This is the first book in the Cowboys Seasons series by Kathleen Ball. It was the first I have read by the author. I chose this book because I have been on a bit of a cowboy kick lately and it looked like it would be a good fit for me. It is a good thing I always read blurbs, because this cover really doesn't do anything for me. It mostly looks like a hot mess of blues and browns swirled together.
The story begins with Summer Fitzgerald showing up at the O'Leary ranch, having answered an advertisement for nanny/housekeeper. It turns out that the boys she will be nanny to are nearly grown. Matthew is 18, Mark is 16, Luke is 14 and John is 12. Their older brother, Holden is 26, the new veterinarian and their guardian. The O'Leary's have just recently moved from Texas to Montana to start over after some recent trouble. Holden wants someone at the ranch to run the house and keep an eye on the boys while he is busy with his new practice and taking emergency calls.
Summer is looking for a fresh start of her own. Her parents had drowned a couple of years prior and the father figure who gave her a job and taught her to cook and tend bar was recently killed in a robbery attack that left her beaten. It also left her under suspicion of being an accomplice since the attacker was a former boyfriend of Summer's. All she really wants is to find a job and steer clear of any relationships.
There was a lot to like about this book. I liked the boys, the vet tech Mindy Sue and the neighboring ranchers. The secondary relationships worked really well. I liked that both of the characters had issues to work on and over come. However there were also some things that I didn't like. Such as Summer's inability to really stand up for herself. I understand she has had some tough times, but she felt a little wimpy to me. There were a couple times that I actually wanted to smack her and tell her to stand her ground. I also thought Holden was a bit of an arrogant jerk wad a couple of times. He finds out about Summer's history, says he understands and then uses it against her not once, but twice. If he says he trusts her then he should trust her and not just give it lip service.
The sheriff really ticked me off. His behavior was harassing and nearly criminal and nobody called him on it. I can only hope that in one of the later books his behavior will be addressed and is being used specifically for a coming plot point. I am giving this book 3 stars on Goodreads, primarily because while my perception of the wimpy-ness of Summer and the jerky-ness of Holden aggravated me, that also means that the author did her job. She wrote such a good story that I made an emotional connection with the characters. You really can't ask for more than that.