Synopsis from back cover: New York artist Cassie Reynolds moves to Wishing, Texas to raise her orphaned niece, and discovers she’s in way over her head. Then she meets Ella’s financial guardian, Ty Barnett, a handsome hardworking rancher, with his own ideas on child rearing.
Ty and Cassie clash over almost everything, especially Ella, but when two people have the welfare of one child at heart, suddenly they find themselves looking at each other in a whole new light…
Will Ty make room for another lady in his life? And will Cassie allow herself to love a Texas cowboy?
Stats for my copy: Kindle edition, Tule Publishing, 2015.
How acquired: NetGalley
My thoughts: I like stories where a character who has no experience with kids is suddenly thrown headfirst into instant parenthood. And I like stories where a city girl who has no experience with cowboys is suddenly thrown headfirst into…well, to continue the metaphor, into a cowboy!
When Cassie’s sister and her husband, Chloe and Jack, are killed in a plane crash, Cassie relocates from New York to her sister’s bed and breakfast in the small town of Wishing, Texas, to take custody of her young niece. Ella of course is emotionally scarred from losing both of her parents, and refuses to talk, or participate in anything at school. When we meet Cassie, she is struggling to deal with her own grief, and to relate to Ella and get through to her.
Ty was good friends with Chloe and Jack, and he and Chloe were in business together. Chloe had the bed and breakfast, and Ty provided dude ranch services to her guests at his ranch – trail rides and sightseeing tours on horseback. He didn’t love it, but the money helped support his ranch and his family, which included his widowed mother and his younger sister, Aubrey. Ella’s parents had also appointed Ty to be Ella’s financial guardian, so while Cassie now has custody of Ella, Ty has custody of Ella’s money and makes the financial decisions.
I loved Ty. He adored Ella, and even when being his gruff stoic self, when Ella came into a scene he softened. He was good with her, and she obviously felt very close to him. With her father gone, Ty was now the predominant male role model in her life, and he was determined do not only guard her finances, but also to be sure she was properly cared for, even if that meant butting in, whether or not Cassie felt he had a right to.
Cassie is a pretty successful artist in New York, and suddenly being in charge of an inn leaves her floundering. She considers selling it and taking Ella back to New York with her, but since Ty holds the purse strings, he would have to approve of any sale. And he thinks it’s better for Ella to remain in her own home. So of course Ty and Cassie are going to constantly clash with each other. And of course they are going to be attracted to each other, hard as they try to fight it. Ty has been burned in love, and has no desire to be burned again.
I truly loved those Cassie and Ty clashing scenes, and the banter that flew back and forth between them often made me laugh. I could understand the reasoning behind each character's hesitance to become involved with the other, and considering that having Ella in common would keep them tethered to each other for several years, I could easily agree that caution should be taken. I do wish that Ella had actually been involved in the story more than she was. The developing relationship between Ty and Cassie was very dependent on her, as was much of the plot. But even in the end, as much as I felt I knew both adults, Ella was still more of a little plot moppet than a fleshed out person.
I'm looking forward to the rest of this series, featuring other members of Ty's group of college friends,and here's hoping his sister Aubrey will hook up with one of them and get her own HEA!