Title: Cricket Cove
Author: T.L. Haddix
Series: Firefly Hollow #5
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
The baby of the family, Daddy’s little girl… a lonely woman who deeply, desperately longed to be loved. Amelia Campbell was all that and so much more. A natural Cupid, she’d paired up several couples through the years. The only person she couldn’t seem to find a mate for was herself. Until he came along… the last person in the world she should fall for.
Logan Gibson was as far from Amelia in life experiences as he could be. Battle-scarred and life-hardened, he was having trouble reconciling himself to life as a civilian. He’d seen too much of the dark side of people to believe in what she represented, and he just wanted to be left alone. Instead, he found himself returning to her time and again.
Amelia was well aware he’d never choose someone like her. Logan knew she was too young, too innocent for him. But despite that knowledge, they were drawn to each other. When danger rears its ugly head, it takes both of them to figure out a way to protect her, and when the inevitable happens, all they can do is hold on to each other and hope to survive.
Cricket Cove is the fifth Firefly Hollow book, a romance series with hints of paranormal elements. Set in Appalachia, the series spans decades, with this latest installment taking place in the early 1990s.
Source: Review copy from the author via NetGalley
I really enjoyed my latest trip to Firefly Hollow, and even though I’ve accidentally skipped book 4, I still settled in easily with the Campbells again. That’s one of the things I love best about this series – you can jump in almost anywhere and enjoy it. Yes, it probably works best if you read in order, mostly because it helps to keep everyone and their relation to everyone else straight, but the characters and the setting are so warm that you really can pick up almost any book and still get a lot out of it.
Like this one. Amelia is the baby of the family, but she’s all grown up now. A natural matchmaker, she’s had success with plenty of other people, including her family, but her own romantic fortunes are less lucky. She doesn’t seem to mind, being as loving and generous as ever to those she knows – but inside she’s lonely and has a very low opinion of herself.
I really liked her. She’s always been a breath of fresh air around the family, so I was a little surprised by how much she’s been hiding all these years. Yet that also made her more likeable, because she’s not just pure sunshine pinging around, shedding fairy dust, she’s a real woman. I loved her strength – and her unwillingness to simply forgive Logan because that would be the sweet thing to do.
I liked Logan too, even if he is a bit of an idiot at first when it comes to Amelia. He has a whole heap of daddy issues, which means the feelings Amelia stirs up scares him into saying something cruel – which he then spends a chunk of time atoning for. Which was a good thing, because else this would have been far too much of an instalust story. So even though there is definitely an immediate attraction between them, it does take a while for anything to happen.
Which is this whole book all over. The pace is very slow at times, but that’s not unusual in this series. There’s a lot of family to catch up with and information to hand out, and it’s not in any rush to throw it all at you. I don’t mind this, although there are times when I wondered what, if anything, was going to happen next, especially when the romance is finally heading in the right direction.
Luckily for this book there is a secondary plot – a stalker. Even though this does add a bit more depth to the action, it is very much in the background for most of the book. There are some tense moments, but it never quite escalates into a full out romantic suspense read. Mostly it gives Amelia and Logan a reason to put aside some of their problems and work together, which is always a good thing.
The only thing I wasn’t in love with was the paranormal element. This series has always had it, subtle though it frequently is. I was pretty excited when I realised both Amelia and Logan are shifters, but it doesn’t really play any part and that made me a little sad. I also wanted to know whether their different beasts (wolf and cougar) might have played a part in their initial prickliness, but no one even thought of it. It’s not a major drawback, but I would have liked more.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this. It is definitely one of my favourites from the series and easily reminded me of why I love this family so much. It’s warm and enjoyable, real and romantic, with enough darkness to stop it from becoming saccharine. If you love a good family saga, or even just good romances, and don’t mind a massive cast and a slower pace, then give this whole series a try. I’m always glad I did.
Cricket Cove is Out Now.
Visit T.L. Haddix for more details.