Sunday, November 3, 2019

Review of Tainted: Lance and Mary (Cliffside Bay #5) by Tess Thompson

Tainted: Lance and Mary

In love, there are no mistakes, only detours. Find out for yourself in this standalone, swoon-worthy, small town romance from USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson.

Businessman Lance Mullen is no stranger to mistakes, but he’s determined to get things right this time. Coming home to Cliffside Bay proves to be the first in a series of great decisions, and in no time at all Lance has his life back on track.

After losing her mother, child, and marriage, Mary Hansen is determined to keep her heart safe from any further pain. By convincing herself that her job and her books are enough, she’s sure to never be vulnerable to love or loss again.

When New Year’s Eve brings these two unlucky souls together over a bottle of tequila, their celebratory mood will get the best of both of them. But it won’t take long before one fun night turns into long days of panic when they discover that perhaps they’ve both made the biggest mistake of all. Is it possible that the things we don’t think we want can turn out to be the very things we actually need?

USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson invites you into the world of Cliffside Bay to meet a group of five best friends, the women they love, and the stories that bring each couple together. Each book in the Cliffside Bay Series is intended to be read and enjoyed as a sweet standalone, but for maximum enjoyment read this binge-worthy series in order.

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**My thoughts**
This installment lets us get to know Lance and Mary. They have been hinted at in previous installments, but we really know very little about them.

Lance is Brady's brother. Mary's father is married to the former Mullen housekeeper and nanny, Flora, and always seemed to hate everyone. And somehow, the two of them had become friends and totally have the hots for each other.

But we finally get to know why Mary has such a hard shell covering her. And it is a true gut-punch. But she is still a paradox, as you feel sorry for her, and yet she plays a game that could easily backfire on her.

Because Mary is pregnant after their one and only encounter, Lance, true to Dog form, steps up to marry her. The claim is that it is for insurance, but really, it is so much more. He is determined to break through her shell and prove that she is in love with him.

I admit that this one is my least favorite of the series thus far. It is very hard for me to develop an attachment to Mary for now, because of her confusion, and some manipulation. And yet I feel sorry for her and hope that I will come around and see her more through Lance's eyes, along with others in Cliffside Bay.

I guarantee that this one will make you bawl like a baby. It also has a lot of wisdom in its quotes, which I love.

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