Deep Seated Passion by Tierney O’Malley
Publisher: eXtasy books
Length: Full length (286 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed By Dianthus
Aaron Hawke is a successful engineer, an overachiever, fiercely independent and cautious man. After eight years of being away, he comes home only to learn that his ex-fiancée who stabs his heart and left love’s bitter taste in his mouth is living and working in his grandfather’s mansion. Aaron quickly decided that she must leave. However, his grandfather’s will has made things complicated—Bronwyn can only leave when she has paid her debt.
Bronwyn Flaherty, a down-to-earth, honest, faithful chatelaine and utterly broke, is miserable. Aaron wants her to pay her debt or start packing. With her hands tied behind her back, she comes up with a solution—sex.
Bronwyn’s bold offer shocks Aaron, but he accepts it. He will use her whenever he gets a chance. Payback time. But two weeks into their agreed one month contract, he’s become entangled in his own seductive game.
Aaron Hawke has been in love with Bronwyn since she was twelve years old. Years later, after spotting her laying in the grass watching the cherry tree, he lost his heart to her completely. Bronwyn hurt and surprised him when, after he asked her to run away with him, she stands him up and then refuses to see him again. The hurt Bronwyn caused all those years ago made Aaron a hard man, fiercely protective of his heart. Still, his one weakness remains -- her. Once Aaron comes back to town after all this time, Bronwyn realizes what she threw away. Can the scars she put on his heart be healed?
Bronwyn has always loved Aaron. When she's confronted with the idea that she might hold him back in life, she forces herself to step back so that he can be the man he was meant to be. Now, after years of dreaming and loving him from afar, Aaron is back. The road to forgiveness is often painful. Putting all the cards on the table, Bronwyn hopes to convince Aaron (and maybe herself) that what she did was what she thought was best for him. Love is on the line and Aaron’s heart and a long awaited HEA is the prize.
One of the hallmarks of Ms. O'Malley's writing is her stellar characterization. I enjoyed the characters very much. Both Aaron and Bronwyn are likable, if not flawed, main characters. This book runs the gamut of emotions. Love. Lust. Deception. Anger. Bitterness. Forgiveness. I became completely invested in them, and had no problem cheering for their HEA. The general premise of the story was great. While I truly liked this book, there was one issue that kept it from being everything I've come to expect from this author. I love Tierney O’Malley’s work and have read a lot of her books but this story too much on the past and not enough on the present story. Usually a book with lots of detail can draw me in, but the characters spent so much time dwelling on the past that the present didn’t stand a chance. I guess what I'm saying is that I'd have liked to have seen a more even distribution of past and present rather than it being so past-heavy.
The thing that keeps bringing me back to Ms. O’Malley’s writing is the way she draws a reader in with her characters and the situations they get into. Investing in her as an author to enjoy is a smart choice and one that I will make again in the future.