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Smooth-Talking Cowboy

by Maisey Yates

Series: Gold Valley (1)

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1411,111,934 (4.33)None
Welcome to Gold Valley, Oregon, where a rough-and-tumble rancher and the girl next door are about to learn that opposites attract Olivia Logan has a plan: win back her ex by making him see what he's missing. But first she needs to find a man who's willing to play along. With his laid-back cowboy charm and knack for getting under her skin, Luke Hollister is an unlikely hero but he wants her help convincing her father to sell him land, which means he needs her as much as she needs him. Luke likes his life and his women uncomplicated. So why does good girl Olivia heat his blood like no one else? She's always been off-limits, but the more time they spend as Gold Valley's hottest new couple, the more real it's starting to feel. Luke was supposed to help her win back another man not keep her in his arms. But now that he has her there, he's not sure he'll ever let go.… (more)

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Good book about two people who seem to be opposites, but turn out to be a lot more alike than they knew. Olivia Logan is Gold Valley's good girl. Unlike her twin sister, Olivia doesn't drink, do drugs, or sleep around. She is always in control of her feelings and has a plan for her life. Part of that plan is marrying Bennett Dodge, whom she has known all her life, and dated for a year. But when Bennett didn't propose, Olivia broke up with him, hoping he'd then see what he was missing. She's dismayed to discover that it hasn't worked out that way, and decides that making him jealous is the next step. The only possible choice for that is Luke Hollister.

Luke is Gold Valley's Romeo. He is good-looking, charming, and known for his flirty ways. Luke came to Gold Valley at the age of sixteen, after his mother's death, looking for a different life. He has put his heart and soul into the Get Out of Dodge ranch, but with the ranch's current focus on being an upscale dude ranch, he figures the time is right for him to branch out on his own. The land that he wants belongs to Olivia's dad, and he wants her help convincing him to sell it to Luke.

The sparks between Olivia and Luke were obvious from the start. Olivia has known him for most of her life, and ever since she became an adult, he has succeeded in getting under her skin. I had some trouble warming up to her because she seemed to be such an uptight, judgmental, and manipulative woman. I especially didn't like the way that she looked down on Luke because of his beat-up truck and his rough hands. I also didn't like the ways that she had tried to force Bennett's hand. Though he goes along with her plan for his own reasons, Luke is a pretty straightforward guy. He makes no secret of the fact that he doesn't do commitments, and he treats the ladies well while they are together. I did get the feeling that he rather enjoyed the idea of pulling on Bennett's chain a bit.

Neither Olivia nor Luke expected that their fake relationship would feel very real very quickly. Olivia was very inexperienced, with Bennett having been her only relationship, and that was pretty lukewarm. It was interesting to note that she complained about the way Luke's attitude made her "itch" when it wasn't really an itch at all, she just didn't see it for what it was. Luke seemed to get a lot of joy out of provoking Olivia whenever he could, just to get a rise out of her. Their banter and sniping were fun to watch. I really enjoyed the dart game, and Luke's attempts to distract her (reminded me of the shooting scene in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves). I liked seeing how Luke's attention made Olivia see the truth about her feelings for Bennett.

There were a couple of really terrific scenes where Luke and Olivia shared the painful parts of their pasts which had made them the people they were today. With Luke's help, Olivia finally started to realize that her sister's choices were her own and that Olivia didn't need to bury her true self in an attempt to make up for Vanessa's actions. I also liked that Luke was able to tell Olivia about his mother and what his life had been like, and why he doesn't do commitments. I really liked seeing how both Olivia and Luke changed as they grew closer. I ached for Olivia when she realized how much she loved Luke and told him so, only to have him pull back coldly and cruelly. I ached for Luke, too, because the thought of Olivia's love scared him so badly. An eye-opening lecture came from an unexpected source. I loved Luke's big moment at the end. He had a pretty amazing and heartfelt groveling session as he made things right with Olivia, topped off with a really romantic scene at his new ranch. The epilogue was sweet, too. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Jun 24, 2018 |
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Welcome to Gold Valley, Oregon, where a rough-and-tumble rancher and the girl next door are about to learn that opposites attract Olivia Logan has a plan: win back her ex by making him see what he's missing. But first she needs to find a man who's willing to play along. With his laid-back cowboy charm and knack for getting under her skin, Luke Hollister is an unlikely hero but he wants her help convincing her father to sell him land, which means he needs her as much as she needs him. Luke likes his life and his women uncomplicated. So why does good girl Olivia heat his blood like no one else? She's always been off-limits, but the more time they spend as Gold Valley's hottest new couple, the more real it's starting to feel. Luke was supposed to help her win back another man not keep her in his arms. But now that he has her there, he's not sure he'll ever let go.

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