Bennett Boys Ranch, Book #1
By Lauren Landish
Author’s Website: http://www.laurenlandish.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
After accidentally taking an animal studies course, and falling in love with it, during her sophomore year of college, Sophie Stone has completely changed her career path. Instead of going into business, like her brother that raised her, she now wants to be a vet! She has particularly fallen in love with the big farm animals such as horses and cows. So, when she got an opportunity to work with a vet in a ranch town for the summer she couldn’t resist! It’s a great learning opportunity for her before she heads off to vet school in the fall.
Rodeo star James Bennett is home for the summer to help with the family ranch before the rodeo starts up again. He loves his family, and doesn’t spend enough time with them. However, things are especially hard now that his father has passed away. He’s home to help in any way he can before he has to leave.
These two characters come crashing together when one of the Bennett’s horses has a difficult delivery and needs assistance. James didn’t like that Doc let his new assistant who isn’t even a vet perform the delivery and he let his feelings be known! And, much to her dismay, Doc assigned Sophie the task of coming and checking on mom and baby every day for the next week. She just hopes that she can avoid James during her visits! But she quickly realizes that’s impossible when he’s the one that opens the gate for her the next day and every day after …
Fortunately, things don’t turn out as bad as she feared and James even apologizes for his behavior! The attraction between the two quickly heats up and they embark on a summer fling, both of them knowing that they’re only there for the summer. However, when their fiery spark turns to love neither knows how they will be able to part when the time comes.
I do enjoy Landish’s writing, but I did struggle at the beginning of this book. The Bennett family seemed one-dimensional and flat and were just the stereotypical ranch family. I saw no identity between the different characters and all the boys read like the same person. They didn’t come off feeling real to me. As the book progressed, and we got to know the characters more, it did get better. Once the romance between James and Sophie blossomed I found myself enjoying the book.
It was a fun romance, but I found Sophie to be too perfect. She knew exactly what to do during the horse’s problematic delivery. She didn’t get upset when James disappeared, she loved his family and was the perfect addition, and even made friends with their neighbor’s daughter when the families were in the middle of a big conflict. My other issue is that things happened a little too neatly at the end for my liking. All of their problems just magically fixed themselves. The decision James makes about his career is one thing (and expected), but for everything to fall in place for a change in Sophie’s future plans was way too convenient for my liking. Especially considering she didn’t make it happen herself!
So this was a decent story as long as you do look at it too closely because it just isn’t all that believable. It’s not a bad book, but I have read better ones from this author.