From USA Today best-selling author Ava Miles of the number-one national best seller Nora Roberts Land comes a heartwarming and suspenseful novel of love, second chances, family, and mystery about an inventive gardener who creates a magical chocolate garden for a sexy songwriter only to be swept away by the magic of their love.
Visionary gardener Tammy Hollins is making a new life for herself and her children after a tragic marriage. Plants she understands, but men...well, they're of the weed variety. She's started her own landscaping business, catering to her country music rock star brother's friends. Her first client is sexy, soulful, alpha hero material - and the one man who tantalizes her and scares her to death.
John Parker McGuiness is a man of many talents, working as a songwriter and lawyer for country music's biggest stars. He's drawn to Tammy like no other and hires her as his landscaper, wanting to show her they're made for each other. When Tammy learns he's a professed chocoholic, she fashions a magical garden for him - a chocolate garden.
As the garden comes to life, their love for each other grows. When tragedy strikes Tammy's home, John Parker is willing to move mountains to protect her and her children. Tammy struggles to guard her newfound independence as they use the magic of the chocolate garden to help her children feel safe again. But when secrets from Tammy's past resurface, can their love and passion survive the memories haunting her?
©2015 Ava Miles (P)2015 Ava Miles
Good Books Don't Promote Violence
I was excited about a story that included 3 of my favorite things: chocolate, gardening and country music. While Ava Miles is obviously a gifted writer, she didn't use that gift to create strong, confident and independent female characters in A Chocolate Garden.
I wanted to like Tammy, a caring & intelligent woman with 2 small children, who allowed herself to be bullied by her bitchy mother and an abusive ex-husband. Tammy had a college education, unlimited financial resources and supportive siblings, advantages that most single mothers don't have, yet still played the victim.
I thought Tammy's "southern belle" character was totally unbelievable in 2015 - more like 1915 or 1815. She refused to get professional counseling, let her mother verbally insult her, and took no action to learn self defense after a burglary. Does the author really believe that southern women are all pathetic wimps?
John Parker could have been an engaging character - strong yet kind - if he hadn't treated Tammy like a slightly dense child. While considerate & loving, JP seemed to think that most women are fragile creatures who need a man to manage their lives. JP didn't ask Tammy what she wanted or needed, just assumed that he knew best.
There were many entertaining moments - loved all the dogs - but my mind kept drifting. I was hoping for more mature & relatable characters, who care less about their own minor problems and more about people who truly needy.
I liked some of the characters and the story was good enough that I wanted to finish the book, but some parts were just irritating. A few of the Southern phrases spoken by the female characters in this one and the first Dare River book were out of place. I can't imagine a blue-blood charm-schooled debutante ever using a phrase like "tuckered out"
The narrators attempt at a Southern accent was not very good
Ended up just reading it on the Kindle because I didn't like the narration
I love all of Ava Mills characters and stories. I've been an Addict and I've bought them one after another. Lord knows what I'll do once I read them all. My next plan is to begin cooking "Tory's" family recipes. Anyhow Tammy is strong aware woman who finds herself and becomes the woman she never knew she could be or that she had the right to be. I think as woman we can all relate to Tammy in our own way. I Promise you'll love this story and find yourself wanting to plant your own Chocolate Garden of Dreams. Praying God will answer your secret prayers of the heart as well!
I've been listening to the Audible books by Ava Miles and love her new Dare River series! They contain suspense and passion as only Ava Miles can tell it. Cudos to narrator Em Eldridge for making the characters believable!
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