Can an independent cowboy be lassoed by love when he least expects it?
Liam "Fortune" Jones knows exactly who and what he is: the son of Deke Jones, born and bred in Horseback Hollow. He is an old-fashioned cowboy, committed to tradition and used to getting his own way. And he won't change for anyone -- not even for the sassy aspiring chef who's been tormenting his dreams….
Julia Tierney holds the distinction of being the only woman who ever turned Liam down. She's an independent lady with dreams way bigger than their rustic hometown. Every time she runs into that bullheaded rancher, they bicker. The man makes her nuts! But there's something about Liam that keeps roping her in and making her come back for more….
Very good book in which stubborn goes toe-to-toe with hardheaded. Liam is one of the Jones kids and the only one who is resisting being part of the Fortune family. All he can see is his mom's family trying to say that being a Jones isn't good enough for them. He doesn't want any of "those people" coming to Horseback Hollow and changing the way things are done. He's furious when he finds out that Julia is trying to get a member of the family to open a restaurant there. He tries to convince her that it would be the beginning of the end to their town. Not only does Julia refuse to see things his way, she tries to show him that he's the one who is wrong.
The sparks between these two were explosive. They had known each other all their lives and had a bit of history from high school. Liam had been the high school heartthrob who had gotten all the girls to go out with him - except for Julia - which bruised his ego a bit. She had found him quite attractive and charming, but she refused to be one of a crowd and turned him down. Even now they tend to bicker whenever they meet and it has only gotten worse over the issue of the restaurant.
When Liam decides to try to get her to see things his way he first tries showing her the changes that have come to another town after a fancy place opened there. What he didn't expect to happen was for the sparks between them to burst into flame when he kissed her. His initial reaction is to use those flames for two things - to get her into bed, and to seduce her to his way of thinking. Those plans don't last long in the face of the relationship that starts to grow between them.
Julia has had dreams of having a restaurant for a long time, but they've gotten pushed away as she helped her parents with their business. Bringing a new place to her town is like a dream come true for her. She sees it as being a good thing for the town, a place that would bring some jobs as well as new visitors and lead to more new businesses. She can't believe that Liam would be so shortsighted as to deny the town that kind of progress. She is determined to change his mind. I loved the way her arguments were always so well reasoned compared to Liam's wild assumptions. The passion between them worries her because she can see herself falling for him and being heartbroken when he moves on like he's done with all previous relationships.
I really loved the interactions between Liam and Julia. There is so much passion there that it's obvious that there's more going on than just a difference of opinion over the restaurant. When they finally give in to their passion both of them start to change. Julia starts to see that there is a chance for her to have the kind of life she has dreamed about with a man who understands her. Liam is able to let go of his negative feelings about the Fortunes and see past his fears to a future with Julia, until she hears about his scheme and things blow up in his face. I loved the scene in the barn with his brother as Toby tries to break Liam out of his funk by explaining things to him. Liam's pride was pretty bruised, but I loved the way he got Julia's attention at the end.