New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Julia London launches a triumphant, emotional, heartwarming story about finding love, family, and home.
A lonely childhood and an irresponsible mother has lead Madeline Pruett to create a predictable, solitary world for herself. But she is shocked from her cushy cocoon when a father she never knew dies and leaves her an inheritance and two unknown sisters. Madeline intends to fly to Colorado, meet these mysterious sisters, and quickly return to Orlando to close the biggest deal of her budding real estate career.
For years, Luke Kendrick has juggled school and career and rescuing his family from illness, death, and financial crisis, all without losing sight of his goals: building and selling his own dream homes. On the verge of realizing his dream, Luke is called home to Pine River to reclaim the ranch his father has inexplicably lost. Luke's family knows he will put his life on hold to rescue them. . .again.
Luke is not prepared for an uptight yet sexy woman in impractical shoes who thinks his ranch now belongs to her. Madeline isn't sure how to put order to a rundown ranch, a pair of sisters who do not cooperate, or a place where roads have names like Sometimes Pass and men as ruggedly handsome as Luke Kendrick behave unpredictably.
Sparks fly as Luke and Madeline clash over the future of the ranch. Madeline knows what she wants...until Luke teaches her a thing or two - about breaking down walls, finding home, and the true meaning of family.
©2013 Dinah Dinwiddie (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"Maybe it's just me...."
I guess this is a cute story. Maybe I just can't read chick lit anymore. There are so many little annoyances and plot holes that I can't seem to ignore them. But they are all common to the genre. So, if you can ignore that stuff and focus on the love story, I guess it's ok.
Here are a couple examples of the plot problems that were bothering me. Some people might think these are spoilers. I am going to describe some scenes in the book, but none of them are 'big reveal' type scenes.
First: What is with Daddy issues? So, main character (Madeline) had an absentee father and it has, of course, tainted her whole life. Her mother was horrible. She lived through that, but, somehow, the Daddy thing is what caused the emotional damage. Really? I know a lot of people who didn't know their Dads. My dad was pretty sucky, but it hasn't tainted their whole lives or mine. It is unnecessary drama. If the author wants a messed up heroine, she should choose life experiences that coincide with the level of emotional damage. The mother thing would have been sufficient. I think her life with her mother was much worse than a absentee father. I mean, moving around, living in cars, no place to stay, revolving door boyfriends, alcoholic binges, ramen. The author should have explored these issues more. Living through a horrible life should cause more emotional damage than a father not showing up. For real.
Next: The little brother character is approximately 27 I think. The main love interest (big brother) is around 30 and the little brother is 3 years younger. But he sounds like he is 16. It's really bad. Lots of 'dudes' and lots of juvenile inappropriate comments. It's really jarring.
Third: The two main characters have sex. There are no promises, no attachments, they hardly know each other, and the man is all freaked out the morning after because she is emotionally unavailable. Are you kidding me? They had a one night stand and he got all emo. It was annoying. She doesn't owe him anything. If a female character was acting this way she would be 'clingy' and 'overly emotional'. Here it's presented as if he is reasonable and she has emotional issues. It really is annoying to me.
Fourth: This one runs throughout the book. The ranch was inherited by 3 half sisters. Two of them don't want to keep it, one of them does. Madeline is one that wants to sell it. But the sister who wants it (Libby) says she is going to take care of the place and not sell, that she will do it by herself. At this point, Madeline should say 'ok, fine. buy me out'. But, no. She is trying to convince Libby that she can't handle the place alone. The other sister (Emma) basically says 'who cares, let Libby have it'. But no one is talking about actual legal issues. The are all part owners. Libby can't just have it. They all own it. Libby needs to buy them out or convince them to let her have it. Libby is the one who should be doing the convincing. If SHE can't convince THEM, then she would be forced to sell. This is what normally happens in real life. I don't understand. Again, the author is creating drama in an implausible way. If this was a small issue in the book I could ignore it. But every couple pages, it comes up . Madeline wants to return home and wants the matter of the ranch settled before she leaves. She says it over and over and over. And every time I want to shout 'Tell Libby to buy you out or you are taking her to court! There is no problem!'.
Anyway, those are a few of the problems. They are mostly characteristic of the genre. So, it's an ok book. Cliché but cute.
"A little short on plot"
The main character, should be a whole lot smarter about real estate and business dealings. I liked the characters, but they seemed a bit too one dimensional.
Maybe, but with a different narrator.
I do not know who to cast, but I found the voices for the men sound like shehe's . I really do not believe that she had enough voices to do the book right. I wonder why more books do not have a male and female readers.
More depth. More plot, More use of the mountains, l
Good for putting you to sleep!
"I will not finish this one."
The story was all right. But since it was impossible to finish in this format, I don't know how to rate it.
I bought the kindle/audio combo. So I might try the kindle. But the male voices in the narration was sooo bad. I am not sure I will be able to.
Its a shame since I have been a long time fan of Ms London.
Her voice is very good. But her male voices are horrible. Absolutely terrible. I cannot believe a professional company would think that was acceptable.
I will not finish this one. It was that bad.
Perhaps just reading. It might be a good story. Two hours was all I could stomach of the audio version.
Loved everything about this book.. The characters were very lovable abd engaging. I would definitely recommend this book.
"I loved Leo!"
No. I never read books twice becuase there are so many out there I want to read.
I couldn't stand most of the other characters,but Leo made me laugh out loud through out the book.
The way she reads is too clipped. I just didn't like her style although it worked for the Leo character.
With the exception of Leo, the other characters just weren't that interesting. I usually love Julia London's books. I liked this one, but the characters didn't have much depth to them. I couldn't stand Madeline!
I didn't review this when I reviewed the book on Amazon. So here it is.
OK, I'm at 40% and I'm not sure I'm going to finish. I read Material Girl a while back and only gave it 2 stars because it was soooo long and boring and the heroine was TSTL but I decided to give the author another chance. This book and the audio was free with my KindleUnlimited so I got them.
And again the story just goes on and on and on saying the same thing using different words. The only people I really like are Luke, his Dad and Leo. I love Leo. He has a disease that's killing him but he still hangs on to his sense of humor. Also, I know there's going to be sex in this book but there's nothing that leads up to it. Luke has spent quite a bit of time with Maddy but there's never any thoughts or feelings of passion or desire. Personally, I'd rather have sexual tension all through the book than to have the sex.
I gave this book 3 stars because I'm not finishing it. I can't give 1 or 2 stars to a book that might have gotten better but I didn't stick around to find out.
As to the narrator: With Ms. Eby narrating I can usually finish a book but not this one. She does a great job with the voices and emotions and I could listen to her again and again.
"Very enjoyable, lovely, sweet story!"
I'd say it ranks pretty high on my scale.
Absolutely! In fact, I stayed up super late because I just kept on listening and then had a heck of a time staying awake at work.
I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for the sequel!
"I'm ready for the next book"
This was good. I prefer books with substance but with a little romance. This one fit the bill. The characters were good. Tanya Eby was good. You couldn't help but be proud of Luke's younger brother. I'm checking out Julia London's website to see when the next episode is coming out--can't wait. This is why I prefer to not read any of the books until they are all written, published, on the book shelf or on Audible
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