Series: Gold Valley #14
Published by HQN Books on December 28, 2021
“There were so many layers to him, and she had no idea how to dig down and get through them. Maybe there was no way. But there were these moments. Unguarded and beautiful, when she could see bits of the depth of him. And she had a feeling that not even he really wanted to see it. That he was in denial of all the things he was. And she could understand it in a way, because she didn’t particularly like to examine pieces of herself either.”
FINAL DECISION: Exactly what I needed. This is a serious emotional book about two adults who have experienced a crisis in their lives and are rebuilding. From the beginning “one-night stand” to Mallory and Colt spending time together getting to know one another’s story, I really was engrossed in the story of these two people.
THE STORY: Mallory Chance has just ended a 15-year relationship and to mark a new beginning, she goes to a bar to see if she can find the man she hasn’t forgotten about in six months. There she meets her fantasy man and they spend a single night together never expecting to meet again. Of course, he ends up being her new landlord. Colt Daniels has come to town after a tragedy had him leaving his job as a rodeo cowboy. The two are determined to keep their distance until the infant daughter of a deceased friend is left in Colt’s care and he needs Mallory’s help.
OPINION: This was an immensely satisfying book for the soul. Two good people who are making their way through life, trying to do the right thing. Failing, getting up, and moving forward. I was thoroughly engrossed in the story as I wanted to know how things worked out between Mallory and Colt.
The book starts out hot as Mallory and Colt have a one-night stand. The heat between these two carries the book through a lot of quiet moments as Mallory and Colt struggle through figuring out what this new phase of their life is and what the purpose and meaning in this life should be.
The book is emotional in a real and human way — not overwrought or unnecessarily dramatic. Instead, two humans work through their past baggage to find out how they can move forward in a productive way.
I really liked that both of these characters are strong and independent. They have needs for one another and others in their lives but they are not clingy or dependent — just human seeking connection.
This is a feel-good book that was very enjoyable and made me happy as I finished the last page.
WORTH MENTIONING: I had never read this author before but as soon as I finished this book, I purchased the rest of the books in this series to find out the supporting characters’ backstories.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE TRUE COWBOY OF SUNSET RIDGE is the fourteenth book in the Gold Valley series. The book can be read as a standalone. This is my first book by this author, and while there are other characters that appear from prior books (obviously), I didn’t feel like I had to know anything about those stories to like this book.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.