I’ve once again done that “pick up a book from anywhere around the house and see what happens” thing. This time worked out a little better than the laI’ve once again done that “pick up a book from anywhere around the house and see what happens” thing. This time worked out a little better than the last couple, but I still had a problem or two with it. First, the title should actually be “A Hard Woman to Love”. Yeah, I know, it’s not quite the same, but it sure does describe this book much better than its current title.
I realize that Montana has reasons for being so fierce about her independence, wanting to succeed and make it on her own. But the attraction between her and Steele is instantaneous, they’re going at it hot and heavy with minutes of meeting, which I found to be a little much, even for me. And though his presence comes at the right time and he does nothing but good for her and her business, she still resists letting him any further into her life. Sex is as far as she’s willing to let it go. For me, she takes it all too far and the wait for her change is too long, especially when she keeps enjoying the sex as much as she does. I felt she could have loosened up much sooner, because I don’t know that that many men would wait around nearly as long as Steele does, no matter how great the sex. And when her attitude adjustment does happen, she’s a totally different person and those last remaining pages are fun to read. She’s an intelligent woman. All of this should have occurred to her much earlier in the book.
Steele is the best part of the story. He comes to the dude ranch/spa as manager of the ranch under mysterious circumstances, but we learn that he’s not following his usual course while scoping out the place. Montana learns the same thing, but she just feels betrayed and refuses to listen to him. Just another reason for her to continue in the same vein against Steele, even when his efforts are all in her favor. I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Zeb and Helen and Steele’s brother, Sloan. The brothers’ parents, Rake and Angel, are also a lot of fun and boys’ reactions to them and their circumstances is a lot of fun.
I do want to read Sloan’s book, Wicked Night Games. I’m willing to see how things go there. As an aside, Ms. Lawless, please have someone work on your site. There’s some broken links and the continuity, especially with excerpt links, is so confusing, in different places on the page for each book though the pages are set up exactly the same. I didn’t look any further to check out other potential mishaps due to becoming somewhat frustrated with those things.
Without Montana’s turnaround coming sooner in this book, I just couldn’t grade it any higher.
Finally we come to the wedding couple who have been prominent figures throughout each book up to this point. Well, maybe not in the disaster of Book 2Finally we come to the wedding couple who have been prominent figures throughout each book up to this point. Well, maybe not in the disaster of Book 2, but close enough. Julia and Roman fell in love very quickly, which is what brought her sister to Texas to begin with. He’s nearly broke, sinking all of his money into the family winery while hoping everything works out. That’s exactly why Sydney thought he was after Julia for her money.
But after falling in love so quickly herself and getting to know Roman more, Sydney now realizes he’s a good man and her sister is lucky to have him. It’s Julia herself who is now having doubts. She thought they knew enough about one another to get married, even though she’s never told Roman more about her parents. He does a little about them, considering their fathers have a shaky past. Though she loves her mom and dad, they are quite classless and tacky, and the scenes that get this point across are actually pretty hilarious and priceless.
On top of this, Roman doesn’t seem to listen to Julia when she tells him what she wants and likes when it comes to the important things between them. The next she knows the entire wedding is on a downhill slide and it’s five days until the big day. They both have secrets they’ve never shared, feeling those secrets would be the deal breaker in their relationship. but when they finally come clean, only more doubt settles in. Choosing to postpone the wedding, Julia feels it’s better to wait, to really get to know each other, but will their love survive a longer engagement?
While I did enjoy this book, I was a little surprised at the direction it took after Julia being so stalwart in the first three books on how much she loves Roman and knows him plenty enough to get married. I kind of felt I’d wasted my time in all the previous reading. But I ended up being okay with it all because of the way Roman took care of things and gave me a fairly good ending. The other characters are still present a good part of the book, excluding Kiki - thank goodness! - so I’m pretty happy overall with this last book in the series.
These books coming from Tule Publishing Group are why I read romance. To me, they’re updated versions of those books I read back in the ’70s and ’80sThese books coming from Tule Publishing Group are why I read romance. To me, they’re updated versions of those books I read back in the ’70s and ’80s – an escape from everyday life into a world where love is the bottom line and you can forget everything for a few hours. These modernized stories have sassy heroines and sexy heroes who have a good time and stick together, just waiting for love to zero in on their hearts.
Ella Grace has been raised by her father, so she’s into every imaginable part of their ranching industry. She knows it inside and out, happily does the work needed to make it run smoothly – all to her father’s chagrin now that Ella is of marriageable age and picky as can be. She resists his attempts at matchmaking, insisting she’ll only marry for lust, lightning bolts, and love while making sure no one wants her just for her money. Her friends drag her into town to the local bar where the new bartender has sent female hearts hither and yon a-thumpin’. And Ella can see why, but she’s a bit distracted when she learns her father has taken their last discussion a bit too far and placed an ad in the paper for a lapdog of a husband for her. Fighting fire with fire, Ella posts her own ad right there in the bar for a lover’s lover. Guess who’s the first to apply for the position?
Running from family in Australia, Cameron Sawyer never lights in one place for long. His current bartending gig is only a few weeks and then he’ll move on to someplace new. But suddenly there’s a fly in his nomadic ointment. Just bantering with Ella Grace about her lustful plight has his juices flowing something fierce. They begin to spend time together, and what fun they have. Especially with plain-spoken Ella, who tries to keep her bossiness and rambling to a minimum, but she’s a breath of fresh air for both Sawyer and the reader. She says what she means and she means what she says. Sawyer eats her up.
But the issue between them is his family and his hesitance in telling her about them and the danger she could be in. He has so many chances to blurt out the truth, but he holds back – until the time is right, sort of. To his amazement, Ella doesn’t bat an eye but she does work up a good sweat telling Sawyer what she thinks about it all and insists she can take care of herself. In the meantime, they enjoy each other immensely, despite Ella’s father’s doubts. That’s what I love most about these two. They look whoever in the eye and say it up straight, never backing down. Even when they’re alone, the rapport runs off the page, whether they’re in bed together or working on the ranch or having dinner.
This is my first book by Kelly Hunter, and I’d love to read more, especially if it’s part of any of the Montana series from Tule. They’ve hit a perfect combination and are doing something right. I can’t wait for more.