All of Clyde’s Corner, Montana, knows local dandy Chris Ramsey will marry Trix Stubben, young widow and heir to the richest ranch in the area. But one woman isn’t too keen on the idea. Mabe Crassen wants to get her hands on that ranch, so she sets her older son to court Trix, and her younger son, Jeremy, to distract Chris and lure him astray.
Jeremy Crassen thinks his mother’s scheme is crazy. But he wants desperately to go off to college, which Mabe will agree to—if he seduces Chris. How will shy, virginal, secretly gay Jeremy attract Chris, who seems determined to do the right thing and marry Trix? Jeremy can’t compete with a rich female widow. Or can he?
Jeremy’s mother – Mabe – wants Jeremy and his brother Eric to disrupt the “romance” between Chris and Trix so that Eric can win the hand of Trix and inherit the ranch her late husband left her.
Jeremy is to seduce the “obviously” gay Chris even though Jeremy himself is not exactly “out”.
In the end things end up quite differently than anyone planned and through many twists and turns everyone ends up exactly where they need to be with a delightful HEA.
Eli Easton is a terrific writer. She always makes me laugh (and sometimes cry!) with her moving characters. Jeremy is far more than he seems on the surface and though I really, really didn’t want to like anyone in the Crassen family, I ended up loving them all – perhaps the “loser” Eric the best!
I didn’t ever get quite a good handle on Chris, however. He had some bad experiences in college that made him look upon all gay relationships in a bad light and is now determined to settle in to a sexless if not loveless marriage all before he’s even 30!
Trix turns out to be a dark horse in this story. She ends up showing a lot more depth than I originally thought she was going to have and I really ended up rooting for her part of the story more than even Chris and Jeremy!
There were some parts of this story, however, that just didn’t sit well with me. I wanted to see more of Jeremy and Chris together on page than we did and maybe a bit fewer POV shifts. Though I enjoyed Trix and Eric’s story as well as Billy and Mabe, I really wanted to understand Chris more and follow him with Jeremy after the big “drama”.
Janie didn’t ring true to me as four year old, Mabe felt far older than her forty-two years and Chris also seemed far more jaded than his years would account for. Maybe if everyone had been aged a bit more some of their actions would have felt more authentic and age appropriate.
The other thing that really didn’t set well with me was John and how “replaceable” he felt to both Billy and Trix.
I still cried when Billy was out searching for Janie and that tells me the story was well written even though the shift was to a different set of character. (I also loved seeing Josh and Ben again!)
3.5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review