This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Montlake Romance
Released on August 26, 2014
This Texas summer is gonna heat up fast when Loretta arrives at her ex-husband’s Texas ranch to drag her daughter back to college away from a handsome cowboy and a whole lotta future regret. Carolyn Brown writes feisty country gal and sassy romance like no other and I settled in the shade with a chilled glass beside me to appreciate this middle-aged summer second chance romance.
It has been seventeen years since Loretta Sullivan Bailey left Lonesome Canyon Ranch and if weren’t for Nona dropping out of college, taking up with a cowboy, and stating she’s going into ranching with her dad, Loretta wouldn’t be back. Jackson Bailey was her childhood sweetheart and a teenage whoopsy pregnancy saw them married young and setting aside their dreams to take on spouse, child and work. Then she caught Jackson in the barn with a hussy and she grabbed Nona and ran all the way to Oklahoma. Her mad is still on and her temper frayed, but what has her really flustered is that after all this time, Jackson hasn’t left her thoughts or her heart. Why didn’t he come after her?
Jackson made the biggest mistake of his young life back then when he he got caught in another woman’s arms. It never occurred to him that Loretta would leave and never give him a chance to explain. He deserved what he got and he’s lived with that mistake ever since. But, here she is and he’s ready to fight for what he ruined and let go. She was always it for him.
Nona knows she’s in for the fight of her life when her mother shows up to drag her back to Oklahoma and college, but she’s up for it. She’s not Loretta’s daughter for nothing. She loves ranching and she loves Travis even when he makes her as mad as fire. She has no idea what broke up her parent’s marriage, but watching them tangle makes her realize that her mama’s return might be more about the past than Nonna.
At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this one. I like second chance romances, but some situations really stretch my credulity and patience. I knew there was seventeen years of silence since this pair broke up and it wasn’t long into the story when cheating came up. How was this ever going to work for me?
But, I do love the author’s stories and trust her to write her characters and relationships well so I gave it a chance. Let’s just say that the truth was complicated and not as straight forward as it seemed. Just like I really could see how this pair needed the years to grow and mature. They really weren’t ready the first time when they were basically teenage marriage partners and parents and their own parents weren’t exactly supportive though they lived on Jackson’s family ranch. In fact, the pair’s relationship got some help breaking up.
Loretta has a huge head of steam coming into the story and I had to chuckle because she really thought she’d lock it all up in a couple of days, dust off her manicured fingers and head back home. It was obvious that she was projecting her own fears and disappointments onto Nona’s life and she had to face all that before she could even deal with Nona.
Jackson screwed up, no doubt, but he knows that and works hard to show Loretta that she’s it for him and always has been. He isn’t a doormat by any means, but he’s wise enough to let mother and daughter sort out their own luggage. He patiently waits for when Loretta is ready to have the heart to heart and the clear the air talking they needed to have. Meanwhile, he shows her that they still have that sexy fire together when she doesn’t see herself the way Jackson does.
I enjoyed the setting and descriptions of life on a working ranch, the surrounding cast of colorful characters, fun times, sexy times, and the heartwarming moments. I read the second book in the series first and now I see how that all began when certain characters and their stories were introduced in this book.
All in all, it was a firecracker of a summer romance between a mature pair against a country backdrop. Those who enjoy cowboy romance or small town country romances should give this a try.
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