Free On KU
Free On KU
Free On KU
Free On KU
Free On KU

Hart & Stocker by Max Ellendale


Dr. Willa Hart returns to her hometown Sequim from Seattle when her father passes to take over her veterinary practice. She is the only vet in town and also, seemingly, the only lesbian. She receives a distress call from Dax Stoker’s farm and goes to attend the call from a dead man since Dax Stocker passed a year back. At the farm she meets the new Dax Stocker – Dax’s daughter Dax (Dakota) who took over the farm when her father passed and is also a US Marshal. Willa is attracted to Dax immediately. However, Dax seems especially closed and distant. In a strange incident at the local pub, Dax physically attacks a friendly man for touching her and Willa. Willa is concerned and makes a gigantic effort to break through Dax’s walls and fears – mostly because she is attracted to Dax.

The story is almost the same as the wonderful Give Me a Reason by Lyn Gardener albeit sexed up. Very, very sexed up. Ellendale has a gift for writing love and crazy good sex scenes. However, despite our best efforts, the book failed for us because we didn’t like Dax.

To start off, Dax’s idea of first being friendly with Willa is to push the latter into chilled water without warning. The under-ten sense of humour didn’t appeal to us, but well, okay, we could live with that. The next step in Dax’s bringing down her walls and connecting with Willa was to tell Willa to take off her shirt and bra. More than once. Again, this wasn’t the compete character-breaker for us, because the Willa-Dax relationship is a step beyond borderline into the domme-sub world. Later, as the relationship builds and develops, Dax comes across as almost sex-obsessed. All Dax’s expressions of love are about telling Willa ‘get naked’ or about sex. But what really pushed Dax into the creeper category for us was when she took naked pictures of Willa without Willa’s consent (once while video-chatting), offering to show the pictures to an acquaintance and later sending the pictures to the acquaintance. Not done. Not love. Not even “showing off her girlfriend” as Dax blithely dismisses her action.

Willa, though, is a fantastic character. Loving, giving, nurturing and really sexy. In fact, it is Willa who kept us going through the book. Willa, excellent sex scenes and also the fact that despite Dax, the author kept us engaged. A less skilled writer, and this book would have been DNF for us because of Dax.

Recommendation? A yes.



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