By Kim Law
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Ben Denton is no stranger to abandonment. As a child, his movie star mother had little time for him. After his grandmother's death, when seven-year-old Ben was forced to leave his grandparents' ranch and live with his mother in Hollywood, the only times he felt part of a family were when he was with his college buddy, Gabe Wilde's family at their Montana home. He hasn't seen them in ten years - his celebrity photographer lifestyle takes him around the world - but when his life's turned upside down with the discovery of an unknown child, he turns to the best family he knows...to the woman he never quite forgot...and heads for Montana.
It's immediately apparent that the connection between Ben and Dani is still there. Their attraction for one another sizzles and the friendship that was always strong and easy, flourishes. They both understand that nothing can come of it, of course. In a few short weeks, Dani will move to the other side of the country. Ben isn't interested in having his, or his daughter's, heart broken. But the more time they spend together, the more invested they become in the relationship. Are they headed for a happy ending or will someone's heart be shattered?
In Montana Cherries, Law has created a complex, compelling drama that encompasses not only our romantic couple but the entire Wilde family. To the outside world, the Wildes have always presented the picture of the perfect, happy, cohesive unit. They've been well trained, even if Dani doesn't consciously remember that training. But the tides are shifting, bringing dark secrets and memories consigned to the deep recesses of Dani's mind floating back to the surface. Dani's brothers are keeping secrets from her. Not that they are intentionally trying to exclude her. No, what they are trying to do is protect her - they've spent the past fourteen years protecting her, even if she doesn't know that - and ensure that, after giving so much of herself to them over the years, she will now have the opportunity to follow her dreams to New York. They want nothing to stand in her way but, slowly, in bits and pieces, truths begin to emerge; truths that will not only impact Dani's relationships with her father and brothers but will challenge her own self-worth as well as her place in the family and, of course, her relationship with Ben. In light of what she learns, will she choose to give her relationship with Ben a chance? Will she even be capable of the love and trust required?
Montana Cherries is one of the best books I've read this year. Mental illness is a topic that is often misunderstood; hidden behind closed doors or spoken of in whispers, if it's brought out at all but Law faces it head-on in this complex and compelling story. It's impact is felt throughout the Wilde family, from their father to Dani and all four of her brothers. It has had a direct and lasting effect on their lives, impacting each of them in a different way. There's Dani's father, who has spent much of his life hiding from the truth, pretending that if he didn't acknowledge the problems, they didn't exist. Her brother Gabe's marriage is imploding; his choice of wife eerily similar to their mother. One brother has distanced himself from the family, another shut himself off from his emotions while the youngest has dived into the field of psychology in an attempt to understand a parent who could never love him. These are not perfect characters. They are all flawed, their relationships often messy, but they are real. I know this from experience. I didn't always like Dani's actions but, as the truths of her past were unveiled, I understood them. I adored Ben, especially his commitment to his daughter and his determination to "get it right" even when he had no idea how to do that. My heart ached for him and Dani as they both struggled with the fall-out of her family's revelations.
Montana Cherries is marketed as a stand-alone but I do hope that Kim Law will consider more stories for this family. I so want all of them to find happiness and I have no doubt that their journeys would be just as complex, compelling, emotionally wrenching, and rewarding, as Dani and Ben's. I appreciate that Law didn't take the easy road with their journey. There was a point where she could have but she chose to keep it real. Sometimes, we have to travel through the storm to find the light.
Montana Cherries is a book that should not be missed. It has my highest recommendation.
Do you like your contemporary romances light and frothy or rich and deeply emotional? Or, like me, do you enjoy a bit of both?
Do you like a series centered around siblings?
The Wilde family owns a cherry orchard. What's your favorite cherry treat?
I have a signed copy of Montana Cherries that will go to one randomly selected person who leaves a comment on today's post. (US/Canada only)
There is also a tour giveaway with these prizes: a Kim Law tote bag filled with swag, one $25 Amazon gift card, and one $10 Amazon gift card.
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As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in the sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a college degree in mathematics and then worked as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, has been a finalist for the prestigious RWA RITA Award, and has served in varied positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.