Hero: Nate Thalberg
Heroine: Emily Murphy
Welcome to Valentine Valley—where broken hearts come home to mend, and true love may lie just across the range . ..
Emily Murphy never thought she’d return to her mom’s rustic hometown in the Colorado Mountains. But after her marriage in San Francisco falls apart, leaving her penniless and heartsick, she returns to her old family home to find a new direction for her life. On her first night back, though, a steamy encounter with handsome rancher Nate Thalberg is not the fresh start she had in mind . . .
Nate has good reason not to trust the determined beauty who just waltzed into town—he’s no stranger to betrayal. Besides, she’s only there to sell her family’s old property and move back out. But as Nate and Emily begin working side-by-side to restore her time-worn building and old family secrets change Emily’s perception of herself, both are about to learn how difficult it is to hide from love in a place known far and wide for romance, family ties, and happily-ever-afters: a town called Valentine.
This book follows Emily Murphy, a newly divorced woman who comes to Valentine Valley, Colorado to sell her mother’s building and start her new life as a new woman. She starts her new life by almost hooking up with a hunky cowboy at the bar.
Anyway, the hunky cowboy keeps turning up wherever she goes. He helps her out and she’s a newly independent woman who doesn’t need any help from anyone so she balks at his attempts to help her and that was how things started with Emily Murphy for me. She got on my hot damn nerves. From the beginning, she snarls at Nate like he forced her onto that pool table and made her all loosy goosy. It got old, real fast.
I got that she was trying to start fresh and do things on her own. I got that she was delivered a blow to her system when she read her late grandmother’s letter and I got that she was in a new place trying to find herself but man, she sure was annoying while she was going through all of that crap.
The conflict between Nate and Emily was pretty eye roll worthy. Nate is scared that he’s going to hurt Emily by being there for her too much so he wants to pump the brakes on their relationship. Emily is afraid of needing Nate too much so she wants to pump the brakes on their relationship. Emily is hurt that Nate didn’t tell her about the rodeo. Nate didn’t tell Emily about the rodeo because he wasn’t sure if she’d still be in town to attend.
Nate and Emily’s relationship consisted of Nate wanting more and Emily putting the brakes on. Nate’s got his own issues that he’s working through at home, Emily is trying to fix her grandmother’s building so that she could sell it and go back to San Francisco. I think the romance suffered because of all the back and forth with Emily. Their relationship felt more like a high school relationship instead of a grown folks one and I couldn’t bring myself to really care for them as a couple.
Though I did like Nate, I wish he had different problems. The conflict that he was working with in this book didn’t feel real, they came off as silly to me so I was bummed about that.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. The secondary characters were very likable characters. I really enjoyed getting to know Monica, Brooke, the widows and even Josh. I’m curious to see if we’ll be getting more books from these guys in the future. Would I read them? I’m not sure. I wasn’t a fan of the main characters in this book but there were a thing or two that I did enjoy about Nate. The whole thing with Emily and Joe ended up good but the initial meeting between the two had me wanting to throttle Emily for behaving like a three year old. Also, the ending felt a bit rushed but all in all, I didn’t hate the book.
Grade: 2.75 out of 5