Meg Coles’s life changed forever upon her father’s passing.
The latest in a long line of generations of oil moguls, it is up to Meg to oversee the family fortune and business--- The first woman to do so since the Cole name struck gold. Ridden by anxiety, unsure of her next step and un-invested in the big wide world that she has just inherited, Meg would far rather spend her time learning what God would have her do, listening to her compassionate and emotional side and stepping out of the pre-set life her father’s wealth and influence has dictated for her.
Her first order of business is to close the horse ranch and dispense of the animals and its workers. She doesn’t see how this investment is a prime one for her future has head of the estate; but Bo Porter has a different idea. For Bo and his veteran brother Jake, the horse ranch is far more than just a means of employment: it is sustenance---mentally and spiritually--- and boasts a communal feel they’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. To add, the horse farm has been a god-send therapeutically for the outwardly and inwardly scarred Jake.
Meg and Bo strike a deal and he finds himself with six months to prove the asset of the farm. What Meg doesn’t count on is the lightning-flash attraction to Bo: a man who can slow her heartbeat---often quickened with anxiety---and calm her ragged nerves. Bo, on the other hand, cannot believe that a lady as highbred as Meg would look his way; but their instantaneous chemistry proves difficult to rationalize.
Both are brought more tightly together in their common concern for Amber, a single mother and her adorable---if precocious--- little son. When an unwanted blast from Meg’s past arrives on the scene, Meg and Bo learn what’s worth fighting for---horses, ranches and love; while growing closer to God—and each other ---in the process.
From a written perspective, this is a stronger and more solidly paced offering than Wade’s first CBA romance My Foolish Heart. She is more competent with her pen and I applaud her ability to colour outside the lines with sparkly phrases, irregular meters in dialogue, and the bounce of narrative perspective. She certainly has an affinity for the high-class/low-class romance and loves herself a rugged cowboy.
While, as mentioned, I applaud her experimentation, I was a little disenchanted by the multiple use of several points of view. While Meg and Bo’s were understandable, I had no need as reader to learn more about Meg’s sociopathic ex Stephen and was disgruntled every time the ball shifted to his court. Meg’s reminiscences and Meg and Amber’s discussions about him would more than have sufficed for backstory purposes.
I must also note that while Meg was a surprisingly well-rounded character for a heroine of her ilk (rich, well-dressed, picturesque lady) and her vulnerability, especially in moments of tension and anxiety, was well-explored. Bo, on the other hand, near put me to sleep. He’s a nice enough guy; but there wasn’t anything to spark my interest in him. No sizzle moment, no meet-cute, no giggle and snort scene of barrier-dissension and true love explored.
Now, that being said, Bo is not my type of hero. At all. The rugged all-American cowboy guy has never done anything for me and I cite this for the luke-warm feeling I had with the hockey-player-hero in My Foolish Heart. You, on the other hand, might find him quite a dish; so my opinion of him should not deter you from the book at all. There’s a delightful character in periphery---Brimm--- a math-geek professorial type--- who immediately caught my eye and spurned a delightful little glint in it.
This is a well-written novel for the most part and a competent follow-up to My Foolish Heart. Chicklit isn’t my first genre of choice and I have a feeling that might seep into my review somewhat; but if you are a fan of contemporary romances and, well, cowboys and Reese Witherspoon movies then consider yourself informed---this will float your boat!