The Morgan ranch has seen its share of bad times. But as the four Morgan brothers are drawn back to their childhood home, the nightmares of their past give way to the promise of a new beginning…
Ry Morgan has always had a thing for Avery Hayes—one more hope his twin wrecked for him, pretending to be Ry to kiss her at the high school prom. Eight years later, Ry has had enough: he’s quitting the pro rodeo circuit, moving home to California to mend fences, and letting his brother clean up his own messes for a change. Reclaiming Avery’s stolen kiss is at the top of his agenda…
But Avery has changed. Her rodeo career ended with a fall that left her lucky to be alive, let alone walking. She hasn’t been on a horse since, and between surgeries and fighting off everybody’s pity she hasn’t done much else either. Ry is strong, confident, and sexy as hell—exactly what she thought she wanted at seventeen. Now, she’ll have to protect the safe space she’s made for herself—or risk it all for a dream she thought would never come again…
I jumped right in the middle of the series with a new author for me, but that didn't slow me down a bit. It was easy to figure out what was going on and what had happened in the past. And I liked the complex, dysfunctional family of the brothers, their girlfriends, their father, and their grandmother. It was an interesting mix of people, who clearly cared for each other and were trying to forgive the past to make a better future.
The only one that I found hard to like, and I believe that was done on purpose, was Ry's twin HW. His arrogance and selfish actions were hard to tolerate at times, yet the more insight I got to him, got to know him, his actions started to make sense, in an odd way, at least there was a reason behind them.
Ry was truly a good guy. He had been the peacemaker all his life, looking after his twin. He had a rough going as a child with their mentally ill mother. Coming home to work at the ranch brought all those memories back about the torture he suffered at the hands of his mother, resulting in nightmares and flares of temper. Ry was the good guy, easy to understand and like and cheer for. Even though HW was supposed to be the charming twin, for me Ry was the one with alluring personality and charisma to win over my heart.
His attraction to Avery was passion filled yet sweet and adorable. He obviously not only desired her, he liked her, trusted her, and leaned on her when in need of support.
At the beginning of the story, I admired Avery, her bravery, her spunk, her determination to make it after the accident. But - and here is where my points for the story started to drop - she wasn't a very pleasant person. At first, she was negative, turning everything to be a conflict instead of a compliment. And then there was the pull and push, the hot and cold, she was all in and all out, and even though she did and said something out of order she made Ry grovel and apology when he didn't do anything wrong! And this just went on and on again and again, until I started to wonder if Ry would be better off with someone who wasn't so difficult to be around with.
The story's focus is on the life in the small town, the upcoming wedding, and the disturbance HW created for the family, and mostly the subplot running through the series with the mother of the family who had been assumed dead for a long time. The developing romance between Avery and Ry is well immersed into the story and the twists in the plot. I found it hard to trust that the turbulence Avery created to the developing romance wouldn't happen again, but they did find a moment's peace towards the end, yet the family drama ends in a cliffhanger.
This was a good story with complex characters, it just had a little too much angst and drama to my liking. I understand that Avery had gone a severe trauma with her accident, but with the picture the story gave of her, I expected her to be a more stable person with fewer insecurities and self-doubts. Those added to the turmoil in Ry's family, there was just too much unnecessary drama and misgivings in the tale.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
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