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New Release Review! TAME YOUR HEART by Tracey Alvarez (Bounty Bay #6)

Tame Your Heart cover

Loving your enemy is harder than you’d think…

Tui Ngata loathes the Griffin family after a wildfire tore through her family farm seventeen years ago and her father was accused of starting it. While on vacation in a tropical paradise she’s able to forget the bone-deep feud with her neighbors and find one night of pleasure in the arms of a handsome stranger. Until she finds out this stranger isn’t who she thought he was…

After his uncle died in the tragic fire that destroyed hundreds of acres of his family farm, Architect Kyle Griffin has made a life for himself far away from Bounty Bay. But he’s drawn back, forced into sorting out the mess and drama his Grandfather’s death has left behind. The distraction is hopefully one way to forget the beautiful woman who’s haunted his every waking moment since the end of his vacation. Except he can’t forget her, especially when he discovers the lasting consequences which will forever unwillingly bind them together.

But someone doesn’t want Kyle and Tui falling in love. And that someone is willing to raze their lives to ashes to prevent them fraternizing with the enemy. 

TAME YOUR HEART is the sixth story in Tracey Alvarez’s Bounty Bay series, set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like heartwarming, sexy and sweet small town romances, you’ll love sharing the journey with these authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone. Welcome to Bounty Bay, where the reward of true love is a price only some are willing to pay.

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There were things I loved about this book–Beaker, the ginger cat who loathes his owner but loves both of the women who he’s loved, is right up there! Even if I hadn’t seen Ms. Alvarez’s cat all over Instagram, I’d know she was a cat owner by how spot-on she was with his character 😉 I also really enjoyed Kyle’s character and how he always tried to do what was best for those he loved, even when those he loved were behaving in an altogether less-than fashion (Beaker included, sadly). I loved seeing glimpses of so many past book characters (no worries, though–this would work fine as a standalone too) and the idea of the “bet” that Tui and her friends made at the beginning of the book. (Fingers crossed that we’ll see more results from the challenge in future books!) Most of all, I loved being back in Bounty Bay, even if it made me tear up even more when I saw bits on the news and internet about the recent tragedy there (I saw a single picture of a sign that said “We are all whanau” one morning and just about lost it–I wouldn’t have even known what that meant except for these books)

I loved the eco-tourism angle here, and Kyle’s job designing eco-friendly, sustainable homes. I enjoyed how Tui and Kyle met, and their instant connection.

Then there were the bits that made me a bit nuts–Tui, unfortunately, was very tough to get behind at times. Her determination not to live up to (down to?) the prediction that one person made about her as a teenager seemed over the top–she’s twice the age now that she was then, and clearly a responsible adult with a job, even if she doesn’t have a permanent home she provides for herself just fine–she’s obviously not going to be “bludging off the government” and just as obviously is not at all “like” what Judgy McJudgerson said she was all those years ago. Her independence felt forced at times, and the reason why she ultimately decided to leave Kyle was infuriating. (His reason for turning around and leaving her later was equally maddening, but it made slightly more sense–even if it was just as wrong.) 

I’m still not sure how I feel about the antagonist of the story–I almost feel as if I should re-read, looking for clues.

The ending was very sweet, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing future Tui and Kyle together in later series books. As always, I loved being back in the “Land of the Lord of the Rings,” and two thumbs up to Ms. Alvarez for putting the Maori glossary in the front of the book for easy access!

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

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