Friday, March 6, 2015

Betting on Hope (A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance) by Debra Clopton

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  

About the book: 

Betting on Hope (Thomas Nelson, February 2015)

 A bet gone wrong. A small town's meddling. And a cowboy intent on saving his ranch. 

 Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it's beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie's bosses know this is the opportunity she's been looking for to launch her career---and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the bet that he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat. 

 Tru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he'd like, but he knows it's the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru's fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do-for her own good. 

 In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart's desires. 

 Purchase a copy: Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton

About the author: 

Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Find Debra online: websiteFacebookTwitter

Dynamic Uno here: If you're just joining us, welcome to my blog!  For those of you that have been here since the beginning, thank you for sticking with me--even with my crazy absences here and there.

It should come as no surprise as to why I requested this book.  After all, cowboys and romance are right up my alley--combine the two and I'm hooked.

I must admit, when I first met the character of Maggie Hope, I didn't think I'd like her much.  She was complaining about having to do an interview for her friend who was unable to make it, and it just happened to be with a handsome cowboy. (Is she crazy?!  I'd love to interview a handsome cowboy!) 

Thankfully, as I read more about her and watched her character grow throughout the story, I actually found myself wanting to sit down and have a cup of tea, while she had some coffee, and discuss our lives.  Her childhood was fraught with ridiculous parenting and she had to learn to survive on the streets with her own wit.  I like to hear and read these "overcoming obstacles against all odds" type of stories, so I'm quite sure her telling of events would be quite fascinating.

Tru Monahan is the main cowboy bachelor in this story, although he has several brothers who are single as well.  After he bets Maggie that he can teach her to ride and cut for competition (this will be explained in the book), he ends up finding out that he may have taken on more than he can handle when he meets her fierce determination and attitude, as well as her penchant for being a klutz. (Thank goodness I'm not the only one who can trip over air.)

The community of Wishing Springs reminds me of the small town of Abilene, Texas. The people are friendly and helpful to a fault, which sometimes causes the rumor mill to spin out of control. When Maggie and Tru's friendship begins, half of the townspeople (mainly Clara Lyn and Reba at the Cut 'n Curl) have them married off in gossip only.  Thankfully, Tru and Maggie are more concerned about the deadline of the cutting contest and the bet than to worry about what the townspeople are saying about their relationship.

Add to that mix, Pops--who has Alzheimer's, Jenna--the pregnant teenager Maggie found walking alongside the road, and a handful of zany mishaps and you have the story of Betting on Hope.

I enjoyed reading this novel, not only because of the cowboy and romance factors, but because it made me laugh and swoon in all of the right parts.  Ms. Clopton has a quick sense of humor and a writing style that brings her characters to life--so much so that you feel like you're part of their community.

I look forward to reading more by Ms. Clopton and I can't wait to find out if Tru's other brothers get bitten by the love-bug.

Let me know what you think!  Happy Reading!

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