tl;dr: mistaken identity story remains listless on the page
Chase Garrett has rearranged his whole life for his fiancée, whom he catches cheating on him with his best friend in the opening pages of the book. With no property to go back to, he decides to be reckless and join the IBR, the International Bull Riding circuit, and doesn’t look back. On one of his rides, a little boy dashes across the arena, thinking that he is his late father. Riley Barrett doesn’t understand that this Chase is not the same man, due to some physical similarities and how similar his name is to his dad’s.
Madeline Barrett, on the other hand, feels overwhelmed at being a single mother. It’s been many months since her husband died while bull riding, and she is trying to plan for their financial security. She has a ton of brothers, all of whom want to help, but she won’t let them because of pride. When she sees Chase and the way that he connects with Riley, she begins to feel all those stirrings that she’d avoided in the months since her husband’s passing.
My biggest problem with this book is that the plot was too thinly sketched. It was as if the author latched on to this mistaken identity idea and didn’t really flesh out the rest of the plot in a way that made sense. Both adults are coming into this romance with baggage, and it seems to hit them harder than it ought to. A large part of my issue is that I didn’t really care about their burgeoning love.
The storyline that intrigued me the most was between family friend Piper and Maddy’s older brother Lucas. Something happened between them, and continues to happen between scenes of this book, and I was way more interested in their story than I was about Chase and Maddy.
There were a lot of grammar/spelling/syntax errors in this book. A lot more than I’d expect to see, even in an advanced copy. The worst part was the clumsy writing passages that really needed to be cleaned up. And in general, the plot needed some work. I found it hard to believe that a mother would tell her brother not to send them money just because of pride. I didn’t see any reason that she wouldn’t accept the money, and it turned out to be only in order to have Chase babysit Riley while she took overnight shifts at a nearby casino.
This story didn’t really delve into the characters into believable ways. I didn’t feel like they really came alive in the way that they should. Both Maddy and Chase admit to themselves that they didn’t even love their former partners, not ‘real love’ like they now felt for each other. To me, that lessens the impact that those previous relationships had, and makes all their baggage and damage meaningless.
This book doesn’t appear to be available at libraries, but you can check this page for updates or to purchase from your favorite retailer.