REVIEW & EXCEPT ~ TIMID by Devney Perry

 

Willa Doon has always been shy. Her quiet demeanor was something she’s always embraced. That is, until Jackson Page moves to town. The one man she desperately wants to take notice struggles to remember her name.

Year after year, Willa stands by, watching as the bartender slash playboy drowns his demons in beer and sex. Then one night, he shows up at her door, suddenly aware that the girl he’s seen around Lark Cove is now a beautiful woman.

Except what he doesn’t remember is that this visit isn’t his first. They spent a night together once before. A night he’s forgotten, thanks to a bottle of tequila.

A night that crushed a timid girl’s heart, and set a broken man on the path to heal them both.

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4.5 Stars ~ Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF

Perry writes such lovely stories and true to her descriptive style and storytelling technique, the second stand-alone novel in the Lark Cove series is just as unputdownable as was Tattered. Her characters are just as engaging too, but let’s talk about the cover! Willa Doon looking out to sea gave me the impression she was trying to find herself and maybe she is because she’s an awfully timid lass. Like watching a butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, she eventually spreads her wings and catches the attention of the man she’s been crushing on for what seemed like forever. I also love books which focus on family life and wasn’t let down as Perry gave me plenty of that. However, what makes things more intriguing is there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand, Willa couldn’t wish for more loving parents; unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Jackson Page.

‘The timid blond girl? She was the science teacher’s daughter and a kid. There was no way Willa was this gorgeous woman.’ 

Willa. An unusual name and not to be confused with Willow is the quiet one in her group of friends. Trying to take her besties’ good-natured ribbing as it comes, more often than not they get her blushing with their innuendos or worse, cause frustration. What I did find a tad strange was why she had trouble overcoming her shyness, seeing as she works with kids, has abounding enthusiasm for her job and in her mid-twenties. Having said that, the folk in her small cozy seaside town can count on her for just about anything. When Jackson makes a move, she can’t believe her luck, her dream’s come true. Ahh, if it were that easy, we wouldn’t have a story, now would we! The book fire’s up from here on in and me; well, I totally understood her annoyance and happy she’d stuck to her guns. This is where Willa’s hidden personality wakes up, showing me she could stand up for herself. Not one to be taken for a fool, she’d make Jackson work to get back into her good books, and I loved it.

“Why couldn’t my friends just be supportive? Why did they always make me feel ridiculous and naïve?” 

Jackson being in a bit of a tight spot made me smile. All of a sudden, he’s getting the cold shoulder and trying to fathom out why Willa doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. Déjà vu feelings run riot. As his confusion was worthy of scrutiny, I found myself wanting to know more about this drop-dead gorgeous hunk of a man. Ooh my, no wonder Willa had been smitten with him! But it won’t be until quite a way into the story that he discovers what he’d done to deserve her aloofness. And for him, it was quite the shocker! His playboy reputation doesn’t help matters either and if he wants to calm turbulent waters, he’ll have to do things he’s never, ever had to do before.

“…I know I’ve slipped a few times and called her Willow. But in my defense, I’ve always sucked at remembering names.” 

I really liked Jackson’s close-knit friends who he totally relies on. His backstory unravels slowly and not one to open up, only they know why he acts the way he does. When one has had so much to contend with in the past, it reflects on the present and this is where Perry’s exquisite writing explores his thoughts to a tee. His need for a quiet drama free life, the respect shown towards everyone in town, and a job he felt comfortable with meant more to me than perhaps, his lack of ambition. It definitely shaped the narrative, his persona revealing a character with its weaknesses and strengths. For this reason, I felt Timid was more his story than Willa’s.

“Then you’re part of this family, and when one of us is having a hard time, we talk it through.” 

A slight age gap; a first love, a romance that’s steered through a bumpy road and supported from differing viewpoints kept me on my toes, especially when emotions ran high. Fabulous banter exceeded my wishes, and just enough steaminess in the right places couldn’t have been better. The secondary characters are a very likable lot, except one who sparked disdain. And the setting…wow! Perry enhanced it in such a way that I felt as if I were there, enjoying the stunning surroundings. The pace of the story isn’t exactly a fast one; however, from the first page to an epilogue which brought out all the feels, enthralled me. Bravo Perry and looking forward to Tragic.


EXCERPT 

© 2018 Devney Perry
All rights reserved.

 
I scooched my chair in toward the table, trying to put a little more space between Jackson and me, but he wasn’t having it.He put both hands on the back of my chair, then leaned in close. “Hi, Willa.”“Uh . . . hi.” I shivered at the heat from his chest on my bare shoulders.Why was he standing so close? My parents were right there. Our table was one of four tall, square ones in the center of the room and there was plenty of space between tables.Plenty. P-L-E-N-T-Y.But was Jackson using any of that plentiful space?No sirree. He stayed pressed against the back of my chair, like there were only three inches of usable space behind him, not three feet.

My skin prickled he was so close. I tried to nudge my chair forward again but it barely moved. Sweat beaded on my temples and I pulled in a shaking breath.

Jackson’s woodsy, rich scent was everywhere. It overpowered the stale beer, pizza and peanuts, and I inhaled a deep breath, unable to resist.

Sexy Hot Forest. That’s what they’d call his cologne.

 

 

Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media.

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