Title: Snakes Among Sweet Flowers
Author: Jason Huffman-Black
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 20th, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Page Count: 240
Reviewed by: PrinCkhera
Heat Level: 2.2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.2 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.
Change doesn’t come all at once. Sometimes you want to change long before you become who you want to be. But nobody can change if they aren’t allowed to, if everyone still expects you to be all the things you once was
This is a redemption tale. Of how someone hardened by the world takes up shop in a small town and has his guard shattered by good hearted people, the kind he didn’t expect to worm their way into his heart.
What was wrong with these people? Not that it wasn’t great to have an entire town full of suckers who thought being neighbors meant being neighborly. But did they have to be so nice about?
On the one hand, the plot line is very unoriginal, and predictable. It was quite clear what was going to happen between Cam and Jackson from point 1, the route their relationship was going to take, how Harold was going to play into it. And I don’t usually mind a tried and tested formula being repeated. To a great extent, I liked Cam.
Camden liked his con games light on danger and high on return.
But, bringing in Harold felt over the top. I understand the author’s choice though, Cam having to confront his past would be a necessary step to overcome it. It is a tale of redemption, and Cam needed to walk its path. Confront his demon, really look at his actions and realise on a deeper level what kind of effect they could have on his targets. Superficially knowing VS Your body, mind and soul telling you are two very different things.
Why were these people being so nice to him? He’d almost like it better if everyone treated him like Jackson did. It would definitely feel more familiar, and it wouldn’t bring all this crazy guilt with it.
Because so far Cam had lived his life conning, he started to believe that that was the way to go. By being surrounded, well… maybe not surrounded. Definitely barricaded though.
It became a bit melodramatic, but it worked.
His cat, though it played a small role did bring a bit of levity to the book <3
The damn thing is running a scam and you are falling for it
The author did well in portraying small town mentality, as well as its exceptions.
The two men finding one another, as much as they had, was as realistic as it could possibly get. The hot “sheriff” who
looks so clean-cut, you’d think he would squeak when he walks
It was heartwarming to see Cam change step by step.
The disjointed POVs by the two MCs made it a bit annoying, though. Chase was there way more than Jackson, and I get it. It was his story. His redemption tale. But, having Jackson come in and then not show up for a long time afterward broke the flow of it.
It would have made sense if it wasn’t just Jackson’s POV showing up at random intervals, rather those that Chase connects with. Seeing their side of the tale.
The chemistry between Cam and Jackson was there, but honestly I felt that it was quite negligent. Easily ignored. They were hot for each other, but that’s basically it.
It’s also hard to see how the town’s people could have been “unaware” of gay men being in their town with openly flamboyant Graham. He was flaming so much I sometimes had to look away from the book to 1) roll my eyes, 2) wonder if this guy was for real and 3) LMAO when he gets someone standing up to him.
Grant’s words of wisdom
he’s so far in the closet, he knows what people in China are getting for Christmas
He brought amusement, though which I liked.
Overall this was an interesting, if somewhat melodramatic tale that deserves a read.