Title: Snakes Among Flowers
Author: Jason Huffman-Black
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 20th, 2016
Genre(s): Second Chances, Contemporary
Page Count: 240
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 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.
Snakes among flowers is a mellow, soothing and sweet story about second chances and redemption. The story is set in a small town where an ex-con relocates while on run from his former life. How this small town and its considerate/loving town folk gradually turns his life around and accept him in their fold constitutes as the main portion of the story.
Camden Sanders is the definition of a tattooed bad boy. He has a criminal past and he knows that it is a matter of time before his former life comes back to bite him in the ass. Cam was a conman and he dupes a lot of people in Hog Mountain in the start. I loved the way Cam’s good and honest side is literally forced out when he is shown kindness by an old couple even after knowing that he has done them wrong. Cam has never known kindness or care in his entire life so he never expects in feeling an emotional attachment to the town folk who genuinely care for him and gives him a chance in redemption. Cam had a lot of character flaws but underneath it all he was a good man at heart. His treatment of the kids clearing his yard or love for his cat, who adopts Cam, is a dead giveaway of the big heart Cam possesses. He just needed love, support and people to believe in him for turning a new leaf in his life.
Camden’s romantic interest in this story is Jackson Rhodes, a local police officer. Jackson does not trust Cam in the start and he never expects t being attracted to the former conman. Their impromptu, spur of the moment blow job session was hot as hell. Gradually Jackson sees the good guy behind the bad guy exterior and their relationship shifts from acquaintances to friends and then to lovers.
The main focus of the plot was about Cam gets accepted and fits into the Hog Mountain community. This story cannot be categorized as an all out romance as there was very little of it. the romance between Cam and Jackson develop slowly and we don’t see them as a couple till almost 70% of the story.
All in all, i liked this book, then why the 3.5 stars??? Well, i would have liked a little more excitement or passion in this story. From the blurb i knew that Cam’s past is going to come back and threaten his new life but that happens not until almost at the end of the story. So, the remaining 85% cannot be called boring but not that exciting too. The story was more about the “Love your neighbor” culture of a small southern town helping in redeeming an ex-conman rather than romance or Cam’s past in the form of a crazy criminal causing havoc in his new life.
This is the first novel by the author so his ability in giving life to such vivid characters making up a whole community is very impressive. I would recommend this book to all who are looking for a sweet story about second chances, finally finding love and a place where you truly belong and call home.