Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Release Day Review: Crocus by Amy Lane #Review #Giveaway

Author: Amy Lane
Title: Crocus
Series: Bonfire #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Length: 244 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Saying “I love you” doesn’t guarantee peace or a happy ending.

High School Principal “Larx” Larkin was pretty sure he'd hit the jackpot when Deputy Sherriff Aaron George moved in with him, merging their two families as seamlessly as the chaos around them could possibly allow.

But when Larx’s pregnant daughter comes home unexpectedly and two of Larx’s students are put in danger, their tentative beginning comes crashing down around their ears.

Larx thought he was okay with the dangers of Aaron’s job, and Aaron thought he was okay with Larx's daughter—who is not okay—but when their worst fears are almost realized, it puts their hearts and their lives to the test. Larx and Aaron have never wanted anything as badly as they want a life together. Will they be able to make it work when the world is working hard to keep them apart?

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Bonfires by Amy Lane was one of my favorite books of 2017. Larx and Aaron captured my heart, and I fell so in love with them, their family and friends, and their town of Colton. When I found out there was going to be a second book (and I hope a 3rd or more?) well, excited is an understatement. Crocus was everything I hoped it would be ... and so much more. Larx and Aaron are just as awesome, the kids just as fabulous, and the issues Amy addresses timely and relevant. 

The thing I most love about Larx and Aaron and their story is that these guys are NOT spring chickens. Nope, they are single dad's in their late forties looking 50 right in the face. There's gray hair, not being able to eat the things you once loved, and falling asleep together in front of the TV a rocking night. It's real and just so ordinary. That's not to say that the happenings Larx and Aaron find themselves involved in are exactly the things you see every day, but they COULD be and that's what's important and makes this series so relatable. In Crocus, Amy focuses on clinical depression, the trials and perils of dealing with Child Protective Services--the good and the bad side of this much needed and flawed entity, and abuse. It's a lot, yes, but in true Amy Lane style it's handled deftly and with care and honesty. This is something else Amy excels at--she doesn't sugarcoat the hard stuff. 

I'm not going to give you a book report on the whats and whos and whys that go on in Crocus. You get a really clear picture from the blurb, and if you've read Bonfires (and if not, fix that ASAP) then you know what to expect from these families. Lots of banter and sarcasm and love. There is drama, sometimes a bit over the top, but it was never too much to take away from the underlying connection between Larx and Aaron, or the love and commitment they have to one another. One of my favorite parts involved the story arc following Olivia and her surprise appearance on Larx's doorstep, pregnant and in a flood of tears and luggage. Her issues dealing with depression were handled so well. There are a few very welcome chapters told from her point of view, and I felt these gave us readers a really great insight into her as well as to the others. For me, it's always fun and different when we're treated to an outsiders perspective, and her thoughts and opinions about her dad and Aaron were lovely and heartfelt. 

So yeah, I still love Larx and Aaron and the rest of the blended family. I love their friends, especially Yoshi, and I am so glad that there is at least one more book to come (per Amy!). Crocus is a story of family and love and acceptance. It's about overcoming obstacles and keeping what's important at the forefront. It's about love. So, so much love. Be sure to check out this book and series, you won't be sorry if you do! 


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