Sunday, February 1, 2015

Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton

A bet gone wrong. A small town s meddling. And a cowboy intent on saving his ranch. Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it s beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie s bosses know this is the opportunity she's been looking for to launch her career and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the betthat he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat. Tru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he d like, but he knows it's the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru s fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do for her own good. In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart s desires.

I really enjoying this one!

When I saw my friend Aimee's review mention swoony cowboys I had to give this one a try. This was a sweet contemporary western. I liked the overall plot and the characters were great.

Maggie has had a hard life, but is always able to see the positive in things. She has taken this talent and become an advice columnist. She was an easy character to like and relate to. I liked how even though she had experienced a rough upbringing, she was still a caring person. She went out of her way to help others and was always lifting up those around her. I loved that.

Tru Monahan was a true cowboy. He is hardworking and loyal and takes care of those he loves. He has to fight his attraction to Maggie, but still ends up doing a good job of courting her despite his intention to leave her alone. They have good chemistry together and I enjoyed watching their relationship evolve. I like that they were able to become friends and that Maggie was able to turn to Tru when she needed him (drives me nuts when heroines refuse to go to the hero for help), it was refreshing to see her actually trust him, especially after everything she had been through. It was a big move for her.

I also enjoyed the side-story of Jenna, which touched a little close to home. I am on the opposite side of adoption, I was blessed with a sweet little boy almost five years ago. I often think of his birth mother and the amazing sacrifice she made to give him up and to a loving family. I know that Heavenly Father sends extra blessings to these birth moms who are able to help a couple have a baby when they haven't been able to on their own. Adoption is truly a wonderful thing and even though I can't imagine how hard that sacrifice is, I know being on the receiving end is truly a miracle. I thought it was handled well in the story.

Overall, a charming read! I enjoyed the setting and am looking forward to reading Bo and Jarrods story, I'll be keeping my eye out for more in this series for sure! I do wish there had been an epilogue, there were a couple things left up in the air.

Romance: Clean
Other: Mild talk of Jenna and Maggie's past, nothing graphic
Religious: Mild, very little religious content and not preachy at all

Source: Received review copy from publisher for honest review.

This has been nominated for a 2015 Swoony Award, you can vote for it here.

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