Since I've been having so much fun with Lori Foster's Ultimate series, I thought it was time I checked out some more of her books. And we all know how much I love romance countrified. Even better, this one was on Overdrive at my local library and is two books in one, so there was no way I was going to pass it up!
The first story is Sawyer's. The town doctor and one of several brothers who live together in their late parents' old farmhouse, Sawyer's a single dad of a teenage son, and while he certainly isn't hurting for female attention, he's not exactly looking for a wife. But then Honey Malone crashes through his freshly mended fence, lands her car in the water, and refuses to go to a hospital. Before she knows it, she finds herself a guest in Sawyer's house, drowning in testosterone, and trying to trying to stay one step ahead of whoever's been trying to kill her.
I absolutely loved the backstory of Sawyer and his son, and I'm pretty sure I was in love with the book as soon as their lack of blood relationship was revealed. But even better was the camaraderie of the brothers, the way they egged each other on and behaved exactly as you would expect from a house full of men. The way they took control of Honey's problems would have been annoying as hell — had they not all been so damned charming and sexy!
Honey's story is rather complicated, and she's just as in the dark about what's happening as we are. She knows that someone is after her, but for the life of her, she can't imagine why. All she's certain of is that they're dangerous, she has to stay under the radar, and she can't drag these men into the danger she faces. But they're far too chivalrous and protective to let her go it alone, and once they have some idea of what she's up against, they're determined to see her safely through it — especially Sawyer.
The romance between these two was sweetly steamy, if that makes sense. There were certainly some bedroom scenes, but they weren't as graphic as I'm used to reading, and I'm not sure if that has more to do with the age of the series or the character of the brothers featured. Either way, it was kind of a nice change from all the stories out there constantly trying to push the envelope by spicing things up just a little too far. Sawyer was certainly all alpha, but he was also a gentleman, and while I wouldn't recommend this book to young teens, I think it's a nice, middle-of-the-road approach to writing sex scenes.
The second story in the book is Morgan's. He's all scowl and suspicion in Sawyer's story, though he's not incapable of some comic relief, as was made clear by his walking into the kitchen in the buff when Honey was trying to make her escape. But now that he's met her sister Misty, it's his turn to find romance he wasn't necessarily looking for.
Morgan knows the last thing he needs is to have a fling with his brother's sister-in-law, but Misty knocks him on his ass from day one. He tries his damnedest to avoid his attraction to her, with the end result looking like he can't even stand her. And then, of course, it drives him nuts that she's always laughing and happy with everyone else.
Misty's got enough problems on her plate without the moody sheriff turning up the heat. She doesn't want to burden her sister with all she's facing, but between finding out she's pregnant, losing her job, and ending up with a criminal record, she's running out of options. Morgan, though, for being such a by-the-book control freak, is a bit of a softie. And once he gets the full story out of Misty, he steps up to make things a little easier for her, giving her a job and a reason to stay around while he unsuccessfully fights his feelings for her.
Their romance was quite entertaining to watch, not only because they were clearly made for each other, but also because Morgan was so hilariously lost most of the time. He couldn't stand losing control of himself, and that's the state Misty had him in all the time. But he was also exactly what she needed, someone older and stable and responsible, who wouldn't rush to judgement about her and would give her a shot at something better than the future she thought was waiting for her. Their constant bickering and undeniable attraction to each other made for a fun, steamy read.
All in all, Buckhorn Beginnings is a quick, entertaining set of classic romance novel plots. Both the Hudson brothers featured so far are white knights coming to the rescue of damsels in distress, but it plays out in such a way that you can't help but root for them and then laugh when they stumble. Despite some of the heavier subject matter, the stories remain rather lighthearted, revolving around family, loyalty, and quite a bit of humor.