Y’all. Y’ALL. THIS BOOK. I fell so hard for Ezra and Tuesday. It’s a competition to be my favorite Lauren Dane book but this is currently laminated at the top of the list. I started reading this at the beach a few weeks ago and had to stop because I was with people I needed to be social with. I knew within a few sentences I was going to fall into this one and not surface for hours, so I waited for a recent plane flight. I became the attendent’s favorite passenger because I asked for nothing and barely moved as I lost myself completely to Ezra and Tuesday.
Ezra is the second Hurley brother we get to know in depth. From The Best Kind of Trouble (Paddy and Natalie), we learn that Tuesday is Nat’s best friend and housemate. Her husband died several years back and she has since ended up living with Natalie and running a framing shop, selling custom jewelry on the side. We know Ezra is the true leader of Sweet Hollow Ranch, the brother’s super successful rock band, but now focuses on running the eponymous ranch. He didn’t just hang up his guitar for no reason; he’s a recovering addict who nearly destroyed everything for the life suck that is heroin. The two had an instant and undeniable attraction as soon as they met, and began to dance around each other (taking things “one paragraph at a time” as Ezra tells his brothers) almost immediately.
With that background information out of the way, Dane gets to jump directly into their story and jump in she does. The first bit of this novel overlaps a bit with the previous one, giving us Ezra and Tuesday’s perspective on events. I loved that little touch. As they get to know each other, we get to know more about them. We get to know that their sex is hot and focused, that they have complimentary emotional baggage, that they are hesitant to trust deeply and spend a bit of time warming to each other’s hearts as they warm to each other’s G-spots.
And it’s a Dane book, so of course the sex is explicit and hot. Please. Like she writes anything less than.
What really tipped this book over the edge for me was the very people of Ezra and Tuesday. Ezra’s addition and recovery and journey between those two things was perfectly written. Dane clearly lived inside these people’s heads for a while and knows their ticks and their wounds and predilections. Tuesday’s race – she’s Black – is dealt with in a way I believe to be authentic (being White myself, this could be wrong, but it reads correctly to me based on research and work I’ve done). There’s a scene in a feed store that had to be hard to write and the way Tuesday seeks to re-assure the White people in her life when she was the one assaulted also reads authentic. (Side note: the scene reminded me a bit of that one in Notting Hill when Anna opens the door to the reporters? “I’ve been dealing with this for ten years and you’ve been dealing with it for ten minutes”… that one, you know?)
I finished the book just as the plane was entering it’s initial descent and I clutched my Kindle to my chest and signed happily. I thanked Dane for these people and took a moment with them. Any reader knows what I felt in that moment. And then, of course, I flipped back open my Kindle and started the next book in the trilogy.
Recommended with whiskey. Clearly.
- #CharlestonSyllabus: If you’re new to knowledge about race relations in America, please start here.
- Benefits of physical activity when in addiction recovery: This is key to Ezra’s new sense of self and he’s not alone
- Ranching 101: How to become your own rancher!
I got a copy of this book from the eBook section of my local library. Thanks, Andrew Carnegie!