Asher has loved Dahlia from the first time he met her as a teenager, and because of her interest in Doug, he had to walk away. That never stopped him from loving her, even when he was trapped in a loveless marriage for the sake of his son, it was always Dahlia. Dahlia too was trapped in her marriage for her daughter. Her husband cheated on her, made her feel less than, and in the end, took a valuable choice away from her. So she carries the scars of his loss, but even more, the scars of his infidelity. So when these decide to start being friends again, it's clear from the start that Asher wants more, but Dahlia is scared that Asher's lifestyle is exactly like Doug's, and she doesn't want to do that route again.
I absolutely loved Asher's character, he made the book shine. His devotion to his son is so endearing. His ability to talk Dahlia down through her panic is heart-melting. I love his dedication to getting Dahlia to see him as an individual and not as the philanderer her husband was.
I didn't like that Dahlia refused to see Asher as he was and constantly compared and worried that he would cheat on her like her ex. That's a personal preference as I prefer characters that know they've been hurt but are able to look at each new love prospect with a fresh slate. But the relationship between the two was great. Dahlia is an incredible mother and I adored her friendship with her daughter. I loved that she was both a parent and a close friend and she made it work.
When these two get together, things turn *hot*. Padgett has made their connection palpable, and with the exception of him not returning some phone calls, she has made a great book boyfriend in Asher, I think a lot of women would be willing to take on Dahlia if she wasn't so perfect for him. I loved Sweet Solace, I loved that it was a standalone making it a true series, and I look forward to book 2.
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