Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sweet Redemption

This is a story about Ellie, a woman who lost her husband in Afghanistan two years earlier, and Cord, an ex-convict hunted by his past. They meet simply enough when Ellie needs someone to repair her barn and Cord answers the want ad. However, it does not get much more complicated than that – in fact, it does not get complicated enough. With so much to work with, the author does not tap into enough of their backgrounds for me. Those of you who follow my reviews know that I like authors who dig deep to give me an emotional read.

It is a fast read but it was also a fast relationship – too fast - Ellie and Cord go from bumping into each other to committed love in a few days (why don’t authors just add in that one phrase, a few days later?).  Then there was Justin who goes from intrusive ranch foreman with a crush on Ellie and great potential for conflict to friendly sidekick in a blink of the eye. I nearly had whiplash from his quick turnaround.  It was both fast and mostly hard to believe, frankly making me respect him less as a strong male protagonist.

There were other unbelievable things in this book as well.  Some readers could choose to overlook these minor details and simply enjoy the story. I am too much of a realist to let this much slide though.  We never get to hear about Ellie’s full background – another missed opportunity on developing conflict - but I would guess a ranch owner would be smarter than to wander into a flooded ravine. And the whole pregnancy thing was way – way – way overplayed. Men are never that obsessed with pregnancy.

Whom did I love the most? Bacon! He was a funny addition to the book and oddly enough, most believable as a character. The author gave us some great scenes – and emotional depth – surrounding the little piggy.
Now, let me just say if the characters had just been fleshed out more, this book’s rating would be higher. If there had just been more conflict, higher still. Everything could have been made better with more-developed characters – that is where the book missed the mark for me.

However, the book is a nice, easy read if you are looking for a simple, sweet story and have a taste for some Texan cowboys with a side of Bacon.

RATING: 3 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries 

Dealing with her ranch, a sexy new man, and a jealous pig is tough enough. So when her hired hand Justin gets jealous and causes havoc, what is she to do? Everything in her power to hold on to love.
Being a war-widow is hell on the sex life, as Ellie Mason knows all too well. And thanks to the last storm that blew through, her sex life isn't her only concern anymore. Rain and high winds damaged her barn. While placing an ad for a handyman, in walks Cord, the man of her dreams. He might just be the one to fire up her sex life, that is... if he'll take the job.
Ellie and Cord's relationship is soon troubled by Ellie's menacing pet pig Bacon, who is set on destroying everything Cord owns. Then there's the hired hand Justin, who searches out the truth about Cord's past and uses it against him, and Ellie and Cord's new relationship spirals out of control. Will their budding love survive a missing condom, a crazy pig and a jealous man?

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