Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ARC Review: Lone Heart Pass

Lone Heart Pass
Jodi Thomas
Contemporary Romance
Ransom Canyon/Book 3
HQN/April 26, 2016

Where family bonds are made and broken, and where young love sparks as old flames grow dim, Ransom Canyon is ready to welcome—and shelter—those who need it 

With a career and a relationship in ruins, Jubilee Hamilton is left reeling from a fast fall to the bottom. The run-down Texas farm she's inherited is a far cry from the second chance she hoped for, but it and the abrasive foreman she's forced to hire are all she's got. 

Every time Charley Collins has let a woman get close, he's been burned. So Lone Heart ranch and the contrary woman who owns it are merely a means to an end, until Jubilee tempts him to take another risk—to stop resisting the attraction drawing them together despite all his hard-learned logic. 

Desperation is all young Thatcher Jones knows. And when he finds himself mixed up in a murder investigation, his only protection is the shelter of a man and woman who—just like him—need someone to trust.

The third full length novel in Jodi Thomas' Ransom Canyon series is about second chances and starting over. It's a theme I always enjoy and this time is no different. The surprise inheritance sparks all kinds of fantasies. Who wouldn't be thrilled finding out you've inherited property? And when it's a place that holds wonderful memories, that's the icing on the cake. 

For Jubilee Hamilton, her inheritance comes at a most opportune time. She is unemployed with nothing and no one to keep her in Washington D.C.  Her job was her world, even though she had a live-in boyfriend. It's that focus that leaves her alone and more than willing to head to Texas for a new start.  Jubilee is very likable which may come as a surprise because she is not what I would call a "people person" except where it relates to her former job. But she is learning to be more open which is an enjoyable journey to take with her. 

Charley Collins is, thankfully, nothing like his younger brother Reid. Charley hasn't had the easiest of times in his fairly short life. He is, in part, responsible for his current situation and thankfully he doesn't whine about his life but takes responsibility for it. He has also learned from his mistakes which shows his maturity. After finding out what has happened in his short life, he's twenty-five, I was happy to find he wasn't a complainer but instead a hard worker and truly a decent person. Definitely hero material!

The relationship between Jubilee and Charley is an odd one. He's the hired help and she's a little clueless as to how to run a ranch. Charley isn't too proud to work for a woman, even if she has no experience running a ranch. The thing I liked so much about Jubilee is she is more than willing to learn and not afraid to get dirty. Charley, a hard worker, comes to respect Jubilee and the two find they enjoy spending time together. It was a romance that didn't get rushed but started with friendship and respect which strengthened it. Ms. Thomas brought two people from different walks of life together to create a bond and eventually a family. Well done Ms. Thomas. 

There is a another new character, Thatcher. I adored this kid! He not only added comic relief to some serious situations but he also gave a unique perspective on life. His view may come across as "simple" or "backwoods" but I for one found it honest and refreshing. It also worked to show how when someone is not enmeshed in the fast pace our highly technological world has become, their viewpoint becomes possibly more genuine.

Lone Heart Pass is a wonderful entry to the series. It also brought more personality to the town of Crossroads, Texas with the addition of new characters. Looking forward to the next story in the colorful world these characters inhabit.

Rating: A-

Ransom Canyon Series ~

Winter's Camp (prequel, novella)
Ransom Canyon
Rustler's Moon
Lone Heart Pass