Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Review for Diamond in the Rough by Lori L. Robinett

Diamond in the Rough
By Lori L. Robinett
Diamond Series, Book 2

Publisher:  Three Creek Press
Release Date: May 14, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Western Romance
Length: 228 Pages

Order Link:  Amazon 

About the book: 

Ranch hand Aidan Brackston has built a new life at the Diamond J, and he keeps women at arm’s length to protect his secret . . . until he walks into the local scrapbook store on an errand for his boss. When he accidentally knocks Gina on her ass, she respond with a slap . . . and the fireworks begin.

Single mom Gina Montgomery has her hands full running a business and taking care of her little boy. The last thing she needs is a man in her life, but when a tall, dark and sexy cowboy strides into her store, she’s reminded that she’s still a young woman with hopes and desires.

Just as passion ignites between Aidan and Gina, her little boy is kidnapped by rustlers. Will the two of them be able to save her little boy . . . even if that means exposing Aidan’s secret?

A contemporary western romance filled with modern day cowboys and cattle rustlers in a small town background, Diamond in the Rough by Lori L. Robinett is the second book in her Diamond J series.  Colorful characters, a light romance and the age old struggle between the good and evil kept me turning the pages to discover what would happen next.  If you like hot cowboys and second chance romance you’ll want to give Diamond in the Rough a try.

Ms. Robinett does a good job introducing her primary characters, Gina Montgomery and Aidan Brackston.  A single mother, Gina runs a small shop in Wilder, Missouri, while trying to raise her small son Toby and keep a roof over their heads.  A modern day cowboy, Aidan, needs help getting some invitations made for a ranch party and can’t help being attracted to the pretty red-head who owns the shop that sells the card supplies.  Getting her to make the invitations after a small misunderstanding gives him the chance to invite her to attend the party, so he can get to know her better.   I liked both Gina and Aidan right from the start; they both have issues from their pasts that unfortunately still play a role in their present lives but they are determined to make the best of things.  Both attractive in their own right, they have smoking hot chemistry right from the start.  They are also smart, hard working and willing to do whatever it takes to care for the people they feel responsible for.

The secondary characters are colorful and they all contribute something to the story.  I really liked Midge, Gina’s friend and employee, who pushes Gina into accepting Aidan’s invitation to the ranch BBQ, which she knows, is just an excuse to get to know her better.  I also liked the people we meet from the Diamond J. Ranch; Charlotte, the cook/housekeeper, Beau, the ranch foreman and Miss Beth, the owner of the Diamond J.  They too are hard working, think highly of Aidan and were friendly towards Gina right from the start.  We also get to know Toby, Gina’s six year old son, who’s a real sweetheart and a young man in love with cowboys and trains, and we also get to meet Steve, Gina’s ex-husband, who at first seems like a real jerk but there’s more to his character than at first meets the eye.

The struggle of ranch life is well depicted and the age old dilemma of dealing with cattle rustlers is an important part of the story.  Especially since a lot of the ranches in the area get hit, including the Diamond J.  Ms. Robinett does a good job depicting the cattle rustlers, their goals and their methods.  She highlights how even though ranching has come a long way from the past, cattle theft is still an issue for today’s cowboys.  The question of whether or not the rustlers will get caught, and how Gina, Aidan and Toby figure into their part of the story, is well written and definitely ups the ante.

Ms. Robinett’s voice as a writer is easy to follow and read.  The story’s pace is fairly quick and the mystery with the cattle rustlers takes several unexpected twists and turns.  My only real complaints about the book are that I thought the characters rushed into intimacy a bit too quick, Gina kept stating that she didn’t want to make the same mistake with a second guy after what she had gone through with her ex-husband, and that the ending felt a bit too quick and abrupt.  Other than those two issues, I enjoyed Ms. Robinett’s writing style.  

Will Gina give Aidan a chance to get to know her better?  Will the cattle rustlers hurt anyone in Wilder before they get caught?  And will Aidan and Gina have a chance at love?  You’ll have to read Diamond in the Rough, I enjoyed this second chance romance, and hope you’ll give it a try.

My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book for a fair and honest review.  The opinion expressed is mine alone. 

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