The New York Times bestselling author of New Leaf returns to Mystic Creek, Oregon, where a wounded heart finds a place to call home. . . . After a career on the rodeo circuit, Ben Sterling longs to settle down on his farm and start a family like his brothers. He’s searched all over for the woman of his dreams. Yet the only one to spark his interest is the new owner of the local café. Getting her attention, however, won’t be easy. Sissy Sue Bentley has worked hard to make it on her own, and she doesn’t need another man in her life. From her alcoholic father to the men she’s dated, who were after only one thing, they are nothing but trouble. Except Ben keeps showing up whenever she really needs help. Sissy struggles to deny her growing feelings for him—but soon Ben’s tender concern has her hoping for a happier future. Then her past comes barreling back into her life, and it will take more than the love in Ben’s heart to hold them together.
Well it looks as though I am going to be one of the very few not as enamored of this books as all the others. I know that Ms Anderson writes some very sweet romances (I adored her book Blue Skies to the point that I've worn the backing away).
But this book just made the heroine Sissy into a very childlike (and for me unrealistic and nearly unlikable creature -come on? A Pack Rat???) and Ben into a 'prince charming'; again unrealistic outside of a Christian romance. I understand that Sissy was abused to some point (and you will find that point near the ending of the book), it was hinted at all though out the book. I also understand that Ben does not want to hook up to any woman that doesn't share his likes and dislikes. I found this to be unrealistic and a bit on the cruel side - he wanted his women to adore his animals; ALL of his animals as much as he did and he wouldn't settle for anyone who merely liked them - with him it was all or nothing. I do NOT like characters that 'give' ultimatums -on either side. This is what I felt Ben to be doing with his other relationships.
This book felt to me as if it had been hurriedly written with a lot of thinking about sex and once you get to the act it was like a deflated balloon -disappointing. Don;'t get me wrong, I don't like or dislike sex in books- this just seemed to be especially poorly written and not engaging at all.
Had I read about Ben's chest just one more time - I would have tossed my Kindle out of the window.
*ARC supplied by publisher.