MaKayla Adams has always been curious about the wild side of life. Making love with her late husband wasn’t exciting, and she never could understand the big deal…until hunky nightclub owner Dustin James hires her as a public relations consultant. His touch arouses feelings she’s never known, and his kiss tempts her to cross the line between business and pleasure.
Dustin doesn’t remember the car accident that put him in a coma three years ago, but since his recovery, he’s pushed his own needs aside to be a single father to his young daughter. When MaKayla offers to help publicize his country nightclub, however, she ignites deeper feelings he can’t ignore.
But there is more than mutual attraction between MaKayla and Dustin—there is a shared past connected to her husband’s death. Will the truth bring them together or tear them apart?
She tilted her head toward his touch. “We do have an unusual chemistry, but anything more between us would complicate things.”
“In what ways?”
“Alex wouldn’t understand. Not to mention Paul’s parents.”
“What about what MaKayla wants?”
A loaded question she didn’t know how to answer. She wanted what she couldn’t have—not to be alone, the noises in her backyard to go away, a husband to spoil, and another child to mother.
“It doesn’t matter what I want. What matters is doing the right thing.”
“Even if it means being unhappy? When was the last time you did something for MaKayla without worrying about consequences?” He rolled his tongue and smiled.
“There was liquor involved. Otherwise, I never would have growled at you.”
She shrugged. “Because it’s inappropriate.”
He cupped her cheeks between his palms. “I find you sexy as hell and I’m going to kiss you. The time to stop me would be right now.”
The Patriot Girl by Toni Lynn Cloutier is a contemporary romance about a man and a woman, both in their forties, both single parents. The story kicks off with an immediate bang! A tense bank robbery introduces heroine MaKayla Adams to hero Dustin James. Dustin acts to protect MaKayla from a robber. The plot proceeds from a great start to provide the reader with a tale of action, suspense, and good old fashioned romantic chemistry.
MaKayla is a widow, raising a teenage son, and trying to start her own business. She doesn't want romantic complications in her life and attempts to keep Dustin at arm's length when he becomes the first client of her fledgling PR business. MaKayla is a great heroine. She's smart, likeable and compassionate. I loved the fact that she's a protective mom doing her best to do right by her child.
Dustin is the dedicated father to his daughter and a widower. His daughter is a youngster named Melissa, so of course she's precious and adorable. Dustin's income comes from rental properties and a bar called "No Bulls". There's nothing better than a hunky hero who steps up without a second's hesitation to protect others.
Sparks fly between MaKayla and Dustin who experience immediate attraction to one another. Events conspire to keep them apart, including a shared tragic event that catches both off guard. There's no real blame but a whole lot of angst to go around and the author handles the conflict with a deft hand. Love scenes are sweet bordering on spicy. Not Jalapeno spicy but maybe a nice fire-roasted chili.
The writing is excellent: solid style, easy flow, well edited and good pacing. But the best part is finally finding a romance about two real people with merits and flaws who approach their problems as mature grownups. Supporting characters are well rounded, complex and enjoyable. I especially liked MaKayla’s seventeen-year-old son, Alex. He's sweet and sensible.
The Patriot Girl is a great romantic read that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Five stars all the way.
Purchase The Patriot Girl:
The youngest of five children, I was born and raised in Rhode Island. After graduating East Providence High School as a member of the Rhode Island Honor Society, I held several jobs from accounts receivable to medical billing before attending Rhode Island Associates of Realtors.
I have a wonderful husband and I’m a a stay-at-home mom to our teenage son. My week is filled with writing romance novels and listening to country music while cleaning house, rearranging furniture, and playing with the cat we adopted from the shelter.
To learn more about Toni Lynn Cloutier: