Can't Hurry Love by Molly O'Keefe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Victoria Schulman has become a shell of what she used to be, thanks to a husband who wanted a weaker woman to make him feel strong. She came home to claim her inheritance when her estranged father was dying and has decided to stay. She does not get the inheritance she wished for but her brother is willing to sell her the Crooked Creek Ranch after it comes out of escrow in a year. In the meantime she needs to pick herself up and learn how to run a ranch.
Eli Turnbull has been the ranch foreman for years. He expected to get something when Lyle Baker died, since the Baker family slowly bought his family’s land over several decades when they were in need of money. But all Eli receives is the prized Angus herd that he intends to sell as soon as possible. Eli is an extremely angry man and takes it out on everyone, including Victoria. He has offered her 2 million dollars for the ranch but Victoria sees this ranch as her salvation and a future for her son.
Selling most of the herd serves several purposes for Eli; it gives him money to buy the ranch (assuming Victoria will eventually sell), purchase some Stallions for the breeding operation he wants to start and takes away the monthly income for Victoria’s ranch, thereby hoping to force her to sell.
Although Eli and Victoria do not see eye to eye, he stays on as foreman since he wants to use the space and equipment for his breeding program. However when things come to a head with Victoria she fires him leaving him with nothing to do but make some decisions about his future and find the reasons for his anger.
Celeste Baker, Lyle’s ex-wife and mother of Luc (Victoria’s half brother) also decides to stick around after Lyle’s death although Victoria somewhat believes it is to see her fail since Celeste was never good to her while growing up. However as they spend time together, they form an alliance and start to become friends. Victoria throws out the idea of making the ranch a spa which Celeste loves and jumps to help with funding, they need additional funding so Victoria goes to Eli to see if he wants to buy some of the land he has coveted. He ends up purchasing several acres and as they work things out they become closer and find they have more things in common than they thought, they might even like each other.
As the story unfolds, we see that Eli deals with some of his anger and Victoria grows a backbone, and on several different situations stands up for herself, their mutual respect and growing friendship develop into love. The story is very good and we see two very different people deal with outside forces that seem to decide their fate until they realize they can make their own decisions and forge their own way in life.
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