It's been two years since Samantha's husband was killed in the line of duty. But even now, she can't seem to pull herself together. Everything reminds her of him. She cries all the time; she's even left her job on the police force. Desperate for a change, she decides to leave her old life in New York behind... and move south to work as a ranch-hand in North Carolina.
There, she meets Ma and Pops, who run Rolling Hills Ranch, as well as the five men she'll be working with. Sam hits it off with Dan right away, and he's pretty taken with her. But it's Luke who ends up knocking her off her feet. Of course, Sam fights her immediate attraction to Luke, feeling as though it's a betrayal of her late husband. She can't resist his charms, however, and the evolution of their relationship makes up the bulk of the story.
The book is rich in characters. Each of the ranch-hands has his own story to tell. They all have unique and distinctive personalities, but make up a ragtag family to Sam and each other. The last quarter of the book changes gear with developments that were in some ways expected, but pushed to an extreme I didn't foresee.
The story itself with pretty good, but predictable at times. The initial degree of attraction and the eventual falling in love happened with a magnitude and speed which were too great for my taste. I would have felt a lot better about how it all played out if more time passed during the course of the story, even if some of it happened off page. There were times I felt like there could have been more subtlety in both the dialogue and the way the inevitable played out. I also must note that there were about a dozen spelling and punctuation errors.
But it was a pleasant read. The characterization was good and consistent; the writing was clear and easy to understand. And I see potential for how the author could build on what she's already created in future books. 3 stars.*Copy provided by author for review.