Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton

Are you ready for some romance between a cowboy champion and a spitfire columnist with a little humor thrown in?

Maggie Hope got the job of interviewing Tru Monahan by default, since her good friend Amanda was sick. But Maggie was a newspaper advice column writer, not a television personality. In her flustered state of speaking to the most handsome cowboy around, Maggie off handedly says she bets Tru could never teach her to ride a horse and compete. But her newspaper and Tru's corporate sponsors have other ideas. Before she can protest, her column is on the line. She goes through with training from Tru and then competing in an amateur contest, or her column is a thing of the past.

This novel is great fun. Tru is a sweet guy who has become famous for his horsemanship. He's one of three brothers trying to keep the ranch their father ran into the ground. His part was to go on the competition circuit. He's been a great success. He was even in the tabloids when he dated a media star. Burned by the notoriety, he has sworn off women...until Maggie comes to the ranch. Sparks fly as he teaches her to ride the very animal that scares her. Both Tru and Maggie have secrets that might just sabotage the budding romance. Both struggle with their mixed up feelings.

Also in the novel's plot is a pregnant teen. The young woman has run from an abusive family situation and is planning to give up her baby for adoption. Maggie befriends her and the relationship brings to the forefront Maggie's troubled past. And when that past catches up with her, Maggie just may not have much a future.

Another issue in the novel is the pain of a loved one with dementia. Tru's grandfather, Pops, has good days and bad days. Tru and his brothers are devoted to him and the strength of a close family comes through clearly.

This fun novel takes place in a small town (no stoplights) that is full of quirky characters. I loved the ladies who owned the beauty parlor. What a kick. There is the old editor of the local newspaper. A sometimes drunk, he is trying to woo now the woman he fell in love with as a teen but lost because of his own stupidity.

If you like a good romance that is full of relationship turmoil, you'll really like this one. You'll see the pain Tru endures when he thinks the best thing for Maggie is a life with him not in it. Your heart will go out to Jenna, the pregnant teen. You'll cheer for Maggie as she gets in the saddle. Besides a great romance, you'll learn some about ranching and horse riding and cutting competition too. An all around good Christian romance novel. I'll be looking for the next in the series.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.

Debra Clopton is an award-winning author with more than 22 novels. She and her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. You can find out more about her and her books at http://debraclopton.com/.

Thomas Nelson, 320 pages. You can purchase a copy here.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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