Reading this story was like reading a modern fairytale in many ways. There were several improbably aspects to it, but I just went with it when I treated it like a romance painted with a soft colors and brushes over the canvas like impressionist art rather than has bold realism in contemporary romance.
It’s the story of an ordinary cowhand, Colton Nelson, that strikes it rich winning the lotto and then richer through investments. He just wants to live his life simply and quietly on his ranch with his adopted family all around him, but unfortunately his new bank account figures have all the ladies salivating to become Mrs. Nelson, the billionaire cowboy’s wife.
His good friend, Andy Jo, has a solution to the problem for him. Andy Jo has hired his cousin a few times removed, Laura Baker, to be his assistant in a special arrangement. Andy paid off her sister’s gambling debt to a loan shark and now she’s paying it back by work as his assistant to pay off the loan. Andy’s plan is to use Laura to pretend to be Colton’s girlfriend.
The family is all in on it and Laura agrees because Andy allows her to bend one of his rules regarding her sister. Colton and Laura enter into the act and things are going well until things get real. Unfortunately, Colton wants nothing to do with the ‘love word and Laura can barely say ‘commitment’ let alone feel she can manage it. There is also a little suspicion on Colton’s part that Laura is just playing a deep game to get her hands on his money. As they continue along fooling everyone else with their mock relationship, they both realize that they can’t fool themselves. Laura’s time on the ranch is coming to an end and she plans to walk if Colton won’t give her the one thing that will make her stay.
As I said before, this has qualities to it that are parts fairy tale, parts sweet romance and a few other things thrown in for good measure. The hero is rich, but it has a small town romance feel to it. The pace on this one took its time which was fine, but I admit there were a few moments when I just wanted the story to move it along a bit faster. The transitions between scenes was a bit choppy, but other than mildly distracting, it wasn’t too bad.
All the characters were well written and I enjoyed getting to know each one. I liked how the story switched to various characters perspectives though mostly the two main characters of course. Laura and Colton got on my nerves a bit with their insecurities and denial that what they had was the real thing and not just some fake relationship or that they were good in the sack. They were both passionate people and the scenes included sex, but it didn’t get graphic. There was one character (who will remain nameless because of spoiler issues) that threw me off because what was described in most of the book didn’t jive with what came later. There was a sudden change and while I was glad for it; in truth, personalities don’t go through that drastic of a change like that.
All in all, it was an enjoyable Contemporary Western Romance that those who tend to enjoy their romance on the sweeter side will enjoy.
Thank you to Net Galley for providing my copy for review purposes.
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