Gabe Coleman has worked his fingers to the bone to help run the family ranch, even in the face of severe adversity from his nasty Father. Now the ranch is now longer making money, hindered by his Fathers inability to change with the times and bring some much needed innovation to the ranch. When Allison reappears in his life after more than a year, it’s with an offer he simply can’t refuse; she’ll help him bring in the much needed changes for free and make sure his ranch is used to stock a local restaurant. There is only one thing she needs in return; she needs him to pretend to be her fiancée so she has a reason to be back in the area to care for her very stubborn mother. Can’t be too difficult right?
Finding out her mother was sick was one of the worst days of Allison’s life but having to scheme to be near her is damned difficult in itself. For her ruse to work, every single person they know has to believe that their relationship is real which makes a hell of a lot of people to convince. When the chemistry becomes the only distraction in their daily nightmares, they quickly realize that they need to cling to their shared desire to keep themselves sane.
But how long can they pretend to be a couple, sharing a bed and secrets, before the bonds between them begin to strengthen into something deeper? And when family start to stir up trouble, will they trust each other enough to see the truth?
I love this series. It’s sweet and sexy and exactly what I needed at the time. I had wanted grumpy Gabe’s book for a while and it is everything that I hoped for. It can be read as a standalone but the series is so fricking good, I don’t know why you’d want to!
Gabe is a deeply tortured cowboy. Plagued by a deep-seated guilt and tormented daily by a cruel father that seems to live to make him hurt, he has very little in his life that he actually considers good. He loves his family, but they don’t make him any happier, often taking advantage of his generous nature to suit their own ends. I knew I was going to love him within three chapters. He is all gruff, manly and tortured, but beneath all that is a lonely cowboy, just wanting some love. My love for him was cemented when he saved and looked after a kitten (the awwww factor was high here) and he got even more drool-worthy when he instigated sex on a front-porch :D This man was a rock to the very emotionally stressed Allison throughout this book and I loved the scenes where he simply was there for her in her darkest hours. Favorite hero in this series by far.
Allison was a good heroine. She had a lot to deal with, having to deal with her mother’s illness and also keep it quiet that she knows about it. I felt so sorry for her yet oddly pleased about how well she was holding it all together. She carried on with life as usual, even managing to interfere a little in the live of Gabe, and didn’t break to pieces. She was refreshing. The scenes between her and Gabe were pretty awesome too. Fraught with sexual tension from the start, it was blatant that they would end up hitting the sheets at some point and when they do it certainly smokes up the pages! Vivian Arend always seems to write amazing smexy scenes and this book just kept getting hotter and hotter. I liked!
With an amazing heroine and a FANTASTIC cowboy hero, I couldn’t recommend this book more. If you like nice guy heroes with a hint of angst and strong heroines, this book is one to try whether you’ve read the rest or not. It’s scorching hot and satisfyingly sweet; five stars all the way.