The Rancher's Inherited Family - Judy Christenberry
This reads like a 12th grader's fan fiction (but with better grammar). The writing is juvenile, as is the dialogue which is also incredibly stilted. I swear I've seen over exaggerated robot movies that have felt more human than these characters. Half the time it didn't appear as though the characters were even in the same conversation. Especially the two primary characters, Brad and Sarah. She made up entire conversations between the two as reasons why he wouldn't be interested in her, meanwhile all he did was show her physically and verbally that he wanted to be with her ("Why do you think I've been kissing you?" "Because I'm the hired help." What? Idiot). (At the beginning of the book he points out it will be difficult to raise two kids alone, and she spends the rest of the book claiming that with this statement he made it very clear that he wants absolutely nothing to do with her and isn't even attracted to her. None of his actions or words swayed her from this position.) She's 24 and the nine-year-old character was more intelligent. No matter what anyone said to her she thought and maintained the opposite until everyone in the room practically had to yell it at her (though that didn't always cut it either). There was no chemistry between Brad and Sarah and really no evolution in their relationship until suddenly he's asking her to marry him in the last few pages. The entire premise of the book was nonsensical and it basically jumped from unlikely situation to even more unlikely situation in a very stiff and disjointed way as if to kill time until we could get to the point. It truly felt like reading an outline. It's not like I have great expectations for this type of Harlequin book, but even still this was frustrating.