What they say:
After her mother’s tragic death, Dani Wilde had no choice but to abandon her dreams. She left Columbia University and returned to her family’s Montana cherry farm, intent on being a maternal figure to her brothers. Now the kids are grown, and it’s finally her time to fly. Her sights are on New York City, and nothing will stop her—not even an old flame with gorgeous green eyes.
Celebrity photographer Ben Denton hasn’t seen Montana in years—and hasn’t spoken to Dani since “that night” so long ago. When he discovers he’s a dad to a four-year-old—and the child’s mother refuses to care for her—Montana and the Wilde farm spring to mind. The orchard is the only place that’s ever felt like home, but will the warmth of the Wilde family be enough to help Ben figure out how to be a father?
As the Wilde family gathers for the yearly cherry harvest and Dani struggles to figure out what she really wants in life, she discovers the shocking truth about her own mother—and learns that following her heart may lead her to her dreams after all.
First off thanks to Net Galley who provided me with a free copy of this book from Montlake Romance in return for an honest review. I received no compensation and was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
I’m very torn on this one. The book opened with us meeting the main character, Dani Wilde. Straight away, we are thrown into their family world, with Dani acting as mother for her family. The start of the book presented me with a bit of a problem. A lot of names are thrown about very quickly, and the result was, to be honest, quite disorientating. Conversely, the opening descriptions, of the house and surrounding land, are beautiful, and captivating.
The book is told from Dani’s viewpoint, and that of Ben, an old flame. I’m afraid this was also where the book fell for me. I could not warm to Dani. Everything was black and white. She had an opinion on everything, some of them coupled with an analysis that would be more suited to someone with a psychology award. I found her to be pushy, especially on issues of parenting, where she was always in the right. In fact, a lot of the book consisted of me waiting for Dani to have her moment of clarity and realise that she was being unfair.
The family issues that were brought to light further magnified this. I thought that Dani made everything about her while her brothers and father looked on and apologised for things they didn’t need to. This coincided with her love interest, Ben, constantly reiterating how hard everything was for Dani. Ben was my turning point. Their relationship was lovely, the connection there from the off and I really enjoyed it. There were some lovely romantic moments and his story was great. I also loved the two children and all the talk of romance, princes and fairytales.
Of course, the main pull was the family story. I loved hearing all of the brothers speaking. It was gripping and I really looked forward to hearing what had happened all those years ago. I was a little disappointed by the opinions of the family members on the mother’s story, again it was too black and white, compounded by Ben’s reaction when he found it out. I do not dispute any facts involved, I solely dispute that it is all that clear cut.
This led me into the role of women in this story. Dani (childless): martyr. On the other hand ALL of the mothers were portrayed in the exact same light (no spoilers here so I’ll let oyu see for yourself!).
So this is why I’m torn. Amazing descriptions (I really was transported to their beautiful house and orchard), brilliant story-line, but then the bias outlined above.
Rating: Apologetically, a 3/5 and yet I have to label this a must read, I’d LOVE to hear what others think of it.