Poplar Place by Ellen Butler
Publication Date: March 26th 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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The sleepy, small town of Denton, South Carolina, possesses the tranquil life Cara Baker craves, but will her reclusive tenant shake up her newfound serenity?
Newly minted librarian Cara Baker effectively cuts ties with her tumultuous life in Pittsburgh and moves down to South Carolina, where she embraces the peaceful, laid-back style of small town living. Everything seems to be falling into place when Cara finds the perfect house to round out her new plans. Well…perfect except for the immovable hermit living on the top floor. She throws caution to the wind and buys the fabulous house—hermit and all—without meeting him. Eventually, by wooing her reclusive renter with notes and mouthwatering meals, he caves and invites her up to the apartment. Preconceived notions are blown out of the water, when she finds Danny isn’t the Mr. Mole she envisioned. Sparks fly and libidos heat up as the two begin spending time together.
Unfortunately, phone calls from her past bring Cara’s summer idle to an abrupt halt. Will demons from a former life destroy Cara’s newly established tranquility.
Cara has moved from Pittsburgh to Denton, South Carolina. While house shopping she finally finds a house that she falls in love with. The gardens out back are what sells her but then she finds out that there’s a tenant living on the third floor and he’s a recluse. After some consideration and a talk with the tenant’s therapist she buys the house. She imagines the tenant, Danny Johnson, to be a little bit like a character from a children’s book and refers to him as Mr. Mole.
After a time she’s contacted by the therapist and is told that the tenant wants to meet her. When Cara meets Danny she knows he’s as far from a Mr. Mole as a person can get. He’s tall, blond, built and gorgeous! He does have a little issue about touching people and the explanation for why that is is more than a bit fantastical. Cara deals with it all very well and not only becomes friends with Danny but soon begins a relationship with him.
Unfortunately Cara’s old life as an Assistant District Attorney comes creeping in and her old doubts about who she is and the guilt she felt over a case could tear her apart.
Poplar Place is a sweet and gentle story for the most part. Cara seems like a happy go lucky person who deals with life with a smile on her face. She’s beautiful, intelligent, kind and an all around good person. When she meets Danny, her tenant, she’s not sure what to think of him but she soon realizes his touching quirk is just a small part of who he is. She’s open to him and when the relationship begins it too is pretty sweet and gentle.
When the past comes roaring back in Cara doesn’t deal with it well. We hear a horrendous story of a case she had two years earlier that changed her life. The descriptions of that case were pretty gruesome and they seemed out of place in such a pleasant story. They were realistic, that’s for sure, but it brought a different tone to the book that I’m not sure fit together well with what I had been reading. Almost like reading two different stories both with the same character. Both stories good, but as opposite as can be
Danny was a great character but I was disappointed that I didn’t get to know him better. As the story was told in 1st person POV I missed out on Danny’s thoughts and unfortunately that made things less three dimensional for me. His touch issues became more than just touch issues during the course of the story (I can’t tell you what the issue was as that would kind of ruin it for you if you read the book) and it took on an odd paranormal feel that I didn’t care for. On top of that the whole paranormal aspect of it all wasn’t explored at all and that didn’t seem realistic to me. I just couldn’t see Cara not questioning what it all stemmed from, but she accepted it, wanting no explanations. It didn’t seem in character.
In the end it was good. If you like a story that has a little bit of everything then this is the story for you.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place