Julia Finch is a city girl used to constantly run away from her conflicted past and never settle anywhere. After dealing with her biological parents’ rejection she leaves Chicago towards the west. Her car breaks down somewhere in rural Colorado. Alone and without money, she gets a job as a ranch hand but when she meets the enigmatic and gorgeous ranch owner Elena Bennett, all bets are off. Will their attraction be enough to stop Julia from running?
This is an entertaining romance set in rural Colorado where the author grew up. Her descriptions of nature and the landscape are very picturesque along with her accounts of what ranch life is all about.
‘Breaking down her walls’ is written in third person in present tense from the exclusive point of view of Julia. Some readers might not be comfortable with the choice of present tense despite it isn’t as uncommon as one would think. Normally present tense provides a more intimate and immediate relationship with the character, it intensifies the emotions and the connection with the character’s consciousness. I personally haven’t issues with the present tense narrative but I think that Ms. Zak doesn’t use the intimacy with her character in its full potential. There were moments when the author tells us how Julia feels instead of showing it and the closeness is temporarily lost. But other moments, like Julia’s connection with her horse are really well done. Hands down, Leia is the best horse character I’ve read in lesfic.
It took me approximately half the book to feel the chemistry between the mains possibly because Elena’s character was harder to grasp. Maybe that was the author’s intention as it shows how Julia sees her. However, once the connection is established, the chemistry is strong and the intimate scenes are very realistic and hot. Unlike many lesfic books, the conflict around 80% mark doesn’t feel contrived or forced and the resolution makes sense within the plot.
Overall, an entertaining romance for nature and horse lovers. 3.5 stars.
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.