Two-time ex-con Camden Sanders has decided that Hog Mountain—an isolated community on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia—is the perfect place to continue running small scams without the threat of more prison time. But there are a few problems with this plan. One is the neighborly citizens of Hog Mountain thwarting his dirty dealings at every turn with their kindness. Another is Jackson Rhodes, a closeted Hog Mountain police officer who can see right through Cam’s good ol’ boy act and plans to catch him red-handed despite the attraction they both can feel. But the biggest problem of all is that Cam’s past is threatening to catch up with him, and it could mean trouble for more than just himself.
Can I tell you a secret? I was afraid of this book. Which sounds completely irrational when I say that out loud, but we’re all friends here, right? So I know you won’t judge me when I tell you I really really wanted to read this story but I was chewing my lip before chapter one was over. I was nervous it might be too dark for my mood; I was scared I wouldn’t like the tarnished MC, and I figured it was going to swerve sharply one way or the other at the love hate intersection. Barely a quarter in and all my fears came true. I wasn’t that I just didn’t like Cam but I despised him. My throat was tight, my stomach roiled and I thought about taking a break. However, the writing was smooth and I held onto the hope that it was clever craftiness of the author which made me feel so ill. Bravo. If the goal was to have me hate Camden Sanders, it was a success. And then it happened. My favorite thing!! Huffman-Black twisted my disgust into affection and before I knew it, I was picking up my pom-poms and cheering for Cam.
People can change. Faith, trust and love are powerful and a potent combination. And curve balls flying out of books kick ass.
Right or wrong. Good or evil. Perhaps I should exchange the ‘or’ for ‘and’ because I believe we all own both good and bad. Cam Sanders has made many mistakes in his life but his biggest mistake was thinking he could continue to feed his wicked side while surrounded by goodness. It was easy to lie, cheat and steal when his backyard was vast and unknown but when he decided to plant roots in a small quiet town his entire world shifted on its axis. Trusting old ladies should be an easy mark, dirty kids with an empty belly should be an annoyance, and the local boy in blue should be anything but a magnet. Should, should, should. Nothing is going according to his plan. He had a great plan, right? Keep his head down, keep running his shifty schemes and hide from his past. Too bad his past is like a pesky shadow he can’t shake.
Jackson loves his town and the people in it. Admiring his father and his work it only seemed natural for him to follow his daddy’s footsteps in law enforcement. The crime rate in Hog Mountain has always been at a barely there mark and this suits Jackson just fine. When a sexy heavily inked stranger moves into town, Jackson itches with unease. He can’t tell if his assumptions are justified but he sure as hell can’t deny his fierce attraction to this ‘bad boy’. For a town with no secrets, he’s successfully hidden his and has no plans to reveal it. But sometimes secrets have a way of slipping out regardless of our desires.
I can close my eyes and see Hog Mountain. It’s created with such fine detail I feel like I know it, as if I’ve been there. I adore the nosy neighbors and overbearing family. I love the lessons and the unconditional love. I’m so happy Cam mistook this community as one to vanish into because fortunately for him, nothing goes unnoticed in Hog Mountain. It was pure circumstance that brought him into the limelight and then his conscious got the better of him. I loved watching him squirm. Babysitter? Caretaker? What! Who do these people think he is? Turns out, they know him better than he knows himself.
Opposites collide (as clothes are destroyed), good overcomes evil (in a heart stopping way), and love prevails (by the skin of their teeth). The storytelling blew me away. It’s not an easy feat turning my stubborn feelings from one corner of the ring to the other. I was angry and anxious and finally awestruck. What a phenomenal debut novel! It was an intense emotional roller coaster. Count in me for whatever’s next to come in JHB’s bookshelf. And…a big shout out for the gorgeous cover!
The snake in the garden. Don’t forget that snakes shed their skin and have the uncanny ability to start anew. A touch of religion plays a small part but it’s neither overbearing or oppressive. I’d also advise you to hang on tight, for shocking scenes may induce book/kindle/nook dropping.
Bad boy lovers, good boy lovers and those that believe change is possible…even when we least expect it.