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    Another excellent country romance from T.J. Kline

    Since the death of her parents, Jessie's been doing everything she can to turn the family's dude ranch into the horse rescue facility she and her father dreamed of. But her best isn't enough, and after letting all the help go, selling off what she could, and working as hard as she can every day, the operation is still hemorrhaging money. Desperate for a solution, her brother calls in his old roommate, a wealthy and successful financial analyst to help them get in the black again, but it's not the perfect solution for Jesse that he thought it would be. There's that never forgotten matter of the summer that same man stole Jesse's heart and then shattered it… The Verdict: After the awesomeness that was the Learning the Ropes series, you can bet I didn't waste any time in trying to get my hands on the beginning of a brand new series by T.J. Kline, and I wasn't disappointed. Jessie's a bit of a bleeding heart when it comes to animals and kids, and it's a trait she shares with her late father. While her parents made a success of their property as a dude ranch, giving city slickers a taste of country life for a week or two, the hope was that they would be able to move into the more meaningful work of rescuing abused and neglected horses. However, Jessie's parents were killed in an accident, leaving the ranch and property to her and her siblings, and while each has different interests and responsibilities, they're all too attached to let the ranch fail. But as time goes by, Jessie takes in more and more horses, not to mention at-risk teenagers who find something good in being responsible for neglected animals, and the ranch sinks further and further into the red. Her brother's finally had enough and calls in his old college roommate, a man who turned his back on the family years ago, to help. Nathan's never forgotten Jessie, and it still pains him that he left like he did. He was her first real love, and after promising to keep in touch, he simply vanished back into the city, never to be seen or heard from again until now. What Jessie doesn't realize is that Nathan abandoned their relationship to protect her family, but even to him, his reasoning seems flawed in hindsight. Now it's all he can do to get her to speak to him, but it goes without saying that he wants quite a bit more than a little talk. The chemistry between these two is tangible, but so is the pain and grief that Jessie's been harboring since the day she realized he was never going to call her. Getting past that, even while knowing he's not at the ranch for long, is a rough process, made even more difficult by her inability to figure out which man Nathan is — the one ready with kindness and affection or the one who lives a life of luxury in the big city, never really caring about those “beneath” him. If you ask me, Nathan's excuse for dropping Jessie all those years ago is pretty weak, but that can almost be overlooked due to his father's position and his own young age at the time. It's pretty clear that his dad is a complete scumbag, but how many of us were really ready to stand up completely to our parents and make our own way when we were in college? Given what his father is capable of, it's little wonder that Nathan gave up his own happiness and risked Jessie's fragile heart in order to shelter her from what life in corrupt and wealthy circles could bring. Watching them come back together was a one step forward and two steps back kind of thing, but that's what kept it grounded and believable. The one thing I do wish there was more of was the horses and teens Jessie was trying to help. They were introduced, and it was clear they were her calling, but it felt a little like they were forgotten in favor of the reawakened romance with Nathan. I would have liked to have seen them play a bigger role instead of being relegated to the background like they were. In any case, Heart's Desire is another excellent country romance from T.J. Kline, sure to appeal to just about anyone who has a thing for men in cowboy boots. The lifestyle and setting is once again genuinely portrayed, adding something significant to the story, and of course, the characters are just as wonderful as always. If Wranglers, Ariat, and Tony Lama mean something to you (or if you just like hot cowboys in tight jeans), start making room for this series on your shelf. ***FicCentral received this book from Harper Collins (via Edelweiss) for free in exchange for an honest review.
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    Stirring and superbly written! A must-read!

    Jessie Hart has been following her dream of transforming her family’s dude ranch into a horse rescue but it’s depleted her finances. Jessie’s brother asks his college best friend Nathan to help her. Nathan Kerrington is a financial genius, however there is a serious problem: Nathan is the man who broke Jessie’s heart several years ago, he never contacted her after he left without a word, and she has never forgiven him, and no one knew about their romance. HEART’S DESIRE is a powerful, stirring book that will have you invested right from the start. Jessie is ready to explode with rage upon seeing Nathan again, who doesn’t seem to realise how much he hurt Jessie. She does overreact, but the fact that Nathan seems somewhat oblivious infuriates her even more. Jessie finds it almost unbearable to be stuck with Nathan, until she realises that she does need help if she intends her business not to go totally under. She can’t deny that the spark between them hasn’t faded along the years, but it’s a serious matter of rebuilding trust, on both sides. HEART’S DESIRE is masterfully written, and saying that the characters are complex would be a major understatement. I love the care and research Ms. Kline put into her book: we get a close look at what it is to be a horse whisperer, and life on a ranch. HEART’S DESIRE is captivating and realistic look at two people who need to be more open-minded and giving if they are to be happier, not to say find love. HEART’S DESIRE is a splendid beginning to a new series by that the very talented T. J. Kline.
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    A must read!

    What was I thinking not reading anything by T.J. sooner? Heart's Desire is an emotional, funny and sexy read featuring a tough cowgirl and sexy financial advisor. It's combination of brother's best friend and second chance romance. Jessie has a hard time getting past the hurt Nathan caused when he broke her heart eight years ago. But there were good reasons behind his actions and he'll do anything to get her to understand. Their attraction to each other is stronger than ever and the more time they spend trying to figure out the problems with the ranch, the harder it is for them to deny their feelings. Add to the mix a betrayal no one saw coming and you have a story that will keep you hooked from beginning to end. Great beginning to a new series. Jessie's sister Julia's story is up next, but I hope her cousin Bailey gets a story too - she was awesome! 4.5 stars ARC via Edelweiss

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