I received a free copy of this novel from BookLookBloggers in exchange for an honest review. Maggie Hope is working at her dream job in Houston, Texas. She writes an advice column for a newspaper owned by the same people who own the television station where her best friend, Amanda, hosts a live morning show. When Amanda comes down with the flu, she talks Maggie into filling in for her to interview cowboy hunk, Tru Monahan. Despite what she feels is a disaster, everyone else seems to love it and Maggie finds herself committed to a bet that Tru can teach her to ride and cut cattle in 2 months. Her boss thinks it’s a great idea. In fact, if she doesn’t do it, she’s fired! How many more things can go wrong?
Maggie has had a tough life — a father who was a thief and a con-man and was sent to prison leaving her with a mother who was a drug addict and couldn’t have cared less about her. She became a runaway, but she always had hope that the next day would be better. Now, she is painstakingly careful about what advice she gives in her column but she actually answers all her mail and in her strong faith, she tries to give people hope in their future. When she gives a pregnant runaway a lift to Over the Rainbow, a home for unwed mothers, Maggie sees herself in Jenna and decides to be her friend. Her life starts to get really complicated when she feels a genuine attraction to Tru. He has his work cut out for him since Maggie is not only a klutz but knows nothing about animals in general, or horses in particular, except that she really doesn’t trust them.
Tru has his own secrets and is suspicious when it comes to reporters. He thinks he’s been set up, and, despite his attraction to Maggie, he’s going to keep things strictly business and get through the 2 months training as fast as he can. At least that’s his intention.
The plot has lots of twists and turns, and more than a few misunderstandings. There’s quite a bit of humour — the vet’s pig who thinks it’s a nurse, the twins, one of whom is mayor but sometimes they switch places, the town busybodies — and the small town setting of Wishing Springs is appealing. I found it a bit repetitive as both Tru and Maggie struggle with conflicted emotions within themselves, but the tension that develops, especially as Maggie’s past starts to catch up with her and threaten her career, is realistic and I found the book a quick and enjoyable read. Debra Clopton has written a number of cowboy romances, so I’m likely to give another one a try. * * * *
This book is my entry for modern romance in The Eclectic Reader Challenge.