I wanted to like this book, but it fell short in a lot of ways for me. The premise was intriguing for me – Tylar has a strained relationship with a mom who was more interested in her own romantic life than the well-being of her child; her father was never in the picture. Now, she’s on her own and pursuing her dreams in equine science, thanks to a trust fund from her absent dad. She’s working at the Sinclair ranch, which is being run over the summer by tightly-wound Trey Sinclair.
Within the first chapter, I began to dislike Tylar. She comes across as incredibly timid to the point of being a push-over (no pun intended). Her youth, both in age and maturity, is shown right off the bat when she chugs a bunch of coolers, plays a drunken game of chicken in the Sinclair pool, and ends up with a concussion. That starts a running theme for me – she’s a borderline alcoholic before the book is even half-way done, and generally seems to have piss-poor judgment in everything she does. Even when I wanted to like or sympathize her, it was hard to get past that. It’s also clear that she has past trauma around sexual abuse, which she struggles with throughout the book.
Trey is a quintessential alpha-male who had a protective streak a mile long. Add in a mysterious past engagement and generally grumpy temperament, and he’s the perfect suitor for Tylar. The rest of the book is their courtship and their struggle to figure out who’s stalking Tylar and threatening her. Trey’s not totally likable, but at least his motives tend to be a bit more transparent.
Another frustrating aspect of this book was that I couldn’t always tell what time it was taking place. At one point, she gets a “Rachael” haircut … as in Jennifer Aniston. It made me feel like the book was written 15 years ago rather than within the last 5.
This book also felt so long to read. The details weren’t always relevant and it often felt dragged out.I can read erotic romance as much as the next, but I felt that a lot of the sex scenes toward the end of the book were gratuitous and boring. I also think that the resolution to Tylar’s questions about her mother was completely uncharacteristic, given how everything else in this book was managed. The book’s ending was also a clear set-up for another book. A cliffhanger on a book this long was overkill, and I can’t honestly say I want to keep reading.