Title: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers
Author: Jason Huffman-Black
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Page Count: 240 pages
Reviewed by: Natalie
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Two-time ex-con Camden Sanders has decided that Hog Mountain—an isolated community on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia—is the perfect place to continue running small scams without the threat of more prison time. But there are a few problems with this plan. One is the neighborly citizens of Hog Mountain thwarting his dirty dealings at every turn with their kindness. Another is Jackson Rhodes, a closeted Hog Mountain police officer who can see right through Cam’s good ol’ boy act and plans to catch him red-handed despite the attraction they both can feel. But the biggest problem of all is that Cam’s past is threatening to catch up with him, and it could mean trouble for more than just himself.
I came across this book via another book blog I follow, and I immediately requested an ARC copy. THE COVER AND BLURB DID IT FOR ME! Can we say gawjus?! For two long weeks, I waited to get this baby on my Kindle. I put aside two books I was reading to dive into this when it finally arrived. Was it worth it? HELL YES.
Never read any work by Jason Huffman-Black before Snakes Among Sweet Flowers but you better believe I will be keeping an eye on him in the future.
We’re introduced to Camden Sanders (WHAT A DREAMY NAME insert googly eyes) an ex-con. Camden has recently moved to Hog Mountain, Georgia from Atlanta. The reason for Camden’s move? Well, he got into a rough spot that forced him to lay low, and Hog Mountain seemed like the perfect place to settle. Instead of Camden going down the straight and narrow path, he runs a bit of a scam on some of the Hog Mountain residents. He’s a mechanic, so overcharging people for work and shitty things like that seem to be in his repertoire. Never fear, Cam does redeem himself.
Jackson Rhodes is a police officer in Hog Mountain. He doesn’t like Camden from the jump. Thinks he’s sketchy as hell, and he’s not exactly wrong. Did I mention Camden is gay? Oh, he’s out, but he’s not about to announce it to the town. Jackson? Also gay but he has a reputation to uphold, so his closet has enough room for tons of baggage.
I loved almost everything about this story. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I feel like, in one particular scene involving sexual assault, the aftereffects were glossed over. Didn’t enjoy that aspect. I felt a little more time could have and should have been spent on dealing with the aftermath. It was written like this happened, it was shitty, victim moves on. Um, okay. Weird but okay.
Anyway, despite that faux pas I thought the premise, the supporting characters, the flow, and everything in between worked. Also, who doesn’t love a hottie hero covered in tattoos?
The sex wasn’t exactly steamy, but it fit the pacing of the book. Hoping DSP caught the few grammatical errors before the final version is pubbed but overall, this was a highly entertaining read. I’d recommend it for sure.
4.5 glorious stars.