ARC from Netgalley
I thought this was a cute story by Maggie McGinnis. Our heroine Kayla Bennett heads to Whisper Creek Ranch in Montana for some physical and emotional healing. Kayla had a bad accident; she was in a coma, woke up to find her fiancé had stolen her money and married someone else. Although she has an MBA from Princeton, these misfortunes have led to her losing her job. With persuasion from her friends, Jess and Hayley they leave Boston and head to Whisper Creek Ranch.
Whisper Creek Ranch is owned by Decker Driscoll’s mom. Decker lives in LA although he grew up as a cowboy in Montana. Because of financial problems that his mom is facing he goes back to Montana for the summer to give her a hand and help her get back on her feet, with the help of his brother Cole. Cole and Decker both discover that their father left a big gambling debt when he died and they try to figure out how they can save the ranch and pay off the debt. Decker and Cole play up the image of Montana cowboys to attract tourists although Decker has a successful architect business in LA. Although Decker is only at the ranch to help his mom he starts to feel more at home in Montana and realizes that there is not much for him to go back to in LA. Decker is also dealing with the guilt that he feels for the death of his younger sister. Although his mom and brother don’t blame him, his father who is now deceased did. Decker confides in Cole that their father practically drove him out of Montana because of his sister’s death.
When Decker and Kayla meet there is an instant attraction on both their parts. Both, however, are not ready to deal with their emotions. Kayla feels unsure of herself after getting conned by her ex-fiancé. She also has a hard time learning to trust Decker once she realizes that he is playing up the cowboy image to help his mom attract tourist to her ranch. Decker is ridden with guilt over the death of his sister and has not had any emotional attachments since he left for LA-other than the occasional fling. Despite their baggage Decker and Kayla ultimately learn to let themselves become vulnerable with one another. Kayla uses her MBA to come up with a plan that will save the ranch. Decker learns to forgive himself and realizes that if his father had not driven him out of Montana he would have stayed and feels happy to be home. They both decide that Montana is where they want to stay and build a new future for themselves.
My only issues were: 1) all this happens in two weeks. Doesn’t really seem like enough time to get to know each other and have so many emotional issues unfolded. 2) Even though Decker keeps telling Kayla that she should give him a chance when they do end up spending the night together he tells her is it was a mistake. Not the finest hour for our hero. I do recommend this story because it is a sweet and even fun read as the city girls go on little adventures. Along with Kayla and her friends there are other characters that provide a little more conflict between Decker and Kayla and provide some mischief along the way. The story was interesting as more secrets unraveled and the pace was good. Decker’s mom and brother are great characters that bring warm and even some funny moments to the story. Kayla’s two friends are supportive in her quest to heal from her past mistakes. Overall, this was a very heartwarming story.