FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Tasty Book Tours.
Series: , The Bradens #8
Publisher: World Literary Press (Self-Published) on July 14, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Librarian Callie Barnes has visions of reading and relaxing—and maybe having a few too many drinks—on her girls’ weekend away. Her hopes are crushed when her friends pull into a dude ranch instead of a spa, and she refuses to say longer than one night. That is…until she realizes the ranch is owned by sinfully sexy, and dangerously rugged, Wes Braden—the subject of her late-night fantasies.
Fearless rancher Wes Braden thinks he’s the luckiest guy on the planet when the sweet, sexy librarian from his hometown shows up at his ranch. Their connection is white-hot, making it impossible for either to ignore their carnal desires. Wes is more than willing to convert sweet Callie from chick lit to a world of erotic romance, but Callie ties sex to love, and Wes avoids commitment like the plague.
Callie is thrust into physically demanding activities that ignite her deepest fears. Luckily, Wes is as tender as he is strong, and he’s there every step of the way to help her find her inner strength. With Callie’s influence, Wes might even discover that he’s been nursing a few fears of his own. Passion pulls Callie and Wes from their safe, comfortable lives into each other’s arms, and they’re about to find out just how alike they really are.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Callie spends her quiet life wanting what she can’t have — and what most of the other women in town want as well. Every Thursday when Wes Braden walks into her library, butterflies hatch in her stomach. If only she could be more to him than just the girl who knows books.
But then her “spa retreat” with her girlfriends turns out to be time at a dude ranch owned by none other than her steamy crush. Just being near him is enough to set her heart racing, and it doesn’t help that she doesn’t know the first thing about riding horses or roughing it. Add to that her fear of heights and anything creepy-crawly, and she’s sure she’ll not only ruin the vacation for her friends but also make a fool of herself in the process.
I have no idea what this cover has to do with this book. To look at it, I’d expect a beach romance, which is about as far from this story as one can get. Sure, the ladies did catch some rays while they were out, but no sandy beaches in sight. And she’s wearing animal print. Gross.
Oh, Wes Braden has ruined me for all other men. How one man can be all rugged and outdoorsy and hot as hell and so incredibly sweet and romantic at once is beyond explanation. And then there’s the abandoned bloodhound with no sense of smell? Yep, I’m sold.
Fated for Love had me laughing from the beginning, from the moment Callie reflected on graphic versus fade-to-black love scenes in books, and then when I wasn’t melting over some romantic bit Wes was managing, I was cracking up at her friends. In most stories, when the crazy girlfriends pressure the shy girl into breaking out of her shell, it’s so damned uncomfortable that I almost hate them, even when it all works out in the end. But this one was different. Sure, her friends were the best kind of insane, and they totally snowed her to get her to the dude ranch, but they didn’t spend all their time throwing her into awkward situations and setting her up for embarrassment. They were all sweet and funny and clearly loved her and wanted her to be happy. And that scene where they were all in her tent? Just perfect.
I also liked Callie a lot more than I expected to. I didn’t necessarily think I wouldn’t like her; I just thought she’d be that shy, insecure heroine who overdid the wallflower bit. But she was so much more fun than that, rising to whatever challenges were thrown at her, even when they reflected all her phobias, and it was immediately clear that while a little more introverted than her friends, she was at heart no less adventurous. And through it all, Wes was ridiculously romantic, but it was written so perfectly that instead of rolling my eyes, I was grinning like a fool.
I’d venture to say this is my new favorite book in the series, but I think I’ve learned my lesson. They’re all so good, so different from each other, and so much fun that the next one will just end up at the top of my favorites list as well.