Author: Dakota Cassidy
Series: Plum Orchard #3
Published by: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Shields up, sugar—things in Plum Orchard are about to get real.
Marybell Lyman is notorious for two things:
Her look. The wicked hairstyle, multiple piercings and practiced sneer that say: "Stay back—I bite."
Her voice. The syrupy lilt that's her bread and butter at Call Girls, the prim little town's flourishing phone-sex company.
Hunky handyman Taggart Hawthorn is mesmerized by the contradiction: such sweet tones inside such a spiky shell! He wants to know more about mysterious Marybell, to hear more of her sexy talk—all for himself.
But Tag's attentions, delicious as they are, have Marybell panicked. She's been hiding a long time. She's finally got a home, a job and friends she adores. She won't have it all snatched away by another stupid mistake—like falling in love. So when Marybell's past comes calling, she and the Call Girls will prove no one handles scandals like a Southern girl!
Talking After Midnight is the third book in the Plum Orchard Series, and I think it just might be my favorite. I’ve loved them all, but there was something about this one that I loved a little more.
Storyline – This is told in the alternating POVs of Marybell and Tag. Marybell is hiding. Literally. If anyone ever discovered who she really is, the media would descend on Plum Orchard, destroying the life she has built there. At the beginning of the book, we’re not privy to what exactly her secrets are, only that it’s a whopper. I started to worry a little because she made it sound like a huge deal, so I was going to be bummed if it was something lame and not worth so much anxiety from her. However, it does turn out to be very anxiety worthy. I liked the way everything unfolded, and the little twists it had on Tag’s life, as well.
Main characters – While reading the previous book, we had a little bit of insight to Marybell (a.k.a MB) and Tag. It wasn’t anything big, but we saw there was something heavy weighing on both of them. Honestly, I was a little hesitant to read this book because it made me think the vibe was going to be a downer and the characters would be surrounded by angst. Wrong! MB and Tag were actually a lot of fun.
Marybell – At age thirty, she is one of the younger ladies of the series. She wears what she calls her people shield; gothic makeup, colored Mohawk, facial piercings, etc. Of course, looks can be deceiving. While the other girls in the series weren’t technically phone sex operators, MB is. I really liked her personality and attitude, a nice mixture of tough and sweet.
Tag – He’s thirty-four and the younger brother of Jax, Em’s man from the second book. He’s a recovering alcoholic and struggling with his own demons. He didn’t sound like much fun at first, but the guy is hilarious! If you know me, then you know humor is a surefire way to my heart. It’s hard not to love the guy.
Romance – Marybell and Tag’s relationship was so much fun. She would constantly try to scare him off, but he’d just take it in stride. It was funny the way he would react … or not react to her antics. The “nondating” aspect was funny and cute. It did get hot and steamy between these two quite a bit. There were some not-so-great moments when secrets came to light, but I loved how it all turned out.
Secondary Characters – Got to love the women of Call Girls. I absolutely love how close the women became, and how they have each other’s backs no matter what. It was great to see how much Em has changed since the beginning of her book; she’s definitely no pushover. In fact, there’s a part where she was on fire calling a certain someone out on his idiocy, and it brought tears to my eyes.
There’s also a beautiful part where MB and Dixie are discussing Landon and his role in MB’s life before he died, and I could not contain the water works. I love how Landon was never physically present, or hell, even alive, during the three book, yet he is one of the most significant characters. I haven’t read the prequel yet, so I don’t know if he’s in that one. But just reading the three full novels, he’s made a huge impact.
I do wish something more would have come of Louella’s character. She’s been causing havoc from the beginning, so I wish there had been some resolve with her, whether it be positive (seeing the error of her ways) or negative (getting ran over by a bus). I guess she’ll just continue to live the sourpuss life.
Overall – Talking After Midnight may be the last in the series, but it certainly did not lack in any way. Like I said, it was my favorite. I don’t know if Dakota Cassidy plans to add any more books in the Plum Orchard Series, but if she does, I won’t hesitate to read them. If she doesn’t, then we’re left with a satisfying end to a funny and sexy series.
“So you don’t want any more friends? I hear you can never have too many.”
“You didn’t really just say that, did you? You have met Dixie, Em and LaDawn, right? My friend card is full.”
“But I’m an awesome friend to have. I fix things.”
“Em fixes things.”
”But can she build them from scratch?”
”I don’t need anything built from scratch. I rent.”
“Why do you resist me, resistant one?”
“You know, that hurts. You don’t care if people think you worship Satan, but letting them think you’re my girlfriend is the worse of the two evils?” He pounded his fist against his heart. “Ouch.”
Tag breezed in, lifting a hand to Coon Ryder before swinging around, a bouquet of yellow-and-purple flowers in his hand. He handed them to her with one of his delicious grins. “I imagine you’ll probably pluck the heads off these, but at least it’ll remind you of me when you’re doing it.”
Plum Orchard Series