This Texas cowboy has come home to Copper Ridge to put down roots…but will he risk his heart again?
Asked where he'd be at this point in life, Cain Donnelly would have said anywhere but Copper Ridge, Oregon, living with his estranged brothers. But since his wife abandoned them, both he and his daughter, Violet, are in need of a fresh start, so he's back to claim his share of the family ranch. Local baker Alison Davis is a delicious temptation, but she's also his daughter's mentor and new boss. That makes her off-limits…until she offers a no-strings deal that no red-blooded cowboy could resist.
Alison has worked tirelessly to rebuild her life, and she won't jeopardize her hard-won independence. Especially if it also complicates Cain's relationship with Violet. But with Cain offering a love she never thought was possible, Alison has to find the courage to let her past go…or watch her future ride away for good.
I have been following the people at the Copper Ridge since the beginning and enjoyed the visit there. They have always been entertaining, steamy, and fun reads with charming characters finding their destinies. I am at the point that when I see 'Copper Ridge' I get excited.
Both Cain and Allison have appeared in previous stories, so I was super excited to see them finding their happily forever after with each other, those two really deserve it, if anyone. I just didn't expect them to break my heart in the process.
Allison, Cain, and Cain's teenage daughter Violet all touched my heart with their brokenness, their hope for the better tomorrows, willingness to work on themselves to achieve the better days, to open up, to learn to communicate, to learn to love and trust again.
The story touches many issues most of us have struggled at one point or another, making it easy to relate to the characters and to their situation, to their feelings. There is the teenage angst, finding yourself, feeling that you are not enough, accepted, or loved. The problems of parenting and with our parents, the ever so fragile balance on those parental relationships as we grow and mature and rebel against the authority. There is the aftermath Allison has to go through after living years with an abusive husband. The whole process with Allison is dealt with tender yet honest way, respecting the victim as a true survivor that she is.
All this just resonated with me so that I was holding my breath, just wishing and hoping that they find their balance, their happiness, and acceptance, feel the love that surrounds them. Yet it was Cain, his loneliness, his history of being abandoned, not feeling loved, his fear of intimacy and rejection that stood out. The utter devastation of his feelings, the raw honesty of them, his struggle to connect with Violet, and Allison, even with his brothers, his willingness to do the hard things, have the difficult conversations and put himself out there open and vulnerable just hit me hard. His growth to be the man he wanted to be, the best version of himself, to be the man his loved ones needed and wanted him to be, knew that he could be, the author lays all the fragile emotions there, and let me feel each and every one of them as the story progress.
Yes, there is all the fun banter, the warm family connections, and the friends who would do anything for you that are some of the trademarks of the series. There are the passion-filled moments that steam the windows, and cake baking that could be considered foreplay. There are moments with the brothers that had me chuckling, and teenage angst that had me groaning, but it is the deep emotions that cut me to the core, that still makes me tear up as I write this review, that makes this story stand out for me, that makes it one of the treasured ones that will stay with me, that puts it into the thin folder of 'My Favorites from 2017'.
A must-read book, in my opinion.
~ Five Spoons
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me