When Summer's music career hits the skids thanks to a cheating boyfriend/bandmate and a lecherous music executive, she just wants to leave it all behind. The house and restaurant she inherited from her grandfather is the perfect excuse to leave California behind and get some perspective, maybe a new start.
Gage had hoped the restaurant would be his ticket out of dangerous logging work, but he doesn't get his chance when the late owner's granddaughter shows up and tries to turn around the slow business. But he's betting that the California girl won't make it through the harsh Montana winter, so he's biding his time. Except she seems determined to stay, he can't keep his eyes off her, and it looks like they're going to be neighbors. He knows better than to fall for a woman who won't stick around, but try telling that to his heart…
But... It's not "here, here;" it's "hear, hear." Has been since at least the 1700s. While a little irritating, that one mistake certainly doesn't make the story unreadable. I'm just not sure I can wrap my head around how the editor managed to get pretty much everything else perfect but didn't know basic etymology. Or have Google. Moving on…
The Verdict: When I first spotted this book, I almost skimmed right past it. But I recognized the author's name, so I took a second to read the synopsis. And… well, the words logging, Montana, and ranch were enough to pique my interest. It was free for a few days on Amazon, so I snapped it up and got to reading.
Summer's pretty easy to like. While she's definitely led a different life in California from the one she's now attempting to make in Montana, she's not quite the fish out of water one might expect. She knows it will be difficult, completely different from anything she's ever known, but she doesn't have some impossible image of how things will be. She's willing to get her hands dirty and ask questions and learn whatever she needs to. Her music is important to her, but nailing down a recording contract was less about her and more about what she was supposed to do. Even though she wasn't necessarily prepared for life in Montana, she's not easily scared off, and she's willing to work for it.
Gage was a bit difficult for me to understand at first. He was burned by a girlfriend back in the day, and now he uses his looks to have some no-strings-attached fun. But while he makes no apologies for it, he's not the selfish womanizer I thought he'd be. He's immediately intrigued by Summer, and despite their awkward first meeting, he doesn't hesitate to help her when her car runs out of gas. It doesn't hurt, of course, that he's pretty much the perfect male specimen, either.
But it was when Summer and Gage were around each other that the real awesomeness happened. They were like night and day in some ways, and yet they got along well, even before the flirting began. Summer's banter with Gage (and his response) even before she really knew him made it clear these two were perfect for each other.
“Thought you might be a bear.”
“Driving a truck?”
“I don't know. It's Montana. I thought maybe your bears were a little more acclimated to living up here, and trucks do seem to be the main mode of transportation.”
“Nah, most of the bears prefer motorcycles. Makes them look tougher.”
On the romance side of things, Summer and Gage had pretty incredible chemistry, but they also just had a lot of fun with each other. Gage may not have been a one-woman kind of man for many years, but he wasn't terrified of the prospect and threw himself head-first into things with Summer. And Summer, who'd been screwed over romantically and professionally prior to moving to Montana, ate up the attention. Basically instead of making their relationship an angst fest, Tess Oliver made it fun and realistic, and though I suspected I would like the book, I really kinda loved it.
My problem now is what to do about the series. With as much as I loved Gage, do I really want to risk reading an MC romance? When it comes to billionaires, motorcycle clubs, anything bondage, and organized crime, there's a pretty good chance I'll hate it. And the dude in the next book is MC. Yeah, I want to know what's next, but I don't want to ruin the series for myself. Decisions, decisions…