by Em Petrova
Release Date: August 26, 2016
The way Hayden Meadows and Zoe Beth Cole met set the stage for things to come! Absolutely loved her fiery personality!
An injury during a bull-riding event has ended Hayden’s career, and now he’s the new foreman at Cole Cattle Ranch – the position Zoe Beth wanted so much, she could taste it. But while raised on the ranch and very knowledgeable in all aspects of running it, her father, Valentine Cole, sees her as simply a flighty female who needs to be looked after and protected. His idea of “protecting” Zoe Beth is pushing her towards his neighbor, Joseph Michael, a man closer to Valentine’s age than Zoe Beth’s, and someone she knows is cruel to his animals. Zoe Beth is determined not to go down that road.
Despite their both trying to ignore it, the chemistry between Hayden and Zoe Beth is electric. After she needs his help one night, the sparks explode into a full blown inferno and these two bring the heat. Unfortunately, the night ends in a misunderstanding, but that’s just the door to great make-up sex, right? Even better, there’s some honesty thrown into the mix with real emotions, and despite the fact their affair is still a secret, glimmers of hope are everywhere.
When Hayden’s dominant nature shows itself during the day-to-day running of the ranch, Zoe Beth pushes back…and Hayden goes into Dominant Alpha Neanderthal mode. At this point, the story loses some of its sizzle FOR ME. Not because of Hayden’s actions, but because Zoe Beth’s response diluted her character. She acquiesces all too easily simply because of sex. Meh. I felt she didn’t deserve to be reduced to Typical Romance Heroine behavior when she had such a great story introduction, and had held her own through much of the story.
Reasons for Hayden’s actions are revealed, and of course, they are nothing less than adorable, and he’s still a positive character. Val…not so much. His rant in the stable was so far out of line and disrespectful, I started to wonder if Zoe Beth was adopted. I don’t blame her for walking away, but…it would have been nice to “see” the conversation between Hayden and Val, and KNOW she had more value to Hayden than just when she was naked on her back. I’m sure Val would not have had a major change of heart, sign over the ranch to Zoe Beth and retire, but seeing him put in his place about his own daughter would have been priceless…because he was SO wrong.
A good read. Hayden is a strong likeable character trying to restart his life when he’s broadsided by a woman. Zoe Beth is also a strong character…until she takes her clothes off. Not sure who creeped me out more, daddy Val or wannabe suitor, Joseph Michael, but I liked Five Feet better than both of them…and you will too!