don’t line up. Maybe it’s a culture thing? I’m glad the story ended as it did as far as what their future is going to hold – and that was sort of the first inkling I had that maybe, just maybe, he had a sweet spot there somewhere. If not, he ran hot and cold and little too abruptly. He was an intriguing fellow, though. And hot. The author also went a bit overboard at times in descriptions of things. It was either feast or famine. I also found a couple of scenes odd as far as how far in-depth they went (or that they were even included, even though we were told why). For example, the visit to the abandoned house had me originally thinking that perhaps he was going to surprise her by proposing and suggesting that they renovate it or something. Instead, he had arranged it as an adventure.
All that said, the premise for the storyline was fun and Maylene was a hoot. I liked Gage, but I could never seem to get a firm handle on his character. Jade seemed a bit ditzy, or maybe too trusting, all things considered. There were a lot of miscommunications and misunderstandings between Gage and Jade, and that could get frustrating. (I could understand why Jade was so annoyed with him, to be truthful. Maybe she should have just smacked him upside the head and that might have struck some sense into him.) Maylene’s matchmaking efforts keep the characters on their toes.
Favorite part: The night Gage rescued Jade after her run-in with her cousin and their night together in Baton Rouge…and then the ending.
The “huh” part: The cousin was a confusing chap.
Recommend: Sure, if you’re looking for an easy read and enjoy New Orleans as the backdrop.
Original review posted on Amazon and Goodreads on March 16, 2016.