Series: , #1, #1
Published by Forever on June 25, 2019
Genres: Romance, Western
Review Copy Provided By: Forever, Hatchett Book Group
AMZ US Apple Books
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers a romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy...
Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he's determined to do everything by the book--until he's called to Aspen Barlow's office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn't the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge...
Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she'll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there's a thin line between love and hate... because there's nothing Case wouldn't do to keep her safe.
I was provided a review copy; this did not influence my opinion of the book.
One of my favorite tropes is enemies to lovers. I love a good fight scene and a good grovel. Throw in angst, and a good mystery, I’m giddy with excitement!
When Aspen Barlow moved from Chicago to small-town Loveless, Texas, Case Lawton was the first to befriend her. When other high school kids teased her about her appearance and called her weird, Case stood by her and protected her. They both had dreams about life after high school, he was going off to college on a football scholarship, and she was going to save the world.
Aspen went on to study law. When she came back to Loveless, she not only got a job one of the most prestigious law firms in the city, but she married one of the richest boys in Loveless.
Unfortunately, fate had other plans for Case. With the death of his mother, his broken leg, and his girlfriend getting pregnant, his plans of leaving Loveless were sidelined. Instead of heading to college on a football scholarship, he joined the military and married the girl who shackled him to the town he hated.
When Aspen returned with her law degree, it wasn’t long before her reputation as a great lawyer got out to everyone, everyone that is except the one person who needed her help the most. Case didn’t give much thought to the girl he’d known in high school, in fact, he didn’t care much about Aspen at all. That is not until Aspen was hired to defend his soon-to-be-ex-wife in their bitter divorce and custody battle.
Years after later, Aspen finds herself needing Case to protect her again. The problem though is getting Case to release the anger and resentment he’s carried toward her for years.
I had a few issues with the story 1) I felt like Aspen forgave Case too quickly, I wanted him to grovel, to earn his place in her life. Which leads me to 2) While I understood Aspen’s desires toward Case (a little anyway), I had issues with how quickly Case made an about turn and suddenly wanted to have a life with Aspen. 3) The mystery. Or should I say the who-done-it? Because it was who done it that had me side eyeing my kindle.
The good? I have never read this author before, and I really enjoyed her voice. The way she told the story was entertaining and held my interest despite the issues I had. I will definitely read more from her and CANNOT wait for one Texas Ranger to get his story!