Montana Blueprint for Love
by Debra Salonen
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in the Property Sisters series
Number of pages: 233
Source: ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 3/13/20 to 3/17/20
When “Diamond” Jim McCall gambles on a fixer-upper for sentimental reasons, his house of cards implodes – along with his health. Ruby’s ready for a job change but agreeing to become her first crush’s apprentice might be her biggest mistake. She doesn’t doubt they can “flip” the derelict ranch house and save Summit Construction, but at what cost to her heart? After all, Boone Fielding became the son her father never had when she left for college.
Helping Ruby McCall and her sisters flip Diamond Jim’s “money pit” makes sense financially, but he can’t partner with someone he doesn’t trust – and Boone hasn’t forgotten his last close encounter with Ruby. But every day on the job reminds him of why he fell in love with her in the first place.
How is he ever going to let her go when the job is done?
This new-to-me author seems to have a lot of books under her belt, but I don’t feel I got a read on her (pun intended) with this story. It was such a mixed bag for me. While the story didn’t keep me fully engaged, I still couldn’t just abandon the book. And, on top of that, I’m even interested to read the next book to see what happens with all the sisters.
Ruby and Boone do have a chemistry, it’s more low-level than jump-off-page. I found Boone, Ruby, and both of her sisters to be extremely likable characters. Their backgrounds were a bit vague and confusing, but their personalities drew me into the story more than anything else. On the other hand, I had no sympathy for Ruby’s parents. They weren’t terrible people, but they made some very bad decisions through the years. That made it hard for me to know if the author meant for them to be as unlikeable as I found them to be.
The concept of the story is a good one. Ruby has been working at a job that doesn’t make her happy, she’s ready to go back home and try to work her way up in her father’s construction business. She remembers her years in school working for her dad as happy times and thinks she wants to try that again. The only issue, her first love still works for her father. In fact, she finds out that he’s been taken on as partner. To make things worse, her parents kept some vital information from Boone during the transition leaving Ruby to wonder if things can ever be repaired between her and Boone.
I’m a stickler for timelines, as most of you know. I don’t go looking for errors, but the way my brain works makes them jump out at me. It wasn’t until halfway through this story that the reader is even aware that Ruby and Boone know why her father bought the money pit house they are working on throughout this book. And even then, it’s never really revealed how they knew this information. This wasn’t the only continuity issue, but it was the most obvious to me.
There was also an issue with repetition. I felt I was being told the same exact information, sometimes in the same exact wording, by different characters. This is not necessary, especially not 3 or 4 times. Then other times we would be told NO information and expected to know what the heck was going on.
Again, there was still something about this book that made me want to finish up…see how things played out. I know it seems I’m bashing the book and that’s not my intention. I’m just giving fair warning that, although this is a good story, there are issues. Will I go around recommending this story? Probably not. But I will be looking into reading another story or two by this author so I can make an adequate judgment on whether or not she’s an author I will enjoy. I just didn’t get enough information from this book.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**