by Michelle Beattie
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in the Tangled Up in Texas series
Number of pages: 231
Source: Net Galley ARC
Contemporary Romance/Western M/F
Read 8/9/19 to 8/10/19
When Dallas Granger left his family’s Last Stand, Texas, ranch, he hadn’t planned on returning. But when a medical emergency calls him home and a legal matter affects his business, suddenly his family isn’t the only thing in need of a re-build. Unfortunately his new project involves building a house for a woman who not only awakens his desires, but also his fears. But if he wants to claim her as his own, he’ll have to tear down the walls he’s built around his heart.
Single mom Ashley Anderson knows all about juggling. Between an assortment of part-time jobs and raising her sixteen-year old daughter, she doesn’t need a hunky construction worker with an attitude as a distraction. Even one who steps in to help her when she needs it most. But life has taught Ashley that when the going gets tough, she’s on her own. It’s going to take a man with a Texas-sized heart to show her that this cowboy isn’t going anywhere.
Michelle Beattie is a new-to-me author and I’m happy I gave her a chance. This was a great story. From the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, I gather this is her first foray into the contemporary romance genre. Looking at her Goodreads page it seems she’s done different sub-genres of historical romance in the past, from pirates to cowboys. I’ll definitely be looking into reading more of her work. I don’t know that I’ve ever really read a pirate story.
Although this story starts off putting Dallas in a good light, it would be very easy to write him off as an entitled jerk by the time his first meeting with Ashley is over. But, surprisingly, Dallas is a man who can and will admit when he’s wrong. That bodes well for him and any hope he has of a meaningful relationship in the future.
I’ll be honest and tell you that there are a few times that Ashley’s story makes me cry. I’m often an overly emotional person, though. Ashley is the personification of strong-willed. She had her child while she was still a child herself and has never had much help getting by. She has her moments, but in the long run she doesn’t let that get her down. She does what needs to be done in order to pay her bills and give her daughter a few extras (very few) along the way. She’s working her butt off to provide a better future for her daughter. The problem is, she’s been doing it on her own and her own way for so long that sometimes she doesn’t realize just how impenetrable her walls have become.
Ashley and Dallas have instant chemistry. I truly love finding a new-to-me author that can give me the warm-fuzzies right off the bat. Even through the animosity they feel toward each other in the beginning, there is no denying the attraction.
On top of this being a wonderful story about Dallas and Ashley learning to trust each other and let their walls down, it’s also a story of brothers. Dallas has four brothers who he doesn’t speak to but a couple times a year. But a medical emergency with their father has forced him to spend more time with them and for the group of them to finally start airing their grievances…something that is long overdue. While there is a resolution to the Dallas/Ashley story, Dallas and his brothers still have a long road to travel. I’m hoping to be able to enjoy the journey with them and learn more about each brother along the way.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**