Title: Tru Burn (Ember Peak: Book Two)
Author: Edie Danford
Length: 211 pages
At a Glance: A slightly more angsty follow up to Tru Smoke, I loved the parts with Jones and Tru but became disenchanted with another character, entirely.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: As snow flies across Ember Peak, Jones and Tru are making their own kind of warmth, but a family secret could send a chill over their future plans.
Jones Hudson is ending the year the right way. He’s taking his sexy fiancé and his sweet dog on a fun road-trip to visit his mom’s new family. He’s found a groove with new friends at Ember Peak Ranch and his job at a local diner. And, best of all, he’s regularly basking in the flame-hot love of Tru Larkin.
But things go unexpectedly wrong when Jones uncovers news that may change life at Ember Peak forever. And when the secret detonates, the after-burn is more painful than he or Tru could have imagined.
Tru knows it might be too late to save the season, but he’s determined to move forward with his planned surprise for Jones. When a blizzard knocks out power at Ember Peak, he’s forced to rethink his ideas on giving and forgiving. Maybe it’s the gift of a simple vow that will burn brightest on a dark, starless night.
Review: Tru Burn is the second book in the Ember Peak series, and contains major spoilers for book one, Tru Smoke. It’s not recommended to read out of order.
After their engagement, Tru and Jones take a road trip to Ohio to see Jones’s mother and her new family for Thanksgiving. Things don’t go quite as smoothly as they’d like, though. Some interesting accommodations along the way, with the guys and Tru’s dog and some meddling from Jones’s new stepsister, give both men pause about their wedding plans.
As they leave for home, Tru thinks they need to make a stop in Chicago, but by this time, Jones is truly sick as a dog. Unfortunately, Tru has forgotten to mention that his friend Steph is staying at his place while his house is being redone. Jones has never been a big fan of Steph’s and when he’s sick, he really isn’t that interested in making nice. But apparently Steph’s made plans, and Tru and Jones get a little caught up in them. While he’s still down for the count, Sandra shows up and agrees to drive with him back to Colorado—much to Tru’s dismay. Although Tru does have work to do in Chicago, and he’s not happy about the two of them driving, he relents and they begin the last leg of the road trip home.
Here’s where this story fell apart a little bit for me. A big secret (no one will be surprised what that is) comes between Jones and Tru. I admit that I had a huge problem with Sandra’s character at this point. Maybe because I’ve always been old—even when I was eleven—and I’ve always put my friends and family before myself (much to my own detriment). I just didn’t understand how she could ask Jones what she did of him. Suffice to say that Jones is a loyal and loving friend, and the decision he makes to support that friendship could have severe and lasting consequences for him.
When Tru finally gets back to the Christmas winter wonderland that Jones has created for him, he’s thrilled to be there. But once he figures out that Jones is hiding something from him, he becomes both worried and angry. This, of course, does not bode well for their first Christmas together. And when Tru decides he has to handle the crisis himself, they might not even be together at all for Christmas. Things seem to go from bad to worse, and even though it’s obvious that Tru and Jones are meant to be, this is definitely a big bump in the road to their happily ever after.
Man, I wanted to love this book but I can’t honestly say that I did. I liked it a lot, loved the parts with Jones and Tru together on their road trip, and at the house, and, of course, the ending. But I really became completely disgusted with and disenchanted with Sandra. I’m all for being supportive of friends, but I really didn’t like what she asked of Jones, knowing Tru as well as she did and what his reaction would be. She as much as anyone fought for them to be together. It was inconsistent to me that she would allow such a wedge to grow between them. So that part of the story, frankly, just ticked me off. That being said, I am really looking forward to the third book. Maybe she’ll get back in my good graces, maybe not. Regardless, I’ll still be there to see how Tru and Jones move forward.
You can buy Tru Burn here: