Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Chance to Love again by Callie Hutton

Widow Rachel Stevens is very happy with her job as a cook for the Lazy Sunset ranch where she is raising her son. However, the new foreman, Rusty McIntyre, is turning her life upside down. She could overlook how her son has begun to idolize Rusty, but she’s having a heck of a time ignoring the flutters in her stomach every time the man smiles at her. 

But Rusty has problems of his own. His previously unknown fourteen year old daughter has just arrived to live with him. Used to always being on his own, now he has a young boy following him around imitating his every move, and a surly young lady glaring at him. Throw into the mix the tug he feels toward the ranch cook—who wants no part of him—and life is no longer as easy as it once was. 

Published & Release Date: Soul Mate Publishing, May 14, 2013

Time and setting: Oklahoma 1906  

Genre: Western Historical Romance

Heat Level: 1

Rating: 3 Gold Crowns

Reviewed by Vikki

When I found this book, and read the reviews, I looked forward to reading it with great anticipation. I usually love western historical romances, but this one didn’t capture my attention. I did not feel any chemistry between Rachel and Rusty. The attraction between them lacks any fire, even when they give into their desire there just is not much passion.  Now, it’s by far not the worst book I’ve ever read, but it is certainly not the best either. I found the story line a bit bland for my tastes. Too many things happen that do not ring true for me.

Even when they first meet, there is no spark, no excitement, except a bit of angst. The story starts out with Rachel Steven’s nine year old son, Will, crashing into Rusty McIntyre when he rounds a corner in the general story and knocks over a display of thread. Rusty reprimands the boy and Rachel takes offense. Then to top it off, she says, “Wait just a damn minute!” This totally took me out of the story. A woman in 1906 would not curse in front of anyone, and certainly not a stranger.  

Now I understand this is a short novella, but there is no depth to the characters, especially Rachel. Evidently, she married young and lived to regret it. I gathered there was no spark between her and her late husband. In fact, I got the impression that the man bored her to death. Now she does not want to get married again. This is a weak reason and made me think of Rachel as a shallow person, so I did not become vested in seeing her achieve her goals.

However, I did like Rusty. He is somewhat of a gentleman to Rachel from the start, even though she does not treat him very nice. When he offers to help her when he finds her wagon stuck after a storm, she grudgingly accepts. Rusty takes her young son under his wing, and the boy grows to worship him, while she tries to limit their interaction, without good reason.

Rusty has a good reason for his lack of trust in women, since he caught his fiancée with another man, just weeks before their wedding. Now, years later, he finds out that she had his child, has died, and her parents do not want to raise the fourteen year old girl. They turn the girl over to him. Here Rachel does respond in a positive manner and lets Amelia stay with her, since she is antagonistic toward Rusty and does not want to have anything to do with him.

Nonetheless, the book is well-written and it is free of any grammatical errors. The pacing is steady and there is no sagging middle. I enjoyed the ending and I am glad they achieved their HEA. Happy reading!

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