Once the Clouds Have Gone

KE Payne. Bold Strokes (boldstrokesbooks.com), $16.95 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-1-62639-202-1
The breezy narrative of this pleasant contemporary romance from Payne (Because of Her) goes by quickly but doesn't leave much of an impression. Tag Grainger, the estranged daughter of a Scottish mill-owning family, returns home after her father's sudden death. She finds the family business in disarray and must work with her brother and their employees to make it solvent, while grieving for her father and finding ways to heal the wounds that led to her original departure. Freddie Metcalfe runs a cafe owned by the Graingers, and while she and Tag are drawn to one another instantly, the complications of raising an orphaned niece and the aftermath of a bad breakup make Freddie wary of entanglements. The power Tag has over her as her new boss also complicates the dynamic of their romance. Payne's plot and characters are charming but slight; refreshingly, homophobia is never an emotional driver in any portion of the novel, and the depiction of Scotland is idyllic. This is a refreshing little holiday of a romance. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 11/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
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