FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Montlake Romance (via NetGalley).
Publisher: Montlake Romance on December 16, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
She’s here to claim her birthright…
Ex-army sergeant Abby Malloy feels no loss after the father she never knew passes away. Still, part of Ezra Malloy’s ranch belongs to her, and if the stubborn blonde has to live there for a year with two half-sisters who are strangers to her, so be it. Nothing could stand in the way of her inheritance…except a local sheriff wrapped in snug blue jeans and a sexy grin.
He’s here to claim her heart…
Cooper Wilson, the local sheriff and rancher next door, is having his world turned upside down. Abby is all straight talk and sweet, lush curves—the kind of woman who gets under his skin in just the right way. Whereas Cooper has roots in Palo Duro Canyon, Abby’s got wings. But he knows she belongs here. If she can stop running from her past, he’ll happily lead her to a brighter future, one hot cowboy kiss at a time.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Fresh out of the Army, Abby’s life has taken a very unexpected turn, and it just might be happening at the perfect time. With her mother’s recent passing, she has no idea what to do next, so when the father she never knew dies, leaving her an oddly conditional inheritance. If she makes it a year in the large home he’s left behind, pitching in at his working ranch, it’s hers — to split with whichever of her half-sisters she’s never met before meets the same challenge. Throw in a rigid ranch manager and a sexy, cowboy sheriff, and it’s going to be a very interesting year.
The cover is what pulled me in, no doubt. It speaks of traditional romance with a very non-traditional flare, of a potential bride with an edge to add a lot of fun to the story. How could I pass it up?
I have a soft spot for stories that center around country life. Old tractors and barns, gathering eggs and hopping over barbed wire fences, and mesquite taking over the pasture… It’s all part of the world I was raised in and love. So any kind of countrified romance is bound to end up in my Kindle.
Daisies in the Canyon starts out with an intriguing mix of emotion as three grown women stand by respectfully as people mourn the father who abandoned them all. It’s a strange juxtaposition of feelings — curiosity about the father who was never a dad, confusion about their place here, and a bit of hatred for the man who not only never acknowledged them but also abandoned their mothers. They’re curious about each other, these three women who share DNA but have never met, and I wondered what would happen once they got back to house together.
Unfortunately, everything just sort of stagnated for me after that. When Abby gets to the house and meets her sisters, they’re all very distant from each other, which was a shock. Sure, it’s not like they should become immediate besties, and there’s definitely going to be a period of getting to know each other, but rare is the woman who meets long lost family and simply retires to her room rather than talking with them for hours on end. That was the first disconnect for me.
Then there was the ranch’s manager and primary worker, Rusty. I’m not really sure what he was supposed to be character-wise. He stood to inherit the ranch of none of them lasted the year, so perhaps that had something to do with his less than hospitable reception of them, but the more he was around, the less I understood him. He seemed willing to show them what to do and put them to work, but he didn’t seem to have any personality outside of dispassionately laying out orders and rules. At first, I thought perhaps he was that somewhat typical, gruff cowhand that had a heart of gold under all that crustiness, and maybe that’s what he was supposed to be. But he was so flat and emotionless that I found myself more annoyed with his presence than anything.
And then there was Cooper, the super sexy cowboy sheriff who immediately caught Abby’s eye and sparked something with every accidental touch. But before I was even convinced the attraction was mutual, they were shedding clothes and stealing a quickie while everyone else was off at church. I’ve read scenes of one-night-stands between strangers that packed more chemistry and emotion than their coupling did, and once it was over, they almost immediately went back to barely knowing each other.
Perhaps the book turns itself around somewhere after I stopped reading, but at 35% I found myself not connecting with any of the characters, with very little understanding of the point of the story itself, and thinking more about what else I had waiting in my library than what I was reading now. I normally don’t bail until I’m at least at 50%, just in case the issue is more my being slow on the uptake than the story, but at 1/3 of the way in, I should feel something for at least one of the characters, and instead I was just plain bored. Time to move on to something else.