Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Charlotte Boyett-Compo’s books are amongst my favourite reads and I jumped at he chance to take part in this blog tour and review her new release, Under the Mayhaw Tree. Although I am more familiar with this author’s dark erotic fantasy books, I had every confidence that it would be a cracking read and I was not disappointed! Tina 🙂
Under the Mayhaw Tree by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Living under a cloud of tragedy for which he’s assumed blame, Drew Dunne has known hell for the past sixteen years. Then he meets Allison Bennett. But in the small town of Colquitt, Georgia, evil lurks around every corner and capturing happiness has an incredibly high price.
Small-town football star Drew Dunne sacrificed everything for friendship and guilt. He’s spent most of his life unloved and unwanted. A kind touch, a gentle smile, an encouraging word are all wisps of memory from before the accident. For him there is only family, duty, loyalty.
And longing. Until he meets Allison.When Allison Bennett looks in the mirror, she sees a woman whose life has gone from bad to worse. At the mercy of an abusive husband, sweet tenderness is something she can only dream about…until she finds it in the arms of Drew Dunne.Not every sacrifice is worthwhile, not every promise is worth keeping, and events in a small Georgia town will test this pair to the very depths of their souls, but at the end of the journey is the truth that—if you’re willing to pay the price—true love can conquer all. Drew Dunne will finally be with the woman he loves. Or die trying.
As she took off her clothes he put his hands behind his head and watched her every movement. Each one was poetry in motion to his way of thinking. To him, she was the most beautiful woman in the world.
He loved her so deeply he felt it in his soul. She was everything to him and he
wanted to be everything to her. His heart was filled with such peace, his body
with such longing, he could barely contain the feelings.
The last piece of clothing she removed was her panties and when she turned to the bed, he whistled in appreciation. As he had at the two motels they’d stayed at on the way to the cabin, he pretended not to notice the healing bruises covering her sweet body.
“Will you get under the covers?” she asked. She sat on the mattress, then stuck her legs under the sheet.
“Hey. You can leave your socks on but you took mine off?” he challenged. “You think that’s fair?”
“I have poor circulation in my feet,” she said.
“Believe me. You don’t want my cold toesies rubbing along your calf in the middle
of the night.”
“I believe you should pay a toll for being allowed to wear socks to bed when I can’t,” he told her as he joined her under the covers.
“What kind of toll?” she asked.
“The kind that is exacting,” he said. He slid down in the bed—disappearing beneath the covers—and slid on top of her.
Charlotte Boyett-Compo (her friends call her
Charlee) is a multi-published author of all sub-genres of Romance
fiction. Under the Mayhaw Tree is her 100th book. Over
the years, her novels have won many awards. When asked why she writes, she’s
said, “I write because the urge is there and it’s like an itch you can
not ignore. Sometimes, I think if I don’t get my thoughts down on paper, I’ll go
insane. It is a craving, an addiction, that unless you experience it, you can’t
quite explain to ‘normal’ people.”
My Review *****
Heartrending and Inspirational
Under the Mayhaw Tree, a Contemporary Romantic Suspense, Charlotte Boyett-Compo’s 100 published novel, is another tour de force by an artist who has perfected her craft over the years. I was totally and utterly gripped form start to finish, immersed in this tale containing love, passion and self-sacrifice, but also cruelty, abuse and revenge most foul.
Drew, the hero of the novel, is very much the victim of the piece. A once successful sportsman, his promising career was cut short by injury, after which his life careered further downhill when he lost his best friend in a terrible accident. He finds himself in a loveless marriage with a woman who is little more than a she-devil, who delights in making his life a living hell with her physical and emotional abuse.
Trapped by survivor’s guilt and the power his wife and others have over him, Drew has all but given up on happiness. That is until he sets eyes on Allison, the wife of a newcomer to the town who abuses her at every turn. Both Allison and Drew recognise that they are kindred spirits and love blooms, but secrets are hard to keep in this tight knit community and the couple’s abusers, supported by town gossips and a posse of evil doers, take every opportunity to brutally destroy any chance of happiness the couple may harbour. The read has an extremely strong sense of place, the fabric and inhabitants of the small town of Colquitt in Georgia playing a key role in the unfolding drama.
What follows is a heart-rending story of how one man, ground down by years of abuse, seizes this chance of happiness and engages in a battle royal to make a future for him and his new found lady love. Just how far will he go and what sacrifices will he make to realise this dream and escape the nightmare of his past and present life? I will not reveal any more, but suffice to say that the romance between Drew and Allison transforms them both and together they must draw on inner resources they did not believe they possessed to face and overcome the demons who torment them. The journey they embark on will have repercussions for many.
The novel contains scenes of violence and brutality, including domestic and sexual abuse. I will say that it is a gripping read, with a hero and heroine you will root for. Above all though I found Drew and Allison’s journey an inspirational one, giving me belief in the saying amor vincit omnia.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note that a copy of this novel was given to me as part of this blog tour for the purpose of a fair and honest review.