Nearly the last remaining member of Olivia Cattenach's family has just died overseas and left her overcome by grief. But when a soldier shows up at her ranch with a final message from her brother, she finds new purpose. Nathan Roldan is as formidable as they come. Bulging muscles and inked to boot, he looks like every bit the bad boy he claims to be. Except, under his shuttered gaze and behind his walls lies a gentle giant. Determined to carry out her brother's wishes, she chips away at Nate's layers and discovers more pain than any person should ever have to endure. And a passion she never dreamed was possible.
He's not the hero she thinks he is...
Nate's mistake got a fellow comrade killed, and a deathbed promise to take care of the guy's sister lands him in Wyoming with the hope of redemption. But he wasn't expecting...her. Beautiful, witty, and sweet, Olivia is everything he doesn't deserve. Born a nothing, he'll die a nothing. Though guilt is a living thing, temptation is too hard to resist. Somehow, she's unleashing his restraint and unearthing feelings he buried long ago. He wants her. More, he's worried he needs her. She's trying to save him, but when she learns the truth, he'll lose the only happiness he's ever known.
This poignant story hit the emotions hard and deep and took me for an intense ride where I enjoyed every single word of the story. At times I was in tears, at times smiling, even laughing while still tears running on my face. An emotional experience, that is guaranteed.
Olivia Cattenach has faced yet another loss of a loved one during her young life, and while missing her little brother something fierce, she is surviving, thriving, and successful with the family ranch. Her heart is gold, she is kind, generous, considerate, stubborn, independent, tough, and hard-headed. She embraces life with passion, living in the moment and fondly remembering the past.
Nathan Roldan was abandoned at birth. He was abused and withheld to fulfill his basic needs while in the system. He hasn't known what it is when someone cares for you, looks after you, worries for you. He is not accustomed to being touched, not even to eat for the pleasure of it. But he is a man of dignity, he holds his word, he is trustworthy, loyal, and hard working. He has so much love, tenderness, protectiveness and kindness inside of him, emotions he is not used to feeling or showing to anyone.
The ardent adoration that builds between Nathan and Olivia took my breath away. It is fragile, yet filled with so deep, wild, and wide emotions, feelings that seem to have been building inside of them all their lives. To say that the passion is hot is an understatement, it is fervent, vehement, genuine and true.
The secondary characters contribute to the building of a family of the heart. They help to open up the eyes to see the past, accept it, and to move on. They give more meaning to the themes of devotion, trust, and loyalty that builds over time. The story is not just about the amazing love growing and developing between Olivia and Nathan, it's the beginning of the story of the people living at the Cattenach Ranch.
Through trust, opening their hearts and minds, sharing their secrets and painful past, rejoicing in the success and finding joy in the everyday living - Olivia and Nathan might fumble and fall on their way to the happiness and blessings they both deserve, but working hard to get what you want is nothing new to either of them, and they are willing to do the hard things, no matter how much it might hurt or scare them at first.
I am trying to hold myself back and not gush all over this review, but seriously, this story took my breath away again and again. The emotions in it found a way to my heart, the characters pain and joy of life were tangible, relatable, and profound. I sit here thinking about words like marvelous, wonderful, heartbreaking and stunning when I think about the build up of the plot, the character development, and the intensity, the connection, the kindred feelings I had for the people at the Cattenach Ranch. Once again the author Kelly Moran has blown my mind and heart with a story that will stay with me for a long while.
~ 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