There was a really good book in here somewhere trying to get out.
The premise was pretty promising. An irascible Octogenarian rancher is dying and has hired a young woman to pose and his fiancee to lure his estranged children, Luc and Victoria, back to the ranch. The threat of being dis-inherited in favor of a blonde bimbo should get them to come back lickety split. This is all good and fine.
I liked the idea of Tara Jean and thought of all the characters in the book she was the most successful as a character. She had layers and a personality. After a few chapters, I was even able to exorcise that picture of Anna Nicole Smith and her 80+ y.o.husband out of my head (the first pages of this book basically re-create that famous picture in words). I just wish she hadn't been pushed into 'woman-in-jeopardy' territory as a major plot point.
Which brings me to my biggest issue with the book. Everybody was so damned...put upon..by everything. Tara Jean had a terrible childhood and was on her own at 16, she is an ex-grifter and had an old grifting partner who is out to get her because he needs money and owes some bad people. Luc (the hero) is a professional Hockey player in his 30s who really can't afford another hit to the head and who may be traded anyway. The sister Victoria is a wreck who is completely broke because her husband went to jail because of a Ponzi scheme. Luc and Victoria had a terrible relationship with their father who was abusive. So in one book there is child abuse, sport injuries, Ponzi schemers and stalkers.
The cover of the book makes you think this is going to be sexy and light. I didn't feel that it was either.
Don't get me wrong, the book wasn't terrible or anything, it just wasn't great either. Tara Jean is definitely the MVP of the story. She is responsible for at least 2 of the 2.5 stars.
There is a sequel with Victoria but I was less than impressed with Victoria as a character and am not the least bit interested in reading about her.