Daly Thompson has a true gift for creating complicated characters and combines it with a deft touch of humor. Tansy Appletree’s father is a State Senator in Vermont and since his children don’t fall far from the tree all of her herb-named (Basil and Sage among others) siblings are dedicated to lives in public service. Roger Appletree is confident that his daughter has a long and illustrious political life ahead of her and will do anything to pave the way, including discouraging unsuitable suitors. Tansy is enjoying being the mayor of her small town, and isn’t at all sure how far up that ladder she wants to climb. On the other end of the spectrum from the schmoozy, political Tansy is quiet, private, fearful Ian Foster. He and his brothers Mike and Daniel have a past that isn’t really stellar, but their present lives are pure as the driven snow. His brothers have each found the love of their life and much to Ian’s chagrin, they’ve shared the unsavory details of their youth without any repercussions. In fact, the Foster Brothers were once foster brothers of a sort. Ian is afraid that if news of their past comes under the scrutiny of the gossipy small town, that they’ll be ridden out on a rail. He’s got a lot of residual anger from how he was treated as a boy and painting is his outlet for all of his pent up emotions. Despite all the flaws he thinks people will find, Ian is a good, helpful, magnanimous villager, sheep farmer, employer, uncle and brother. The only flaw he has a hard time tolerating in other people is drunkenness.
Since this is a fairly short story, Thompson’s characters make some rather rapid leaps from being disdainful to friendly to letting sparks fly. But that means the reader gets to the fun (naughty) bits all the quicker; which is nice because they are very fun bits.
“Dream Daddy” is a touching romance, a great portrayal of small town life coming together to rescue their historic city hall and a wonderful story of the bonds family creates even if some of the family has created itself. I look forward to reading more of Thompson’s stories.
Nothing less than sheer desperation could make Ian Foster hire Tansy Appletree. The solitary sheep farmer and vivacious accountant slash town mayor have absolutely nothing in common. So why is Ian feeling like a different person ever since Tansy arrived to go over his books?
Serenity Valley's resident recluse doesn't fool her for a minute. Tansy's been curious about Ian for years—she's a sucker for his rugged outdoorsman quality. What she sees is someone who's chosen to set himself apart from their town. Beneath that gruff, growly exterior, he's sweet and tender and has already forged a strong bond with his brother's foster boy.
Ian just needs someone to help him see his family man potential. And Tansy's elected herself. But even she may not be able to pull off this miracle.