Tessa’s Treasures by Callie Hutton
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Short Story (121 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern
Tessa Jordan, abusive marriage survivor and owner of Tessa's Treasures, an antique store, has sworn off relationships of any kind--until she comes face to face with the object of her teenage crush and falls into his arms, literally. Widower Lucas Raven has returned to Duncan after retiring from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Lucas has two things in mind: ask Tessa to look at the antiques he found in the attic of his house, and see if his feelings for her have lasted through the years. She does, and they have--tenfold.
When Tessa realizes the scrimshaw doll she's agreed to sell has a curse attached to it, she wonders if it's behind the strange things happening to her. Is it truly the doll wreaking havoc, or is someone out to get her? And since she's sworn off relationships, how can she keep a very determined Lucas at arm's length?
Widower Lucas Raven has come home after quitting the FBI. He goes to see Tessa Jordan at her antiques store to get some help clearing out the attic of the house he recently purchased. Using the excuse to get to know his old crush better they both embark on the slow process of rediscovering one another. Each of them have pain from the past locked away and difficulties to overcome. The slow, gradual growth of romantic feelings is a sweet and wonderful thing to read. I found it quite easy to lose myself in the gentle ebb and flow of Lucas and Tessa.
Both Lucas and Tessa are middle aged which I found delightfully written and refreshing. I also really enjoyed how the book focused so fully on their blossoming relationship and not their differences, like Tessa being a vegetarian and Lucas a traditional meat and potatoes man. Initially Tessa is a bit skittish, but Lucas shows an abundance of patience. This is a sweetly sensual book about two people who’s lives have diverged but fate gives them a second chance together.
While there are a few subplots, the real spotlight is on the characterizations and interactions predominantly between Lucas and Tessa. It’s a sweet, gentle read and highly enjoyable.