Wednesday, September 30, 2015

review || LOVE SOMEBODY LIKE YOU { blog tour } by Susan Fox

Zebra | September 29, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Caribou Crossing, book 6


With its breathtaking terrain and welcoming people, the Western town of Caribou Crossing is the perfect place for a heart to heal, and for love to blossom once more…

Since the death of her husband three years ago, young widow Sally Ryland has kept to herself and focused on her struggling business, Ryland Riding. Folks assume she’s still grieving, because Sally has never shared the truth about her abusive marriage, or the trust issues that remain. But when a sexy rodeo rider from her past turns up for a visit, he’s a reminder of the feisty woman she once was—and maybe still could be…

Ben Traynor was always attracted to Sally, but he didn’t move fast enough. Now what Sally needs is patience and gentleness. With an injury keeping him from his next rodeo, Ben has the perfect excuse to stick around and help with her chores—and her healing. And as Sally finds the courage to face her demons and open her heart again, she’ll have to decide if what she has with Ben is more than safety, gratitude, and short-term passion, but a forever love…
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{ about susan fox } .

Award-winning, international best-selling author Susan Fox (who also writes as Savanna Fox and Susan Lyons) is a Pacific Northwester with homes in Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia. She has degrees in law and psychology, and has had a variety of careers, including perennial student, computer consultant, and legal editor. Fiction writer is by far her favorite, giving her an outlet to demonstrate her belief in the power of love, friendship, and a sense of humor.

{ excerpt } .

He unhitched the trailer, then climbed into the old Dodge Ram. The truck was a dually, the double set of rear tires giving it the extra strength he and Dusty needed to haul the rig. He cranked the windows down to enjoy the fresh air, and drove off, avoiding using his left hand unless absolutely necessary. On the way from Williams Lake, he’d found the local country and western station, CXNG, on the radio. Now he hummed along to some vintage Merle Haggard: “Workin’ Man Blues.”

Damn pretty land around here, but then horse country always was scenic, he reflected. The kind of scenic that not only pleased his eyes, but sank deep into his soul. On either side of the two-lane road, ranch land rolled away in gentle curves. On the right, low, craggy hills formed a backdrop. Traffic was light on this Tuesday afternoon, no one in a hurry. He slowed to pass a couple of riders on the gravel shoulder. When they waved, he took his right hand off the wheel for a moment to return the salutation.

He saw the turnoff to the main highway, leading back the way he’d driven earlier. He passed by, staying on the country road, and soon was greeted by a WELCOME TO CARIBOU CROSSING sign with a stylized caribou illustration. A couple of minutes later, he was in the outskirts of town.

Cruising down the main street, he noted some nicely restored heritage buildings, fresh paint on most storefronts, and flowers in planter boxes. A cute little town and yeah, it wasn’t much more than fifteen minutes’ drive from Sally’s place. How odd that she never came here.

Seeing a parking spot across from the town square, he grabbed it.

He strolled a couple blocks. A restored old hotel called the Wild Rose Inn had a fine-looking dining room and Western-style bar; a coffee shop called Big & Small offered sandwiches, wraps, and salads; a Japanese restaurant called Arigata looked interesting. He wasn’t a sushi guy, but he liked teriyaki, tempura prawns, and a few other Japanese dishes.

He settled on the Gold Pan, a diner that was two thirds full. It had Formica tables and red leatherette booths, a long counter and red-topped stools, even a jukebox. John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” wove beneath the sound of customers chatting. On the walls hung black-and-white photos of gold miners, some looking haggard as all get-out, others beaming and holding up sizable nuggets.

Feeling right at home, Ben took a seat at the counter. The middle-aged, auburn-haired waitress gave him a plasticized menu and a big smile, which he returned. The air smelled of frying chicken and grilling beef, and everything on the menu sounded delicious.

{ review } .

Ben and Sally were once good friends, both on the rodeo circuit with him bucking broncs and her turning barrels, but once married to Pete, Sally's life, and friendships, were put on the back burner. Besides dictating who Sally could talk to, Pete was physically and emotionally abusive, as well -- but that wasn't something that was spoken of.

Now Pete's gone and Sally is alone -- and she's learning to enjoy the independence. I enjoyed watching her fight for what she wanted -- she was close to losing everything but she refused to go down without a fight. When old friend Ben ends up on her doorstep, nursing an injury that the docs say will keep him out of the rodeo for 6 weeks (but he and Sally agree at around 4), it makes sense to have him come on board and help out -- he's that kind of friend, after all.

Even though he's gone, Sally still allows Pete to control her -- it's in her hair, her outfits, her fears... Living with that kind of terror isn't easy to just wipe out, and watching Ben help her move on was sweet. Ben was so sweet on Sally, but knew better than to take their friendship a step further -- he was well aware where his life was and he knew better than taking Sally along for the ride. But love has a way of sneaking up on people, especially when you have a bond such as the one Sally and Ben have.

An altogether sweet and enlightening read. Definitely for the romance reader who likes those sweet ones, and watching broken characters find a way to mend.

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  1. Thank you for hosting LOVE SOMEBODY LIKE YOU!

  2. Thanks so much for featuring my book - and for your lovely review.