Finished September 27
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
I hadn't read this author before, and I found myself quite enjoying this romance novel. From the cover I didn't guess how sizzling the plot would be or how Ashley brings deeper elements of self-confidence, and trust into the plot. There is also a suspense element here that adds to the plot.
Lauren Grahame is wandering following the breakup of her marriage after she discovered her husband cheating on her and his decision to stay with the woman he cheated on her with, her best friend. She has arrived in the small Colorado town of Carnal, and likes the look of it, deciding to try to stay. She applies for a waitress job at the local bar, Bubba's, and gets a room at the local motel. Even before she been there a day she sees a local man Tatum Jackson and takes notice. She isn't looking for a relationship, but she is drawn to him despite herself.
Lauren is a farm-raised girl from a close family, who went on to college and made a corporate career for herself until her divorce. This is a new start for her at 39, and she isn't afraid to take chances. She knows she's a hard worker, and that that can go a long way toward making a new life. What she doesn't have is self-confidence in her own value and attractiveness, and this is what makes the novel deeper than the average romance novel. The personal growth that Lauren undergoes takes the book further than I guessed from the cover.
The suspense element is the serial killer of women that is out there. Tatum is a bounty hunter and has been hunting the killer off and on for a while. When one of the waitresses becomes a victim of his torture, the plot gets a new layer. There is lots going on here with both Lauren and Tatum's families, previous relationships, the biker town setting, and the romance and suspense layers.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.