Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Sweetheart for the Single Dad - Victoria Pade (HSE #2428 - Sept 2015)

Series: Camdens of Colorado (Book 8)

All Is Fair In Love And War!

How can a woman complete a task when the subject looks like him? Lindie Camden must keep her eyes on the prize to win Sawyer Huffman as a client and amend their familial dispute that dates back generations. But when she's hit with the single dad's gentle heart and his oh-too-kissable mouth, her idea of "the prize" shifts all too easily…

She expects to volunteer in the community center wearing that? There was no denying Sawyer's appreciation of seeing Lindie in her figure-hugging clothes, but he's less impressed with the reason behind the outfits. Despite the initial success of their seductive ploy, he won't allow the Camdens to weasel themselves into business with him. Because the only kind of deal he wanted to make with Lindie involved white lace…and promises…

Good enemies to friends to lovers story. The Camden family has been on a quiet crusade to try to right some of the wrongs done by their fathers and grandfather in their business practices. Each of the younger Camdens has had their assignment and now it is Lindie's turn. It seems that her uncle had used underhanded business practices to drive a wedge between Sawyer's dad and his fiancee - who her uncle wanted for himself. Those actions nearly destroyed his business and took years for him to overcome. Now Sawyer fights for the little guys whose lives and businesses are wrecked when a Camden superstore comes to town. Lindie's job is to convince Sawyer to back off and to offer him a job working for the Camdens instead of against them.

Lindie knows she's in trouble the minute she gets a good look at Sawyer. Trying to keep her mind on her goal is really hard when she's constantly distracted by how good looking he is. Sawyer has a similar problem, finding Lindie too gorgeous for his peace of mind. 

I really had fun with the relationship between these two. Lindie is up front with Sawyer about what she wants from him, and he is equally honest in telling her that it isn't going to happen. He challenges her to step away from her ivory tower and see the results of her family's activities. What he doesn't know is that Lindie has what may be the world's softest heart, and seeing what is going on makes her want to fix it. Her family isn't too happy with her when she confronts them with what she has found out, especially since that soft heart of hers gets her into trouble on a regular basis. I liked seeing Lindie surprise Sawyer with her willingness to get her hands dirty and how that softens his attitude a bit toward her (but not her mission).

The more time they spend together, the closer they get. But there are some serious obstacles to anything permanent between them, outside of the family feud. Sawyer has very definite ideas of the type of woman he wants in his life, thanks to having been burned once too often by "drama queens". He also has a four year old son who is a big part of his life, one whose mother is talking about moving across the country. Lindie has even more deep-seated issues. As one of ten kids raised by her grandmother after their parents died, she has always felt somewhat insecure in her place in the family. She worries about kids having to fight for attention from parents, especially kids that are only half siblings or who only see a parent sometimes. She has sworn she would never get involved with a man who already had a child who would have to compete for attention with her children, which puts Sawyer on the "no" list. Unfortunately, her heart isn't paying attention.

There were some fantastic scenes of the tenderhearted Lindie jumping in to try to fix something that she sees happening, and Sawyer trying to rein her in, explaining how she might complicate matters even further. There are also some wonderful conversations between them as they get to know each other, and some lighthearted teasing as they poke at each other's foibles. As time goes on, Sawyer starts to realize that he wants Lindie in his life in spite of the problems he sees. At the same time, Lindie wants the same thing, but only sees how impossible those problems are to overcome. It isn't until a discussion with the women in her family makes her see that the feud issue can be dealt with. And an honest look at her insecurities makes her realize that she had been basing a lot on "what ifs". I loved the ending and seeing how they both came to the same conclusion at nearly the same time. I would have liked to see the first Sunday dinner that Sawyer came to though.

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