by Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: Aug 1, 2011
Source: sent by publisher
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Summary from goodreads.com:
Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father's homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations, and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe--until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to find her way out.Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family's cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch--and Rafe's controlling ways--as soon as they were able. He's haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn't expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels--or to be forced to kiss her!
Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he's ever known, but how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he be forced to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust and the love that could heal his heart?
A self-admitted control freak like Rafe isn't really my favorite type of hero. However, he was written in an honest, sympathetic way which made him interesting to read about. At least he knew he had a problem with controlling others and was sorry that he'd run off his brothers because of it. It was interesting to see his flaws written about so openly.
I was more of a fan of Rafe's brother, Ethan. Ethan was more happy-go-lucky and he grinned so much that it was irritating to the other characters. It was great to see his affection grow for Julia's stepmother, Audra. Seeing Audra's baby, Maggie, latch onto Ethan as a father was both sweet and funny.
The romance between Rafe and Julia was slightly lackluster to me. Also, there was too much story about the cave when I wanted to know more about the characters instead. Thank goodness for Audra, Ethan, and Seth. The secondary characters really brightened up this story for me.
Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Bottom Line: A western romance where the secondary characters really shine.