**Okay. So, we’ve been avoiding less than positive reviews on the blog, with the exception of a #fbf review that shall not be named. And you know what? That’s not realistic. We will not like all the books we read. And like we said in our inaugural post, it’s nothing personal toward the author. We will always strive to be honest without being bullies. As for our readers, don’t take our word as final. Pick up the book and judge for yourself. Opinions are just that. Read and form your own.
After Wall Street collapses, investment banker Griff McPherson trades in his suits and ties for Stetsons and cowboy boots. He returns to the Wyoming ranch he co-owns with his brother, but it’s not exactly a happy homecoming. So to prove to everyone, including himself, that that he belongs back in Jackson Hole, he takes a post as a wrangler on another ranch.
Air force lieutenant Val Hunter has just returned to the Bar H ranch to help her ailing grandmother run the property. While it is full of unhappy memories, Val is determined to do right by her home. Her new hire is easy on the eyes and a tough wrangler to boot, yet her instincts make it hard for her to trust him. When a nefarious neighbor endangers her land, Val is forced to accept Griff’s help—but will she finally be able to open her heart?
This review was originally posted on Goodreads.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I really wanted to like this book, but I could tell right away I was going to have a problem with the writer’s pacing and style. Or maybe those were editorial decisions. On top of that, Val and Griff’s love story took a backseat to the author’s own with Wyoming and ranch-life. You got to know their backstories a bit, but their growth was told to us more than it was showed on the page. I couldn’t become invested in them, because I didn’t really get to know them, other than Val was abused and Griff worked on Wall Street. We’d get insight into their feelings, but they always seemed to be throw-away sentences at the end of another paragraph-long description of the beautiful Wyoming countryside.
And let me just say, I’ve lived in NYC for the past 3 months, and no its not for everyone, but it isn’t the God-awful place this book makes it out to be. Central Park is actually very, very lovely, especially this time of year. And people here can be really nice, I’ve found.
As far as pacing, right off the bat, the conversation between Val and Gus was dragged out way too long. That seemed to be the case throughout the book. And there was so much repetition as well. We got back story every time a character was on the page, as if we were being introduced to them all over again. Same thing with Val and Griff’s descriptions/impressions of each other’s face, hair, eyes, etc. Besides that, I was 3/4 of the way through the book and nothing had really happened to move the story along. Even the love scene dragged. nevermind it came at the very end of the book.
Style-wise, this was just a distraction. Have you ever noticed how many times Jack and Rose say each other’s name in Titanic? That’s what happened with this book. I wanted some pronoun usage. If Val and Griff are the only 2 characters on the page, we don’t need to see their names every time one of them mentions or addresses or even thinks about the other. Sentence structure was an issue for me as well. Nearly every one followed a simple ‘subject-verb-object’ format. It made it choppy. And yes, the dialogue was unnatural as a result, in addition to sounding forced. Too much of it was used for exposition as well.
There were some continuity issues. For instance, the bad blood between Slade and Griff was at first Griff denying his brother money. Then later on, it was Griff not having the money to help. The aunt and uncle in NYC at first valued hard-work, but then they valued material things; and they came for family visits, but then they didn’t value family. Griff and Slade’s parents died when they were 6, but at one point it mentioned they were separated at birth. I was confused. And how was Augusta’s last name Hunter if she was Val’s mother’s mother, not her father’s?
And what happened with that throw-away scene b/t Curt Downing and Reagan Mason? Unless its coming back in a sequel, it was a waste of word count that could’ve been better used on developing the 2 main characters. If it was there to illustrate Curt Downing as the villain, it just didn’t work. We got so many other instances of him being a bastard anyway.
I just couldn’t get into this one. And I’m thinking its more an editorial issue than the writer.