by Jaci Burton
Published by Berkley/Jove, A Penguin Group Imprint 25 Mar 2014
e-book, Mass Market Paperback 304 pages
18 – AND UP
E-Galley provided by publisher via Net Galley. No remuneration was exchanged and except as noted all opinions presented herein are my own.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Hope Flames and the hot new Play-by-Play novel, Melting the Ice, comes an all-new novel of small-town romance, second chances, and hope…
When a movie crew asks to film on his cattle ranch, Logan McCormack doesn’t expect Desiree Jenkins, the young, sought-after star, to be so open, so down-to-earth, or so intimately interested in him. But the last thing a loner like Logan needs is a distraction like Des, who wouldn’t understand what it’s like to live peacefully off the land.
But it’s Logan who doesn’t understand. What Des wants is an escape from paparazzi and gossip columns, and she’s found it at Logan’s ranch. Now it’s up to her to prove that she’s like any other girl looking to be accepted for who she is. And she’s hoping that it’s by this real-life cowboy who has everything it takes—and more—to give her the kind of happily ever after that can’t be found in the movies. us.penguingroup.com
This is the second book I’ve read by Jaci Burton – begun about three minutes after I finished the first in this series, HOPE FLAMES (Review) Here’s my favorite book quote so far this year. It gave me more than enough reason to love Des, the female love interest, and the book:
“Des figured he must have PMS — penis malfunction syndrome. Because he was acting like a dick.”
But there is so much more to love. Once again Burton comes through with a great female character in the form of Desiree Jenkins. Honest, able to see people’s faults and still like or love them, but unwilling to be a doormat. And that’s a good thing for Logan, who like his brother Luke in the first book, has a hefty oversized piece of emotional baggage weighing him down. Where Des is open to all kinds of experiences, Logan is not open to anything new or different. If it isn’t about the ranch, it is not about him. It’s an intensively protective piece o luggage — like a Pelikan case or Halliburton Zero bag.
Enough of the baggage analogy already. Logan’s life, his choice to be a rancher is one giant chip on his shoulder. It’s as if he needs to defend his lifestyle and his world is so tightly structured that he can’t possibly conceive that a woman could share his love of the land and still have a life outside the ranch. He’s really a bit of an asshat (as the quote I chose demonstrates).
It’s ironic that the movie star who mocved around her whole childhood, is more grounded and better adjusted than the rancher who has stayed at home (on the range). It’s kind of a turn around from what we see in the daily new and gossip.
Jaci really demonstrates her mastery of the genre in this as much as in the first book. She uses a lot of humor even mentioning, tongue in cheek, the cinematically iconic Oklahoman wind sweeping down the plain. Again, as in Hope Flames, the first book in the series, there is plenty of hot, passionate and sweaty sex but it is all pretty much vanilla.
The plot is pretty obvious. There’s no HUGE danger other than a super creepy director I kept seeing in my mind as James Lipton. Weird that he is the only character for whom I got a visual and I have no idea why my mind picked him.
There was a continuity error in regards to Desiree’s family, about which I have a question into the publisher. I have not heard back.***
I loved this book, it was just so welcoming, with a lot of heat. It does go into some areas that make Logan uncomfortable but you can just sit back and watch him squirm as e comes to rips with learning about love.
*** March 24, heard from the publicist who tells me this particular error was corrected.