Daisy's Back in Town by Rachel Gibson
Series: Lovette Texas #1
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 TBR Challenge
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When Daisy Monroe walked out of Lovett, Texas fifteen years ago, she thought she'd left troublemaker Jackson Lamott Parrish behind her. But some things you can't just leave in the past. Now she's back and she needs to clear the air by confessing to Jackson the reason she left him all those years ago. But Jackson doesn't want to know. When she walked out on him, he vowed he'd never let a woman get close enough to hurt him again.
As Daisy tries to pursue Jackson to tell him the truth, he tries just as hard to stay out of her way. Except, maybe, sometimes, not quite hard enough. One things for sure, the sparks are still flying between them. Will they ever be able to forget their troubled past for long enough to enjoy the present?
Daisy’s Back in Town is an older release by Rachel Gibson that kicks off the Lovette, Texas series. It’s a second chance romance that follows childhood best friends, Jack Parrish and Daisy Lee Brooks, as they find their way together again after fifteen years. Daisy is back in town visiting her family, but she’s also on a mission to fulfill her late husband’s final wish. Daisy has to make things right with Jack Parrish, the best friend that she and her husband left behind after shattering his already shattered world. To her dismay, Jack doesn’t want any part of her reconciliation but old feelings creep on the both of them anyway.
Holly: I’m pretty sure we can’t do this review without spoilers, so..fair warning. Here there be spoilers.
Rowena: I finished this book in a day so that’s a testament to Rachel Gibson’s writing style. It was easy to fall into what was going on in the story and I easily connected with all of the characters in Lovette, but I also really struggled with a lot of what happens in this story as well.
What about you? How did the story hold up for you?
Holly: It’s been years since I read this book. I remember struggling a lot with Daisy’s actions, hating Steven until the bitter end, and loving Jack. I can’t say much has changed. I agree, Gibson’s writing is smooth and easy to read. I fell right into this book.
Rowena: I struggled a lot while reading this book, too. I struggled with Daisy’s actions. I struggled with Steven’s letter that he left for Jack and I struggled with the way that Jack found out about why they left him all those years ago and yet, despite all of that, I didn’t hate this book. I really loved Jack Parrish. I loved seeing him with his family, especially his nieces and then, later on, I really enjoyed seeing him with Nathan.
Holly: I really loved the way Jack and Nathan came to have a relationship. Their sex talks had me cracking up. I loved that Nathan was comfortable going to Jack with things.
Rowena: I guess what I struggled with concerning Daisy’s action was how long it took her to tell Jack the truth. Then when she tells Jack that she loves him but told him that he basically needed to get over her and Steven’s betrayal or he’ll be all alone forever. I wanted to slap that bitch into next year after that. Like, I still want to slap that bitch for that…and I’m happy that Jack finally got his girl.
Holly: I honestly understood why Daisy didn’t tell Jack about his son for all those years. I don’t agree with or condone it, but I got why she didn’t at first, and how it just got harder the longer she waited. What I didn’t understand was why she waited so long to tell him once she came back to town. She had plenty of opportunity and I felt like she squandered it. I agree she was wrong to tell Jack to get over it. I mean, I get what she was trying to say, but she had no right considering how long she kept his son from him. Still, I was able to forgive her. Probably because Jack did.
Rowena: I think I could have gotten over Daisy’s actions if I didn’t feel like Jack was rushed into accepting and getting over the betrayal. He had just found out about Nathan, from Nathan and not Daisy so he’s reeling from the fact that he’s got a fifteen-year-old son that he never knew about, and his two best friends decided that they knew what was best for everyone…for him. So while he’s reeling from that fact, he’s trying to build a relationship with the son he just met, only to have to sit there and be nice to his Mom, who betrayed him and listen to this son call the other person that betrayed him, his father at every turn.
I didn’t feel like Jack was given enough time to really get over everything. Daisy and Nathan knew the truth for years but Jack just found out the truth and immediately had to decide if he was going to be mad or let it go.
Holly: I agree he wasn’t given a lot of time to process or come to terms with everything. Even though I got over it in the end, because I just wanted them all to be happy, a part of me is still really upset on his behalf. How is he supposed to just get over missing out on 15 years of his son’s life? Of listening to his son call another man “dad”? A man who willfully and purposely took that title away from him? I’m conflicted.
I don’t hate Daisy, which is strange. I feel like I SHOULD hate her, but I’ve never been able to.
Rowena: I don’t think I hate Daisy either. I really hate what Daisy did and I don’t even know if I forgive her. But hate her? I don’t think I hate her.
Holly: Steven is the one I wasn’t able to forgive, though. Daisy was young and scared, and easily convinced that Jack didn’t really love her, I think. But Steven knew exactly what he was doing when he took her away..and kept her away. And his letter made me so angry.
Rowena: I do hate Steven. I don’t even care that he was a good Dad to Nathan.
Holly: The difference, I think, is that Steven’s actions were willful. I believe Daisy thought she was doing the right thing for them all by not telling Jack. Steven, on the other hand, knew full well what he was about. He knew he was fucking Jack over.
Rowena: Steven saw a way for him to get what he wanted and he took it. Full stop. He didn’t stop to think of what he was taking from Jack and that is why his betrayal is so much worse. Or if he did stop to think of it…he still went through with it and that makes me hate him so much.
Holly: Exactly this. So much this. He betrayed his best friend because it suited his purposes, and that makes him a total douche. I don’t care how much he loved Nathan or how good a dad he was to him, because that should have been Jack’s job. Jack’s choice. And Steven took that away.
Rowena: Still, even with that drama, this wasn’t a book that I could easily put down. I was invested in these characters and what they were going through. I enjoyed how easy it was to slip into this story, to feel for these characters. Rachel Gibson is good at pulling at your emotions and this book was proof of that. In the end, I was able to be happy for Jack, and for Nathan, and even Daisy. So all in all, I enjoyed this book. I think I’m going to give this one 3.5 out of 5. You?
Holly: Reading this book reminded me why I used to love Gibson so much and why she’s on my keeper shelf. Despite being angry and frustrated with Daisy and Steven for most of the book, I was easily drawn into their story and really pulled for Jack to have his HEA in the end. I’m going to give it 4 out of 5, I think. Because even though Daisy made me angry, I can’t deny I was wrapped up in it from page one.
Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 3.5 out of 5