by Lorhainne Eckhart
Genre: Adult Romance
Publication: December 23, 2013
Margaret Gordon was once a prominent Seattle surgeon, until a slip of the knife leaves a young boy without a future. Margaret is fired and returns to her hometown, the perfect spot to hide out from everyone and to lick her wounds, with no one around but her horse.Margaret never considered herself a horse person. In truth, she understands horses better than people. And when the now-widowed Joe Wilde drives in one morning with a teenage boy and a horse with a problem, Margaret turns into that klutzy teenage misfit that silently carried a torch for Joe all through school. But when smooth-talking Joe convinces Margaret into working with the temperamental horse, she grows closer to his son Ryan, and soon learns the horse’s issues have more to do with father and son, and Ryan’s anxiety over the fact his father is now dating a woman who is only interested in the sexy Joe Wilde, and not his misfit of a son.
The only problem is Ryan wants Margaret to be his mother, so he takes matters into his own hands setting Margaret in his father’s path, every chance he gets. Even though sparks fly and sizzle between them Joe believes Margaret has despised him all his life, and decides all his rebellious son needs is a mother. But when Joe proposes marriage to the wrong woman, his son takes off with a backpack and a feisty horse, into the Backcountry.Except to Joe’s surprise, it’s Margaret who saddles up her horse, and heads off alone with him in over a hundred of miles of wilderness in a race against time and the elements to find his son. And with his son's life in jeopardy will that be enough for Joe and Margaret to put aside their differences and realize that the other is, The One?
by Lorhainne Eckhart
Published: December 23, 2013, Lorhainne Ekelund
My rating: 3.5 of 5 ⭐️
A minuscule slip of a scalpel cost a young boy his memory and Margaret Gordon her career as successful neurosurgeon. Hiding out on her grandfather's old ranch where she spent a lot of her youth trying desperately to fit in somewhere, she remembers well the cruel teasing she was subjected to and wasn't ready to face the wagging tongues yet. Despite her attempts at keep a low profile, she is starting to make a bit of a name locally as a miracle worker with difficult horses.
That is how Joe Wilde finds her, looking for help with his son's unruly horse, the girl he remembers from his school days, who always seemed so aloof and above everyone else. She seems nervous around him which doesn't exactly improve his opinion of her, regardless of how attractive he thinks she is. His son and his horse have priority and Margaret is the last ditch effort before he will have to sell the horse.
Margaret reluctantly agrees to try and help the horse, taking a shine to Joe's son right away and that feeling seems mutual. In fact in the coming days, Ryan, Joe's son, does his best to get his father and Margaret together, in obvious hope of a connection. Joe, however, already had a mother figure in mind for Ryan, one that his son is not so happy with. Oblivious to his son's feelings, he asks the wrong woman to be his wife.
When Ryan finds this out he bolts, forcing Joe and Margaret, who has come to care a great deal about Ryan, to join forces in finding him in the vast wilderness. A quest that is enlightening in many ways and sets a clearer path for everyone. That is, if everyone gets out alive.
A fast-paced story and well-written!!
Margaret, oh honey..... I feel for her. Such a horrible thing to have happen at your hands, knowing you can't undo it, and to have to carry that burden on your shoulders the rest of your life. Ugh! I found her sympathetic, albeit a tad on the awkward side when it came to Joe. It is almost as if she reverted to her 'teenage crush' behaviour. She was fabulous with his son, however..... As well with the horse. And when push came to shove, she stood up for herself and those she cared about without hesitation. That was what she had expected for herself as well and it was at least what she should have received.
I desperately wanted to like Joe.....but he is a bit of an ass.....really! He makes assumptions based on a snippet of a conversation he heard many years ago that he proceeded to build on based on a preconceived notion he already had that turned out to be incorrect. He also has a bit of an immature way of dealing with his son....a very poor case of parenting when I think of how he bullies and overtalks his son. Not very nice. Then the gossipping with his 'girlfriend' about Margaret's embarrassments in school? Sorry, that is not the behaviour of a mature man.
And then he turns on a dime and tells Margaret he loves her....... What??? Where was I???? I mean, I knew he was attracted to her, sure.....but since when does that develop into love with hardly any interaction? To say the least, I was a little confused about his turnaround.
But I have never based my rating of a book on whether or not I 'like' a character or not, I've always tried to base it on the quality of the story, the writing, on whether I feel connected and involved with the characters, whether in a positive or negative way, and on whether I can see some transformation in the protagonists. And I come away with a positive impression overall. I was definitely engaged, so much so that I became frustrated, angered, touched and saddened at different times during the reading of the book. I could also clearly see a deepening of both of the main characters and an undoubted growth. And finally the story was an intriguing one, both in terms of the history between Margaret and Joe and the mistaken impressions each were left with, and the different but equally devastating losses they each suffered to bring them to this point and back together.
✨ A compelling and stirring struggle through first impressions✨
**ARC provided in return for an honest review**
2012 was an amazing year in the publishing world for me, and it started with The Forgotten Child, which landed on the Amazon bestseller list for western romance and romance series. 2013 has seen me posted in the top 100 authors on Amazon for romantic suspense, mystery/thrillers, and police procedurals.Where did it all begin? In 2008, I published my first novel, The Captain’s Lady, a contemporary military romance, through The Wild Rose Press. I’ve since received the rights back from my publisher, and I rewrote the book and republished it with a brand new title, Saved.I write edgy romantic suspense (Walk the Right Road Series), western romance (Finding Love ~ The Outsider Series), and young adult mystery, and I warn my readers to expect the unexpected. I’m a mother of three children and we live on a small island in the Pacific Northwest. I encourage you to contact me by email; I do answer every email I receive.Stay tuned. There is more to come from the Walk the Right Road Series and Finding Love ~ The Outsider Series, as well as a brand new western romance series coming later this fall, The One.And to my readers and all of you who have shared my stories with your family and friends, a big, heartfelt thank-you.