Breaking Bailey's Rules by Brenda Jackson
Series: Westmoreland series #30
Also in this series: Bane
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Western
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Rule number one for Bailey Westmoreland: Never fall for a man who would take her away from her tight-knit family's Colorado home. So why is she following rancher Walker Rafferty all the way to Alaska? Bailey tells herself she owes the sexy loner an apology, and once she gets there, it's only right to stay and help him when he's injured…isn't it? Before long, Bailey realizes home might be where you make it—if Walker is ready to take all she has to offer.
Any lover of romance who has also come to appreciate interracial stories knows about and appreciates Brenda Jackson. Her Westmoreland Family series has gone on now for years, and while some reviewers have panned her stories as formulaic and predictable, I still like to read her work. Ms Jackson is a writer who is unashamedly open about her interest in human relationships and family dynamics. She has covered the full spectrum of emotion as well as the situations people either cause or in which they find themselves victims. She is also not subtle about her heroes being alpha males, many of whom are unwilling to settle down to one woman. Money, opportunity, careers, and a long list of other variable make these men challenges in and of themselves.
However, in this story, the challenge is a young woman who is comfortable in her skin, who wants to be appreciated for who she is, who enjoys her independent ways along with the full involvement in a family that is energetic to say the least. Her one requirement for anyone looking to become involved with her romantically, long-term partner or permanent significant other, is that she will never leave Colorado. It is her home in more ways than just geographical. She is connected to the land, the environment, the mountains’ majestic presence, the sense of “home” she shares with her Westmoreland family. She believes there is someone who will be the passionate partner she is seeking and who will want to keep her happy in the land she loves above all other.
Now there pops up another possible branch of the Westmoreland clan, and the connection is not a happy one or acceptable in many ways. To acknowledge this family is to accept that there was hurt and infidelity in the past, and that is so not OK. Walker Rafferty is a close family friend and one that is sent to investigate the possible connections between previously unknown relatives and it is meeting Bailey that throws a wrench into his life. His efforts to interest her in some kind of romantic liason are rebuffed—that’s probably too mild a descriptive—and in good conscience Bailey realizes that she has some fences to mend after Walker returns to Alaska, a very long way from Colorado.
As always, Ms Jackson draws her characters with a deft and sure skill, giving readers a full imagination of what these characters look like, how they think, what they yearn for, and how they go about finding ways to reach their personal relational goals. Bailey is a woman that can be lovely and kind, but she has the ability to be as uncomfortable as a thorn bush. The slow progress that Bailey and Walker make toward some sort of connection is the core of this story, and while it is certainly a movement toward “happily ever after,” it is not a comfortable story. I always find a Brenda Jackson a good read. It is balanced between the need to keep a story line clean and moving forward and the erotic content. It is not just about their sex life but rather how all the elements of their humanity gradually merge to make it possible for these two to connect on a deeper, more lasting level.
It’s a good book, a fun read in many ways, and a nice way to spend an evening. Just the kind of experience a lover of good romance enjoys.
I give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5