Desert Isle Keeper
Delilah Green Doesn't Care
Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is a queer contemporary romance about a small-town single mom and a big city photographer.
There is no love lost between Delilah Green and her miniscule home town, Bright Falls. She fled when she was eighteen and barely looked back, preferring to spend her time pursuing her artistic dreams in Manhattan. Delilah was orphaned at ten and left in the care of her stepmother, a woman who isn’t precisely evil, but certainly lacks empathy. Delilah has returned to Bright Falls periodically for events with her stepfamily, but she really regrets having committed to a two week visit to photograph her stepsister Astrid’s wedding festivities. Astrid defines high-strung, and they’ve never been close, but the fee is too good to pass up.
Claire Sutherland took a different path – she had a baby right out of high school with her then-boyfriend, who didn’t exactly step up. Her ex has ducked in and out of their lives for years, and Claire has been her daughter’s rock, providing a loving and stable home. Along with the support of her mother and two best friends, Iris and Astrid, Claire has created a great life for her kid. Ruby is a headstrong pre-teen just starting to rebel, and Claire has enough on her plate without a force of nature like Delilah blowing into town.
The mutual attraction is instant, but Claire knows it can’t go anywhere. She and Iris have concerns about Astrid, and Claire knows Astrid would see any connection with Delilah as a betrayal. The stepsisters aren’t on good terms, and Claire doesn’t want to rock the boat. Meanwhile, all Delilah can think about is how much she could rock Claire’s world.
I loved this book so much! Delilah is a character you might recognize – she’s emotionally closed-off due to her childhood trauma, but she just needs to feel safe to let herself love someone. I adored her, she’s such a softy underneath all that thorny pain. This is kind of a grumpy/sunshine romance, as Delilah is a hedgehog type while Claire is all teddy bear. Claire only really lets herself unleash hell when her daughter is involved, and that’s totally fair game. The romance hits well; both characters are willing to entertain the attraction but neither is really ready for love until they have to confront the possibility. They both also go on a journey to discover where they are in life: Claire has to let go a little bit, and try to forgive and move forward, where Delilah has to accept the past and get on with her life, with the understanding that she isn’t really alone.
There is a lot to love about this book: the posse of queer besties, Delilah’s one liners, and wedding blunders galore. The representation is great – Delilah is a lesbian and Claire is bi, and both perspectives really ring true. The secondary characters are pretty strong, and the other plotlines all work really well. While a lot of B-plots feel like they’re only there to take up space, all of the events of this book feel natural and causal. I particularly adored Astrid, who is maybe not so loveable, but really needs to be loved. Her dynamic with Delilah is great, and I’m excited for the rest of the series. The next book will follow Astrid, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
One thing that doesn’t really fit the story is Iris, long-time friend of Delilah and Astrid. She has really great chemistry with Delilah – they’re both somewhat catty people! – but she doesn’t really vibe with the two women she has been friends with for years. Iris, Astrid and Claire are supposed to have been inseparable since they were children, but Iris doesn’t actually seem to like Astrid, and she basically just bounces jokes off Claire like she’s a wall. Generally, I didn’t buy the three of them as friends. None of them really seems to like each other, or even have much in common. Their bond isn’t really well established, which makes it difficult to see the three of them as the author intends. While this is my only problem with the book, it does make a difference, since the friendship between these three is a huge part of the plot.
Other than that, however, I enjoyed the book very much. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care is a delightful story of two women finding love where they least expect it, and I highly recommend it.