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Saturday, August 3, 2013

ARC Review: Homecoming Ranch by Julia London + Giveaway

Format: .mobi (provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: August 13, 2013

Madeline Pruett has made up for a lonely childhood and being raised by an irresponsible single mom by creating a solitary world where timetables and highlighters are essential for the predictability she craves. But Madeline is shocked out of her carefully constructed life by word that a father she never knew has died and left her an inheritance and, surprisingly, two unknown sisters. Madeline hopes that she can fly to Colorado, meet her sisters, discover her inheritance, and return to Orlando in a few days to close the biggest deal of her budding real estate career and get back to what she knows best: a quiet life.

For years, Luke Kendrick has juggled school and career and rescuing his family from illness, death and financial crisis. But he has never lost sight of his goals: building and selling his own dream homes. Just when it seems that dream might finally materialize, Luke is called home to Pine River, Colorado to reclaim the ranch his father lost in a gentlemen’s agreement. He is not surprised—Luke’s family knows he will put his life on hold to rescue them...again. But Luke is surprised by a sexy yet uptight button-up woman in impractical shoes who thinks his ranch now belongs to her.

Madeline isn’t sure how to put order to a sprawling, rundown ranch, not to mention a pair of sisters who are nothing like what she imagined or hoped them to be. The only thing she’s sure of is that careful planning is useless in a place where roads have names like Sometimes Pass and men as ruggedly handsome as Luke Kendrick behave so unpredictably.

As Luke and Madeline go toe to toe over the future of the ranch, sparks fly as hot and fiery as their kisses. Madeline thinks she’s the expert, but it’s Luke who teaches her a thing or two—about breaking down walls, finding home, and the true meaning of family.

Madeline Pruett just got the shock of her life: The father she never knew has died and left her a ranch... And two half sisters she didn't know existed. Leaving Florida and a "sort of" boyfriend named Stephen behind, Madeline is off to Colorado to see not only the ranch but to meet her sisters. She doesn't count on meeting Luke Kendrick though.

Luke isn't happy that Madeline has come to take a look at what is essentially his ranch and he definitely wasn't counting on being attracted to her either. He's a real stand up kind of guy. He's sacrificed so much of his own life to care for his family and it hasn't been easy. His brother Leo has been diagnosed with a nuerological illness that is slowly killing him, his mother has passed away from cancer an his father Bob sold the family ranch to a friend because he needed the cash to cover Leo's medical expenses. The deal between Bob Kendrick and Grant Tyler was that once Bob was able, he could buy the ranch back from Grant at exactly the same price he sold it. Unfortunately, Grant Tyler died and there were no legal documents that confirmed the deal between the men.

I immediately sympathized with Madeline, abandoned by her father, neglected by her flighty mother, she had only her best friend Trudi to lean on when she received the news of her father and sisters. All of a sudden her quiet, ordered life has been turned upside down and she finds herself in the middle of a pile of problems. Complicating matters is her attraction to Luke.

I went through a bit of a roller coaster of feelings with regards to Madeline. At the beginning of Homecoming Ranch I liked her, she was funny, smart and sweet even though she was dealing with a lot. However about a third of the way through, she became a bit of a wimp. She stopped confronting situations head on and allowed her best friend to make decisions for her. I honestly though Madeline was going to become the dreaded TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) heroine but she redeemed herself in a big way in the last 1/3 of the book. I wanted to applaud her for finding her backbone and stopping Stephen's steamroller of a personality in its tracks.

One of the most pleasing and to my mind, emotional aspects of Homecoming Ranch were the chapters that were told by Leo, Luke's younger brother. Here is this young man who had such a bright future as a football player when all of a sudden he's being diagnosed with a motor neuron disease. Faced with impending death, readers would expect Leo to be withdrawn, sullen and bitter but in fact he's the opposite. Leo is cheerful, positive and such a sweetheart that I defy anyone who doesn't fall in love with him. I know I did. Though Homecoming Ranch is a romance novel and the main characters are Madeline and Luke, I felt like it was Leo who brought most of the emotion to the story. I would love to revisit with these characters in the future, especially Leo.

Homecoming Ranch is an entertaining romance with tender scenes and laugh out loud moments, mostly provided by Leo. I recommend it to anyone who loves an emotional journey of self discovery and love.

Rating:

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One lucky person will win a SIGNED ARC of Homecoming Ranch! This is a US/CAN giveaway only, sorry to my international visitors.

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3 comments:

  1. I've read quite a few of Julia's books before and really enjoy her books! I'm quite looking forward to reading this one as well :) Thanks for having this giveaway!

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  2. I've definitely read Julia London before, who doesn't love her books? Can't wait to read this one as well. Going straight on my TBR list!

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  3. I am glad she redeemed herself and the brother Leo sounds wonderful. So glad you enjoyed this and thank you for sharing it.

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