By Maisey Yates
Gold Valley - Book One
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Reviewed by PJ
Olivia Logan is self-righteous, prissy, and not above a bit of manipulation to get her way. She's also sexually inexperienced, socially awkward, overprotected by her parents, and a bit naive. When she broke up with Bennett Dodge, her boyfriend of a year and the man she'd always expected to marry, because he wouldn't propose to her when she wanted him to, she was sure he'd wake up and realize what a fool he'd been. Except, Bennett's not crawling back to her and now Luke Hollister, that sexy cowboy who works on the Dodge ranch, and the last man she should be attracted to, is making her crazy. When she suggested Luke help her make Bennett jealous, it seemed like a good idea but the more time she spends with Luke, the more she wants him and, of course, the more she wants him, the more she resists. She never had this problem with Bennett. Resisting him was easy. Olivia is always a good girl. Always. So why does Luke Hollister make her want to be so bad?
Everybody likes charming, sexy, easy-going Luke Hollister. Since moving to town and taking a job on the Dodge ranch as a teen, Luke has gone out of his way to work hard and make a place for himself. The Dodges consider him a part of the family and while he maintains an emotional distance, he'd never do anything to hurt them, and that includes indulging in the fascination he's had with Olivia Logan since she turned eighteen. When Luke and Olivia strike a bargain - his help to win back Bennett in exchange for her help in achieving his dream of owning his own ranch - it all seems simple and straightforward. But the sparks these two strike off one another are incendiary and, suddenly, their fake dates, flirtation, and desire are becoming all too real.
When I first learned that Maisey Yates intended to make Olivia Logan (a secondary character in her Copper Ridge series) the heroine of this novel, I had serious doubts that I would be able to buy in and, in the first half of this book, those doubts were reinforced. But then, Yates began to work her magic as she has done so many times before. Of course, there's a reason for Olivia's behavior. Of course, there's a reason why she's so desperate to win back Barrett and resist her growing feelings for Luke. Of course, there's a reason for the emotional barriers Luke erects between himself and others, why he only shows his easy-going charm and not the pain he hides inside, why he doesn't believe he's worthy of love. Of course, there's much, much more to this story. The evolution of Luke and Olivia, and their relationship, as their story unfolds is compelling, heartwarming, at times, heartwrenching, sexy, sassy, and just plain fun. I fell hard for Luke and by the end of the book, contrary to my doubts, I opened my heart to Olivia and completely bought in to their happy ending.
Maisey Yates continues to solidify her place on my auto-buy list with this first book in her new Gold Valley series (which includes crossover characters from her Copper Ridge series). The second book, scheduled for release June 19, is Untamed Cowboy, Kaylee and Bennett's best-friends-to-lovers story with two more books to follow in August and September. I can't wait!