Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Tru Flame by Edie Danford


In the final chapter of the Ember Peak series, Tru and Jones face an unexpected challenge on their road to happy ever after.

Tru and Jones never expected riding off into the sunset to be easy. Their relationship’s script has never been silver-screen smooth or shiny. But dealing with life’s boulders, washouts, and irksome little details seems downright easy now…because they’re facing each bump in the road together.

But when Tru’s sister announces she wants—and desperately needs—him and Jones to adopt her baby, the new couple’s notions of family, home, their upcoming marriage, and even living at Ember Peak are flung into chaos.

They’ve defined themselves as lovers, partners, and future husbands—but are they ready, and do they even want to be, fathers? If they are to form a forever family, Tru and Jones will have to help each other navigate a new path they never expected to travel. 

5 Stars!!!

An amazing end to this series. I admit to being a tiny bit more 'Team Jones' than 'Team Tru', but this made me a total convert to 'Team Hudson-Larkin'. 

This is the final book (for now? I live in hope of many novellas/snippets of these guys!) in the Ember Peak series, which can't be read as a standalone, as this follows on closely from book 2 and ties up the series in the very best kind of HEA. I loved the other books, but this one has a certain little something that comes from the certainty of being loved, loving just as much, sealing that love, envisioning a clear and lifelong future together, and getting some icing on the Hudson-Larkin cake. And yes, there was a double helping of delicious cake, sealed with some amazing icing!

So, yes, the blurb pretty much tells you most of how the tale pans out, and the guys have no choice but to adjust to being fathers, which was easier on one than on the other. I loved that there didn't need to be a discussion about custody of the baby, but I also appreciated that the truth came out and that both Tru and Jones made their feelings clear. These guys might have their differences of opinions, but what always shines through is how much they love each other, and what they'd do for each other, to make each other happy. I loved that neither did any hard ultimatums, and that even when Tru went into fix-it mode and planned all, he realised belatedly that he was railroading Jones and slowed down, backtracked and made sure that they talked and made things right. He also went through a period of self contemplation and came to the perfect realisation for him, for Jones and for the baby, that had me going, 'aaah' and smiling like a loon. I loved, loved, loved the baby-bonding scenes and how Tru exorcised stuff that had caused part of him to be closed off for so long. And no, he didn't become a totally changed guy overnight, simply one who'd come to the realisation of what mattered most to him. 

The sex in this is as hot as ever, but not all that frequent as the baby takes over their lives, understandably. But, there are a couple of smoking hot scenes, including one that I'd never have envisaged (to do with the solemnisation of vows), in a place that brought them full circle, a place where previously there had been a time limit on what they could have, but where they changed things for the rest of their lives together.  It seemed fitting that they come full circle in the most romantic, amazing, healing and connecting way they did and their words to each other were real and meaningful. This was the stuff of ROMANCE, not just romance - I wish we had this kind of marriage solemnisation in the UK! 

I can't spoil this tale for you, but there are several helpings of AMAZING in it, and I couldn't have asked for more for these guys. 

I am a little sad that the series has ended, as Tru, and especially Jones, captured my heart and imagination from the first few pages of book 1, but who knows? There's so much more that could be written about them, about the life they're starting together and I only hope that the author gives us some glimpses of their future, the milestones to come in their lives and their HEA.

ARC courtesy of Bayou Book Junkie and Edie Danford, for my reading pleasure. 

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Tru Flame is Book 3, and sadly, the final book in Edie Danford's Ember Peak series and must be read in the appropriate order.  Don't skip around, or not read previous books, this whole series follows one couple and it absolutely must be read in order!

Tru and Jones relationship faces more challenges when Sandra decides to leave her newborn with them and tells them either they adopt the baby or the baby will be adopted by strangers.  Tru goes from doting uncle in the baby's life at the discovery to someone who sees a new obligation he has to throw money at.  And I've honestly always liked Tru and understood where he was coming from, but in this book I was seriously not liking him.  It turns out Tru still has a lot of baggage to work through and becoming a father has sent him back to the jerk we originally met in Book 1.  And though Jones loves the thought of being a father, he finds himself a single father having to rely on everyone on the ranch for help in taking care of the baby.  Tru's checked out until he has no choice but to step up and take care of Sammy and I think that was the best thing that happened.  Once Tru's made the decision to be the father, it was all that was needed to put Tru and Jones back in sync.  

I think for many of us, Sandra's behavior is just so crazy to accept and she gave no thought to any one but herself.  But, I kind of saw this coming.  She knew her brother and Jones.  She knew if she tried to talk to them about what she wanted that they wouldn't listen.  They'd promise help and try to fix everything, but wouldn't listen to what she really wanted.  She knew what her mental health needs were and made the necessary arrangements for the sake of the baby.  Sure, she knew Jones and Tru would never allow her baby to be adopted by strangers, but she still felt that was a better option than her raising the child.  She recognized where she was mentally, and what she was capable of.  Did she handle it poorly, yes, but I felt that she was doing what was necessary for the baby's future.

Though I loved this story by the end of it, and I absolutely adored seeing Jones and Tru become fathers, I also questioned why Ms. Danford hated Tru and Jones so much!  I mean, come on, you couldn't just let them have their HEA without throwing their world into chaos again?  I know this is the final book in the series, but I really do hope that we get future Jones and Tru sightings!   

Rating:  5 stars!

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