Abby Niles never ceases to amaze me! Her books are always so creative and unique that they stay in my mind. Although I’ve read two other books by her she always tops herself. The minute I see her name I jump at the chance to review and read.
Winning Love was a wow-zer! First the heroine, Gayle Andrews. I have never read about a heroine like her. She really blew me away. She was completely uninhabited and had no reserve about holding ANYTHING back. I have to admit, I had to put the story down a couple of times. Gayle is a storm-chaser, which is really more sophisticated than it sounds, but it fit Gayle so perfectly that I thought the author couldn’t possible come up with a better occupation for her. Gayle was so layered and complex. She was a ball of constant and none-stop energy but she also had a lot of heart and soul. She also really got Mac Hannon.
Mac was such a difficult character for me. I really ached for him and his loss, and he did have a big loss. At the same time he was so short fused that he was also irritating. At first it seem that everything and anything set him off. Mac lost his wife while she was pregnant with their child. This horrible event happened four years ago and the pain and hurt is still very viable for him. He was a very accomplished chef but to deal with his anger and pain he returned to fighting. He is very numbed to his pain but at the same time he is still very pained. Although emotionally shut off he is so highly sensitive that really any conversation is a reminder of his loss.
Mac returns to Kansas, where he used to live to help his friend train. When he and Gayle meet he is very reserved and stand-offish but she is not the least bit intimated. Unlike the other people in his life, Gayle knows when to push and when to back off. One of the funniest scenes is when she is actively pursuing him and she makes a remark about just wanting a physical connection, not marriage. As Mac and Gayle spend more and more time together they quickly learn to love each other and they make a strong connection. Although the author doesn’t give these two tortured souls a quick fix (Gayle, although very carefree carries her own pain), it was really worth the journey that they travel. Once again, Abby Niles does not disappoint. This book is filled with fantastic scenes (chasing storms, mud races, just to name a few) and very tender moments. I really enjoyed and highly recommend this book.
**ARC provided by Publisher**