Title: Uncomplicated Choices (Camassia Cove, #5)
Author: Cara Dee
Release Date: June 30, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 238
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
When life gave you lemons, you learned who stayed and made lemonade with you. Or something to that effect. And the day Ellis Hayes kidnapped me—or, he borrowed a yacht and didn’t know I was on board—he’d definitely been handed too many lemons.
We faced a dilemma when I woke up hungover in the middle of the ocean. He needed to get the hell out of town to do some soul searching and decide whether or not to divorce his wife, and I needed to get back on land because humans didn’t belong on the water. There was also better cell service on land, and I had my four-year-old daughter on vacation in Paris to check in with.
Then I remembered I wasn’t a complete tool. Ellis wasn’t doing all right, and we were practically family. I had to stay and make lemonade with him. Of course, me being me, seemingly un-dateable and complicated, I had to develop feelings for him, too.
“Whatever you do, don’t wake up one day with regrets.”
Uncomplicated Choices is Book 5 in a series that includes both MM and MF pairings. Because the last couple of books were MF, I didn’t read them. But please read Books 1 and 2 because they’re brilliant!
Since I missed the last two books, I was a little bit confused at the very beginning. I didn’t know these characters, in particular the major side characters. Apparently Casey, our MC, is the pseudo-son of Lincoln, unofficially adopted after they spent time in jail together. Ellis, Casey’s eventual love interest, is the cousin/nephew/something of Lincoln’s dad. Just know that Casey and Ellis are part of the same “family” who see each other fairly regularly, with Lincoln and his wife (Book 3) serving as the patriarch/matriarch of this group.
Casey is thirty-ish and stuck in a dating rut. He’s honest to the point of being blunt, and so tries to get the fact that he spent time in jail out of the way early……as in First Date early. He thinks he’d rather know if they’re gonna bolt right away instead of getting attached and watching them bolt.
Casey is one of my favorite characters that I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing their POV. His thoughts were refreshing, his wit made me laugh out loud multiple times, and he’s just one of those people that you root for. He lives for his daughter. He needed his happy ending.
I had dirty thoughts about licking the glaze off my fingers. That was my love life in a nutshell.
Ellis is simply Casey’s straight friend/family member who’s going through a rocky ending to a rocky marriage. Casey doesn’t think about him much since Ellis is so quiet and reserved. Ellis doesn’t share much, and he’s a tough nut to crack.
After a night out with friends, Casey decides to sleep on Lincoln’s yacht, since it’s closer than his own place. He wakes up in the middle of the water with Ellis steering the boat, already hours away from home. Neither man knew the other was on the boat, and Casey is miffed at Ellis for “kidnapping” him.
I did remember him expressing he wanted to get away. Was this it? Was the yacht his white Bronco?
This short trip was the turning point for our guys. They’ve been thrown together, first by family, and now by proximity. The bond that they form while boating was really smooth and natural. As their deepening friendship unfolds, Ellis blossoms right before our eyes. There are so many layers to him, and I honestly fell in love with this rock of a man. After sharing the situation with his wife, you just want to wrap him in a hard hug.
“I haven’t been honest with myself in so long that I’ve forgotten who I am.”
The vulnerability that each man is able to evoke from the other was magic. Casey is the strong but sensitive type. He wants so much for someone to want him for him. And Ellis…Ellis hasn’t experienced life in so long, it’s heartbreaking.
“I need you again.”
Back on land, Casey and Ellis have a lot to think about. They’ve both fallen for each other, but real life is here. Ellis has a failing marriage to finally put out to pasture, while trying to forget the image of Casey in his Date Pants, and Casey has to concentrate on the next chapter of his life with his daughter. It’s not easy on either of them, after spending 24/7 together for a while.
“Thing is, I already like you a crapload, so if you could minimize the damage if you change your mind, that’d be great.”
Then came the dramatic climax which sort of came from nowhere, and I was cursing Dee so hard. But I needn’t have worried. It played out exactly as I would’ve wished it to.
The fallout was a hard won HFN, and I loved, loved, loved this book. I will definitely be reading Casey and Ellis’s story again. Highly recommended.
“Choosing you would complicate everything in my everyday life, yet it’s the most uncomplicated choice I’ve ever made.”