Confession: I almost always read the Dear Reader letter before I dive into a book. The Good Father was no different. Once I read Tara Taylor Quinn’s Dear Reader letter telling me to give the hero, Brett Ackerman, a chance, I sort of dismissed it. I like my hero’s a little damaged; it makes them more realistic. I should have heeded this warning a bit more.
Summary: Brett Ackerman has gotten his life to the point where, if he’s not exactly thrilled with it, it’s at least fulfilling and predictable. He spends his days sitting on charity boards and making sure they are operating above board. He flies from one end of the country to the other as charities and non-profits seek his stamp of approval. His work is also his penance for the darkness lurking within him. He’s managed to quell all desire for a normal family life; he can’t risk getting that close to anyone, can’t risk his darker nature coming out.
Ella knows all too well what type of man Brett Ackerman is, but when she needs her ex’s help with a family crisis that one of his charities deals with, she has to put her feelings aside and reach out to him. This is the perfect time for her to face him and move on. But there’s still a strong attraction simmering between them, and when it ignites into a passionate encounter, Ella finds herself with a constant reminder of her not-so-ex.
Can these two put the past behind them for the future that could await them?
Review: The Good Father is an emotional read. The Lemonade Stand that Brett founded and where Ella volunteers is a shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a tough backdrop to a romance, but Ms. Quinn handles it well here. It’s easy to see the motivations of the characters and the conflict, but it doesn’t glamorize, over-dramatize, or play down the dire situations of those affected by domestic violence. It also doesn’t paint the hero or heroine in the light of perfection or complete corruption. Both Ella and Brett have their flaws as well as their redeeming qualities.
That being said, Brett Ackerman made me want to jump into the book and
punch him in the face shake him give him a stern talking to. It turns out that admonition to give Brett a chance was well advised, because in the beginning, though I understood the whys and wherefores of his logic and actions, they made me want to throw my kindle a few times. Brett was like the friend you have that you just want to help but have no idea how to do it except to be there for them. I was invested in Brett. I wanted him to overcome his demons and be the man that Ella and the reader could see under all the baggage burying him.
Ella was just as complex. Determined and strong-willed, yet with a vulnerability that made her relatable, Ella was a heroine I could root for and just the type of woman Brett needed in his life. I love that as much as Ella loves Brett, she’s determined to do what she needs to in order to protect herself and help her family.
The supporting characters here were multi-layered and really added to the story. The parallel story that mirrors Ella and Brett’s relationship added so much depth to the main romance. As I was reading about the people at The Lemonade Stand and the other couple in the book, I fell in love with them. I haven’t read the other books in this series, but they’ve been added to my to-be-read pile.
The one thing that I keep coming back to with this book is investment. It’s not every day that a book can hook me and not let go until the end. It’s also not every day that I’m genuinely invested in the outcome for the characters–not curious, or scandalized, or titillated or intrigued by the characters and what might happen, but truly invested. I wanted that happily ever after for them as much as I would for friends of mine.
Tara Taylor Quinn weaves a story here that grabs you and doesn’t let go until well after you turn the last page. The characters are compelling and realistic, their motives clear, and the conflict is high stakes and seems insurmountable. Ms. Quinn doesn’t shortchange the reader by giving us a pat ending that doesn’t take into account all that has gone on before, but gives the reader both a satisfying and realistic ending that makes the ride worth it–just like she promised.
5* (out of 5) for well developed characterizations, a complicated and emotionally tense conflict, a textured and pertinent sub-plot and multi-layered supporting characters, and exceptional writing that pulls the reader in and gets them to invest in two broken characters’ healing and HEA.
It seems a lifetime ago that Brett Ackerman wanted to share his life with Ella Wales. He really believed he could put his abusive family history behind him…until he realized it would always be part of him. Then he pushed her away. Hard.
Now Ella’s back as part of the High Risk Team at The Lemonade Stand, the unique women’s shelter Brett founded. And she needs his help with a family crisis. But even now, Brett can’t admit he still loves her. Until one night of passion with Ella turns Brett into the one thing he fears the most—a father.
Also in the Series
Follow the Tour
June 7th: Launch
June 8th: undercover book reviews & Books & Chocolate
June 9th: underneath the covers, Mel’s Shelves, & Pieces of Whimsy
June 10th: deal sharing aunt, Bookworm Lisa, & Brooke Blogs
June 11th: Copywrite1985, Paranormal Books, & Beck Valley Books
June 12th: Diana’s Book Reviews & My Devotional Thoughts
June 14th: Finale
The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. She is known for delivering deeply emotional and psychologically astute novels of suspense and romance. Tara is a recipient of the Reader’s Choice Award, a five time finalist for the RWA Rita Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Bookseller’s Best Award and appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists. Tara is the past-president of Romance Writers of America and served eight years on that board of directors. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning and is a frequent guest speaker. In her spare time Tara likes to travel, climb Arizona mountains, and inline skate.
Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.
As part of Spend the Summer with Tara Taylor Quinn, Tara is holding a contest for those who share on social media about how they love life during the summer! Each day you can share an image, picture, or quote, linking to her events’ landing page (http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/Summer%20With%20ttq.html) to enter to win ONE BIG SUMMER BASKET!!! We’ll be pulling the best submissions and voting for the top one during her Facebook Party on July 16th. Pull out your creative juices and share your joy of summer, be it with friends, family, or the love of your life!
Beach-themed basket will include: shell wind chime, shell choker and matching bracelet, beach/flip flop note cards, picture frame, 4×6 picture album, plus some surprise print copies of Tara’s books (including Once Upon a Friendship).
Share must be public to be eligible. Can enter once each day. US only. Giveaway ends July 16th.
$10 VISA Gift Card
Copies of all five books on Tara’s Summer Tour
Spend the Summer with TTQ T-Shirt
Ends July 16th