Comment: This was the last book I've read in July. It had been in my unread pile for some time and then I added it to my July list. Years ago, I've read another book by the author, Allie's Moon, and from what I can still remember, it was a good book and I expected something along the same lines. I liked this book in general but I wasn't left with such a strong positive impression as I got with the first one I've tried.
This is the story of Saran Kincade, a schoolteacher who pretends to care for her baby nephew while her job doesn't start but in reality the child is hers and she is running from his father.
The story starts with Sarah being kicked out of the house where she stays as a schoolteacher because the owner doesn't believe her and doesn't want the baby's crying so close. Sarah returns to the town's hotel but is found by a man, Zach Garrett, that comes with orders to bring her back to the father of her baby.
Zach only wants to finish this last job so the man who has his bank note can give him his old ranch back. He thinks the job will be easy but a journey through miles and miles with a baby isn't easy, especially one who's weaned to goat's milk. Zach wants nothing to do with Sarah or the kid but close proximity and shared experiences bring them closer. Could Zach help Sarah in the end and not give her up?
Like I said, I liked this book in general, there were some interesting ideas but overall the story was pretty bland.
The writing wasn't different from so many other books and there were moments where the narrative seemed to drag or, probably, the descriptions just didn't have an impact on me. This is not a bad book but when compared to others in the genre, I've read some more vibrant and amazing plots.
In fact, this is one of those on-the-road romances which, many times, work out pretty well and are amazing chances to put the protagonists in a position where they have to learn to trust one another without so many distractions. But here I wasn't always engrossed in Sarah and Zach and their relationship wasn't dazzling. Ok, maybe I should say this differently: I just didn't think them so amazing, despite their pasts and experiences - to the point where it seemed any moment with them was alive.
One of the best elements here was the reason why Sarah was running, even if she didn't know it. We learn her baby's father is married and his wife doesn't mind and wants to raise Sarah's child as her own. but there are some secrets we are told with time that make her a bad perspective for motherhood. This was quite the twist I wasn't expecting.
The romance between Zach and Sarah is what supposedly has center stage in this book. I can understand and see that but their relationship wasn't as sweet as I expected. Of course they're wary of one another, Sarah especially because of what Zach wants to gain from taking her and they start to, slowly, develop feelings for the other... but the way this is told makes it look so uninteresting, without subtlety, no tension - sexual or another - to make us want to see them together. When they finally got intimate and later found their HEA it was simply ok. I was not super happy about that, sure it happened but it could have been better.
Their personalities were a match yes, but at the same time the connection they said they felt seemed too easy to have appeared and it was just the way it had to be, not something we could realize internally because all the clues screamed it.
I think this was a great effort. Comparing the writing to the other book I've read by her, it seems the narrative was smoother in Allie's Moon, but then, the characters were slightly more vibrant and interesting. I'm still looking to read more by this author one day, but I hope it's a book with characters I feel more connected with.