Just a middle-brow reader who loves a good story, recipe or how-to.
Reeling from divorcing her philandering husband, Cassidy Starr arrives late at night to begin moving in to the Texas farmhouse she inherited from her beloved great aunt Roxie. Jarrod Monahan, the cowboy-next-door, is quick to check on the lights over at the neighboring farmhouse that had been empty for five years. While his arrival is timely, it is not an ideal way for Cassidy to encounter the man who had broken her young heart. But it is fun for the reader...
Between rattlesnakes, wild hogs and other critters, rustlers and roundups, festivals with fireworks, women matchmaking and men gathering at the local feed store, this contemporary romance has much in common with the historical western romances that are my more usual reading fare. There is the humor I enjoy, the integrated faith that I appreciate, and the engaging hero and heroine as well as the wonderful secondary characters that I love.
Cassidy is endearing in her emotionally wounded, slightly accident prone way, and Jarrod is a stoic cowboy to crush on (if you crush on fictional characters) who finds himself nearly waxing poetic to the woman who he let get away.
"Have you ever seen anything so perfect?"
"Nope," he said honestly. "Nothing. And the lambs are cute too." Her eyes widened and he realized he'd actually said that out loud. "I'm just telling it like I see it." (p138)
As this is the third book in a series, I was a little apprehensive about reading it first. While there are some obviously recurring characters, including the main couples from the prior two stories, it did not suffer from my not having read them. The secondary characters are a delight. Jarrod's brothers and their wives are charming, the people of the town are amusing, and the secondary romance of two of the older townspeople added so much to the story.
Debra Clopton's writing is deceptively easy-going and quite approachable. One of the things she does so well is giving the reader a consistently strong feel of the setting. This was both helped and hindered, for me, by some of the word choices. I could have done with a few less uses of "y'all" in the dialogue, while I was absolutely charmed by some fun turns of phrase in the narrative.
Holy smokin' pine cones! Cowboyin' kept a body in shape. (p268)
This story was a delight to read. Sprinkled with nice touches of humor, just the right amount of drama and action, integrated faith that is lived - not preached - by the characters, and a great blend of the daily life of a ranch and farm, secondary storylines, and the development of the primary relationship. Definitely one I would recommend and I hope to read more from Debra Clopton.
The original, full (well, slightly longer) review is on my blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-RO
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Thomas Nelson and Zondervan's Fiction Guild. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”