Book Review: How to Rope a Real Man by Melissa Cutler

in Toni Linenberger, Toni's Book Club

Brought to you by Toni Linenberger
Blonde Betty reviews
The Illustrious  Leader of the Intrepid BBs
4/29/14

 

18223050In How to Rope a Real Man, Cutler takes us back to Catcher Creek and the Sorentino sisters.  Make no mistake; this is Jenna’s story from the first line to the last.  While Rachel and Amy make brief appearances, the bulk of the action centers on Jenna.  Once again, Cutler does not disappoint.

Against all odds, the Sorentino sisters saved their family’s rundown New Mexico ranch, but the youngest has a dream that just may ruin their hard-earned peace—unless a certain sexy cowboy lawyer changes her mind…

Jenna Sorentino is as independent as they come. Despite her wild past, she’s grown up enough to keep quiet about the identity of her baby’s daddy, go to night college—and hide her plan to escape tiny Catcher Creek. She’s also stopped dreaming of happily ever after—except in the case of gorgeous, rugged, Santa Fe native Matt Roenick. Too bad the oil rights attorney acts like he barely knows she’s alive…

Matt knows only too well that Jenna’s alive—in fact, she’s driving him crazy with desire. But Matt’s got his reasons for resisting her. And when her son’s father shows up, those reasons multiply. Trouble is, Jenna’s secrets are more complicated than he imagined, and forgetting her isn’t as easy as he’d hoped. Matt knows life can be messy as hell. For Jenna, maybe it’s time he got dirty…

Jenna and Matt were fun to watch.  On the surface, they both appear so grown-up and put together.  Yet, when they begin to try to move forward with their lives the surface cracks to reveal that they both have some growing up left to do.  Jenna learns she needs to rely on her family and let others help her.  Matt learns he needs to take chances and quit feeling sorry for himself.  Each is able to support the other as they come to these revelations and together they work through their issues.

To complicate matters, Jenna is a single mother.  Tommy is a fun, vibrant kid that makes the story richer for his inclusion.  Though I was not surprised by the reveal of Tommy’s father, I was surprised by the reason’s Jenna opted to keep it a secret.  Her reasons demonstrate fully that things are not always what they seem and traditions and beliefs are deeply rooted in small towns.  Cutler addresses serious topics with grace and thoughtfulness.

I was disappointed that Amy and Rachel were not included more.  In the previous two books they’ve learned to work together an act like a family.  Jenna’s desire to do it all herself seems to fly in the face of the earlier lessons.  However, it also allows her to learn on her own that life is richer for the inclusion of others and you can’t do everything by yourself.  As we saw so little of the family together, I hope this is not our last visit to Cather Creek and we get to catch up with these characters again.

There is a wonderful secondary romance between Kellan’s (Amy’s husband) brother Jake and Matt’s sister Tara.  There is much left unresolved between these two and I have my fingers crossed the full story will see the light of day (or make it into print, as the case may be).  There is something fascinating about Jake, an LAPD SWAT officer who’s been estranged from Kellan for years, and Tara, a florist who’s allergic to everything with two kids.  The sparks between these two are immediate and definitely fun to watch.

 

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