The Morgan men thought they left their troubled pasts in the dust. But one by one, they find themselves returning to the northern California ranch where the bad times began. Together, they have a chance to forge a new future based on brotherhood, hope, and love . . .
Professional rodeo cowboy “HW” Morgan has finally achieved his dream of competing in the national rodeo finals—but his career has come at a price. His twin brother wants nothing to do with him and a string of hookups haven’t warmed his bed. He’s got to get his head on straight—and the only place to do that is at home, if his family will have him.
Samantha Kelly isn’t sure what she’s doing at a new dude ranch. The army veteran is barely back on her feet again, still struggling to rehab an injury. But she’s willing to give equine therapy a try, even though her riding instructor is bold, brash, and distractingly easy on the eyes. As she and HW warily try to work each other out, slowly and surely an unbreakable trust is built—one on which dreams can be built . . .
I am very conflicted with this book and have considered skipping writing this review altogether. First, it took me for the longest time to finish reading the book, I would put it away and then pick it up again. I had waited to hear the story of Ry's twin HW, I had looked forward to this story. I felt like he really deserved a good woman as his partner, and I was excited to read this story, I really wanted to not only like it but love it. But this book turned out to be a bit of a mess, in my opinion.
Samantha Kelly is a good woman, she is a wounded veteran, she is strong and independent but she is also stubborn, has no idea what she wants or how to go about figuring life out. She is lost with survivor's guilt, with a broken heart by an ex who cheated on her, with the adjustment of her new life after losing her leg.
HW is ready to leave the rodeo world and retire while he still can. He wants to leave behind the snake of an agent who wants to take advantage of him and the clingy ex who loves to party while intoxicated and high and do it all by using HW's money. But coming home is not so easy when HW feels that the whole family resents him because of their mother who loved him the best. The family drama and trouble seems to come to heads everytime HW is around and he is not completely confident there is a welcome mat for him or a place to him in the new operation at the home ranch.
When you take two people who both have more issues than most, who are at the crossroads on their lives and have no idea how to communicate, are stubborn, argumentative, and tenacious you bet you get some sparks flying. HW and Sam fight, argue, banter, clash, have confrontations, walk away from each other and come back together again for a tryst. Because they are physically as combustible as they are mentally and emotionally. Yes, there is a connection between them but it is not working out because of their hard-headed behavior. Sam is so prickly, I am not sure she knew half a time herself why she was fighting with HW.
The past drama with the family brings to light more secrets from the past, HW's burden as the favorite child of their unstable mother was not an easy to task to live with, nor are the memories or actions of a little child that changed lives and destinies.
The biggest problem I have with the story was that after all the exhausting arguments and fights, the ending was left wide open with no solutions to anything. HW's professional life was not resolved, the rodeo past is still open-ended, there are money issues that are not solved, there was a maybe with his future at the ranch, and his personal life got more of an HFN ending and even that was part of an argument... I am aware that some people do get energy out of constant fighting but I just felt drained and disappointed when I finished the book.
~ Two 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