So I like this book a lot even though there are a lot of reasons I shouldn't. This book has some major red flags, particularly in the way David treats Brianna early on and I really don't think I was satisfied with how it worked out in that respect. That being said, Catherine Anderson does everyone a service in that once her initial lie is exposed, Brianna goes to great pains not to lie to David again, even when he is particularly unkind to her about that honesty. I liked the subplots and supporting cast, and I think the overall resolution was fine. I'm just not sure I'm sold on the romance. The characters and the story itself save a lot of it.
David is one of those actively awful heroes that goes about his business making decisions for everyone else. I have no real issue with him until he shows up in Glory Ridge and immediately allows Daphne to think he's her father without talking to Brianna first. I get that there's a resemblance, and I like that it gives Brianna enough of a pause to realize that David's got his reasons, but the way he just inserts himself into this little girl's life gives me a bad feeling.
And then he systematically destroys any chance Brianna had of staying in Glory Ridge and makes it clear that he'll be taking his daughter with him. He's a man in this situation, and he holds all the power. David, for me, never recovers from this early behavior. Brianna has no choice but to follow him, and even when she works up the courage to tell him the truth, he mocks her. It's upsetting for everyone.
I also didn't like the way he treated Hazel Wright, a woman he was courting and to whom he nearly proposed marriage to. Hazel wasn't a nice person, but that's not the point. David didn't give her a second thought, and there are moments when I'm on her side. (Until the end, of course, but I'm not sure I blame her at some points.)
This romance leaves me with the same sensation Keegan's Lady did. David eventually learns that Brianna was telling the truth all along. Not because he believes her, but he because he has her story investigated. So that's another strike. He tells her he's in love with her anyway, and she loves him, too, so they're going to make it work. That's great, but I kind of want the same opportunity for Brianne that I wanted for Caitlin. I feel like they're both making the best of a crappy situation which neither of them chose. Sure, Ace and David are good fathers and relatively okay husbands, but I wish that Brianne and Caitlyn had had more agency overall, and been given as many choices as Ace and David did.
So the characters and story are good, I just don't feel like the romance is earned by the end.
Overall Response So I like this book a lot even though there are a lot of reasons I shouldn't. This book has some major red flags, particularly in the way David treats Brianna early on and I ...