Published by Independent on October 9th 2013
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She needed to risk the truth to get a second chance...
Poppy Ericksen had spent the year wondering how all their lives might have been different after hearing the deathbed confession of her childhood friend. She'd left South Dakota years ago because she couldn't bear to watch the man she loved loving another woman. But now she knows the truth. She'll keep the promise she made to a friend, but will Logan understand when he learns the truth? More important, can they again recapture the passion that had been between them all those years ago?
He needed to face the past to get the love of a woman he thought he'd lost..
Everyone knows that the Dakotas didn't get the name Badlands for nothing. Harsh weather and rough living are a way of life. But single dad, Logan McKinnon, had seen more than his share of bad times after the death of his wife a year ago. The last thing he needs is Poppy Ericksen, an old flame and his late wife's best friend, showing up unannounced to help after devastating floods nearly washed away their hometown. With no place to stay in town, he has no choice but to offer her a bed at his house. But can he live under the same roof with a woman he'd once loved passionately without feeling he's betraying his late wife?
Hi all! Super happy to share a guest post by Lisa Mondello about her new DAKOTA HEARTS series along with a review of book one: HER DAKOTA MAN. Enjoy! 🙂
Guest Post by Lisa Mondello
The Story Behind the Dakota Hearts Series by Lisa Mondello
My readers are always asking me where the ideas for my stories come from. I always feel like I’m disappointing them when I say they come from everywhere. But they do. Some stories come from very obscure things. They start out as a small seed of a thought while I’m doing the dishes or reading something on Internet and then they grow.
When I wrote ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU (currently free on Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords) I was nursing a stray kitten back to health after it had been attacked by a neighbor’s dog. Suddenly, Max the stray cat became Max the stray St. Bernard as I was singing the Mariah Carey song, All I Want for Christmas is You…in August. The story just grew from there.
For my DAKOTA HEARTS series it was a little more personal. Two years ago my small Massachusetts town was hit with an F3 Tornado. Massachusetts is #47 on the list of likely states to have a tornado so we were all unprepared for the devastation. Until that point I’d only seen houses ripped apart and whole forests leveled on television. In the span of minutes, my beautiful town was scarred.
When something like that happens, it leaves a mark on you. I knew people whose homes had been destroyed. I worried over people that I cared about until they were able to check in and I knew they were okay. I cried as I drove through town and saw the destruction. But when I think about the moments that followed that tornado and the moments that stretched on for months and months after, I think of the beautiful humanity of a community banning together and rebuilding, and the outpouring of help from people all over the country.
This is where the inspiration for the DAKOTA HEARTS series came from. Certain parts of the United State have very harsh weather than can wreak havoc for the people who live there. The Dakotas have definitely seen their share. I envisioned a fictitious town near the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota, a small community like where I live, and how they would come together after a particular harsh year of weather turned their world’s upside down. I centered the stories around the McKinnon family. But there will be others who you’ll be introduced to alone the way that will tug at your hearts.
HER DAKOTA MAN is currently available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes and Smashwords. Book 2, BADLAND BRIDE is available for Pre-Order at Amazon and will be available everywhere else November 27.
I don’t often read “out in out” romance books very often and I’m not the biggest fan of the bare-chested man book covers but I took a leap of faith that HER DAKOTA MAN may have a deeper more emotional edge to it than its cover portrayed and happily I was rewarded.
Poppy, Kelly and Logan have been friends since childhood. Despite an unmistakeable connection between Poppy and Logan it was Kelly who ended up triumphant on Logan’s arm as Poppy leaves town. Years later Kelly has met an untimely death and Logan struggling as a widower to raise their beloved son Keith has his world turned upside down by Poppy’s return. Asked to hear her best friend’s death bed confession Poppy cannot wait any longer to confront the past and uncover the truth and the life she could have had with her true love.
HER DAKOTA MAN is a sweet, second chance romance that was easy to lose yourself in. Poppy was an interesting character, I liked the immediate connection she had with Logan and Kelly’s son Keith and her willingness to show love and forgiveness despite being dealt a hand of betrayal by the one person she should have been able to trust the most. It was clear to see how much pain and distrust at the idea of happiness again that Logan felt despite the feelings he has harboured for Poppy since childhood. As the lies of the past are revealed and the tentative steps towards a life of love and trust are taken we see the effects of forgiveness and letting go of the guilt that plagues the memories of the past which was heart warming and enjoyable to read.
I also liked the descriptions of life in South Dakota and the community and friendship that exists as the townsfolk don’t hesitate to support each other in times of need.
HER DAKOTA MAN was a sweet and sensual romance layered with emotion and an enjoyable short read.
USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Lisa Mondello, has held many jobs in her life but being a published authors is the last job she’ll ever have. She’s not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she’d still be penning stories with paper and pen. Her first book, All I Want for Christmas is You won Best First Book in the Golden Quill. Her books have finaled in the HOLT Medallion, and the Colorado Award of Excellence contests. In 2011 she re-released her award winning book All I Want for Christmas is You along with a re-issue of her romantic comedy, The Marriage Contract, with a new contemporary romance called The Knight and Maggie’s Baby. In 2012 she reissued the first 3 books of her popular Western Romance Series TEXAS HEARTS including Her Heart for the Asking, His Heart for the Trusting and The More I See. Writing as LA Mondello, her romantic suspense, MATERIAL WITNESS, book 1 of her Heroes of Providence series made the USA TODAY Bestsellers List. You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at lisamondello.blogspot.com.