Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Publisher:  Signet
Published:   February 4, 2014
Genre:   Contemporary Romance
Book format:  Paperback / ARC
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Four hearts

Jenny and Krista Skye may be twins, but their identicalness ends at the surface.  While Krista has been more than happy to stay home and run Mustang Ranch, Jenny couldn’t wait to step out into the world and see what was there.  With her camera in her pack adventures awaited her and she travelled the world until finding her niche on the Jungle Love television show.  But when Krista calls needing a bit of a break from the ranch and time to pursue her own interests Jenny wastes no time heading home.  After all, what is 8 weeks during her show’s hiatus when it comes to family?

Krista is out the door and on her way and before Jenny can settle in Krista is on the phone—a stray dog is running out on the road outside the ranch and it’s almost sundown.  Never a family to say no to a stray or wounded animal but it cat, horse, dog, cow or otherwise, Jenny heads and quickly finds an adorable golden lab.  Before she can snag the dog a truck roars by and the next thing Jenny knows she’s in the car bringing the injured dog to the local vet.

Nick Masterson is ready to call it a night when he hears a knocking at his door.  When he opens it he finds Jenny with her wounded dog.  His exam reveals that the dog is injured, but there is nothing life threatening.  When Jenny returns to pick up her new family member the next day Nick takes a chance and asks her out.  Sure, she’s only in town for a few weeks, but he’s not looking for anything long term.  And neither is Jenny for that matter.  Their first date turns into an emergency veterinary call and Nick is surprised and pretty darn happy when Jenny is ready to go with him.  Used to women who wouldn’t dirty their hands with a sick or injured animal, Nick finds more and more about Jenny he likes.  Jenny likewise finds that Nick has much to recommend him…but she is leaving in five weeks….four weeks….three weeks…any day now. 

But life isn’t usually wrapped up in a bright and shiny package—people have secrets, circumstances change and heartbreak can hit at any time.  When those bumps in the road hit, is it time for Jenny to stay and see where the road leads?  Or is it time to run like heck back to her secure world where attachments just don’t exist?

Jesse Hayworth because an auto buy/auto read for me when her debut novel, SUMMER AT MUSTANG RIDGE found its way into my hands.  In SUMMER AT MUSTANG RIDGE readers meet the Skye family and have a chance to see what loving and giving people they are.  Employees and guests are treated like family and they will do what they can to help all comers be they human or animal.  Readers have the choice of simply reading a really solid contemporary romance or delving deeper into the issues of living with and understanding a child with a disability.  The characters grow and develop at a normal and natural pace through the story.  And Ms. Hayworth evokes a range of emotions throughout the telling of Shelby and Foster’s story.

In WINTER AT MUSTANG RANCH we meet another member of the Skye family, Krista’s twin, Jenny.  Previously met characters aren’t stagnant backdrops to the current story, but they have continued to grow and develop.  While I would have liked a bit of interaction with Lizzie from SUMMER AT MUSTANG RANCH, seeing how Shelby’s business is growing and Foster’s calm and nurturing presence was well done.  Ms. Hayworth treats the issues of growing older with kindness and understanding while presenting a realistic view of mid-life crisis and the process of aging grandparents.

While Nick and Jenny find themselves in the physical side of romance relatively quickly, it isn’t gratuitous.  Rather they find their way and explain their reasons through their actions and words in the story.  Their falling in love with each other is believable and well done. 

And I have to say in particular I really like how Ms. Hayworth weaves the animals – Rex as well as the horses and most especially Cheesepuff the cat into the story.  It’s not hard to see why the animals’ behaviours are so believable when you read the author’s intro and how she rescued a little black kitten on a busy roadside. 

If you haven’t read Jesse Hayworth you don’t know what you are missing.  This is one author who I’ve got my eye on, eager for the next book, currently titled HARVEST AT MUSTANG RIDGE, which can’t come any too soon. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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