“I want to be more than just the guy you met in a bar.”
His father’s heart attack prompts Tanner to retire from the military and return home to the family ranch. His first night back he has an amazing one night stand only to discover the next day, that the woman is none other than the town’s veterinarian, Jules. Tanner and his father have a contentious relationship and fighting is about their only way to communicate. Jules doesn’t want to date a rancher and knows she has to find a way to resist Tanner, no matter how charming he might be.
I did unfortunately find myself skimming the second half of this because I just wasn’t interested in the plot or the characters. Who knows, maybe it’s time I retire from cowboy/western romance? Maybe they’re just not for me anymore. Either way, I do not plan to read the next books in the series. The book moved quickly and the pace was spot on for the story. There was lots of detail about ranch life and dealing with horses and in my more limited personal experience, everything sounded pretty legit.
Initially I wasn’t super crazy about either Tanner or Jules but I appreciate that Heather Long give them each some growth in the story. Jules is very independent and stubborn in the beginning but she softens a bit as the story goes on without losing her natural self-sufficient personality. Tanner is on the edge of too arrogant and believes he knows what’s best for his father and the ranch. Instead he has Jules holding him accountable and helping him grow some as a character. The development of their relationship just kind of happens. We’re told that Jules and Tanner have these moments where they talk for hours and spend all this bonding time together and we’re expected to believe this helps build their connection and love. But, I at least, need a little more happening “on page” instead of in the background to believe the characters have fallen in love.
Jules says she can’t date a rancher because she has to remain impartial so that no one feels like she is favoring one ranch’s animals over another. This reasoning is a little flimsy but I could have dealt with it. However, my problem comes from the fact that Jules is renting one of the buildings at Round Top and living there. Wouldn’t this seem like she’s favoring Round Top’s animals over the other ranches? In fact, everything she does in the book is for Round Top’s animals and no other ranch.
I hated the Colonel. Heather Long attempts to redeem his character but he says some pretty hateful things to Jules and it’s hard for me to forgive.
At this time, I will not be continuing with this series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by Netgalley. All thoughts expressed in this review are my honest opinion.
••• Book Details •••
Lone Star Leathernecks #1 • Romance, Contemporary • Pocket Star • June 26, 2017
A Leatherneck by any other name can still kick ass, which is just what retired United States Marine Corps Captain Tanner Wilks plans to do when he returns to his Texas family ranch to care for his ailing father. And nothing will stop him from achieving his mission—not even a lithe, brown-eyed town veterinarian who seems hell-bent on driving him wild.
Captain Tanner Wilks, honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps, returns home to find his father struggling after his latest heart attack. Worse yet, Julia Heller—the sexy new girl in town that he once spent a hot night with—is the resident veterinarian who’s made a home for herself at Round Top ranch, and doesn’t seem to be in a rush to repeat their time together.
It falls on Tanner’s shoulders to take on the ranch and keep an eye on his father before he falls victim to another heart attack. But Julia doesn’t appreciate Tanner coming in or pursuing her. Even if he’s hot as hell and can make her quiver with just a look. Ousting her may give Tanner the leverage he needs to corral his father, but first he has to wrestle with his own heart.