Reviewed by Helyce
Favorite quote: Des figured he must have PMS-penis malfunction syndrome. Because he was acting like a dick.
Logan McCormack is a man pretty set in his ways. He’s a cattle rancher, and it’s a life he’s chosen for himself. He loves the ranch, loves the land and is not afraid of hard work. But his world gets turned upside down when he leases out a small portion of his 45,000 acres to a Hollywood movie set and meets Desiree Jenkins.
Desiree Jenkins is a star. She’s one of the lucky ones who was able to realize her dreams of becoming an actress. Now, a highly sought after actress, she can’t remember the last time she had time off. One movie after the other has her rethinking what is really important to her-what she’s always really wanted.
When Des meets Logan, she’s attracted to him in more ways than one. She loves the ranch; the stability of having a place to call home is something she’s always dreamed of. As she and Logan spend time together and get to know each other she realizes that she wants more out of life. But Logan has some serious issues with commitment, as in he doesn’t want or need it. Des decides that she’d rather have him for a short time than not at all.
I adored the premise of this story. Big Hollywood film crew comes to a small town to film a movie. Logan’s got tons of land and leasing a bit of it for a few months was a very lucrative endeavor. He figured the money was worth the inconvenience of having strangers on the land for a short time and he has so much of it he may not even have to see them or deal with them. But his housekeeper, Martha, who is more like a mother to him, was not going to let him off the hook. She implores him to be ‘neighborly’ and ‘welcoming’ and when he finally heads over to introduce himself, he meets Desiree Jenkins-the star of the movie.
I really liked Des. She’s young, maybe mid 20’s-but she’s mature for her years. She also doesn’t hide behind her Hollywood persona. She is smart, kind and not afraid of hard work. Probably has a lot to do with being raised in a military family where she moved often and had to deal with being the new girl all throughout her life. But she’d always wanted the opposite-stability, home, family. Catching the acting bug in high school and being a successful actress put all those thing on hold-until she meets Logan and spends time on his ranch.
Logan had a rough childhood. His mother hung around long enough to have three sons, but the minute her husband died, she was gone and remarried. The ranch life was never for her and she didn’t hide the fact that she’d rather be anywhere else from her children. So Logan has a really screwed up view and has put all woman in a category that doesn’t really exist. He saw what it did to his dad and he’s decided that a relationship is just not for him. The ranch is enough and when he needs some female company, he knows where to find it.
So when he and Des do get together, he’s totally unprepared for how he begins to feel and starts putting up walls-preparing himself for when the film wraps and Des goes back to her Hollywood life. He’s decided he’ll be content with the time he has. Des does her share of this as well, which causes a lot of predictable conflict. Logan makes assumptions, miscommunications ensue and everything Logan expected or predicted happens.
This is a story that we’ve read before-the movie star and the nobody who fall in love-can he be comfortable in her world? Can she…in his? Is there a way to compromise? I felt that a lot of the story was predictable and because this is a romance, we know that in the end our H/H will somehow reach some sort of compromise in order to be together; their love is that strong. What I really liked in this particular story is the setting. I loved the ranch. I loved the small town of Hope. I grew up on a farm, and sometimes the stress of city living gets to me. Houses so close together you feel claustrophobic, traffic so bad it takes 30 minutes to go two miles, so many people, long lines….I found myself wanting to be at the ranch-the smells, the horses, the cows-the serenity and peace of 45,000 acres. Tranquil and beautiful-so worth the hard work!
Ms. Burton does a wonderful job here of mixing both worlds and giving us a couple who make us believe that a relationship like this could work. Fabulous secondary characters rounded out the mix very nicely. I loved that most of the Hollywood folk we meet were down to earth and kind and didn’t live up to any known stereotypes. Martha and Ben, Logan’s housekeeper and foreman are more like surrogate parents to him and Martha is a lovely presence here. We see the previous couples and get little updates on their lives. I look forward to returning to Hope soon.