Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: 1/21/14
Rating: 2.5-3 stars
In this new Love Under the Big Sky series from a USA TODAY bestselling author, Cara agrees to tutor her former classmate's nephew—and learns some lessons in love!
Josh King is an expert at running his family’s multi-million dollar ranch in Montana. (And all that outside manual labor has done wonders for sculpting his six-foot-three body, too.) But as sure footed as he is when it comes to the ranch, Josh doesn’t know anything about how to deal with an adolescent boy—so when his twelve-year-old nephew, Seth, is dropped off on his doorstep, looking scared and acting surly as hell, Josh knows he needs help in straightening him out.
Cara Donovan loves her quiet life as a teacher in her sleepy hometown, so she jumps at the chance to make a little money over the summer as a tutor. But when she learns she’ll be teaching Josh King’s nephew, Cara’s sweet summer job gets a little bit hotter. Cara tries to focus all her attention on tutoring Seth, but Josh proves to be a delicious distraction, while Josh’s memories of the shy girl he once teased in high school are nothing like the beautiful woman he’s facing now. Can he persuade her that there’s more between them than a summer fling?
Let me start by saying that Loving Cara was not a bad book. It was fast-paced, steamy, and had likeable characters and several humorous moments. The thing is, I have read some truly wonderful romance novels lately, and my expectations are very high. I want to be completely in love with every book I read, and sadly, that's just not going to happen.
Loving Cara is a small town romance set in a charming community in Montana. We have Carolina Donovan, teacher and summer tutor to Seth King. Seth has been dumped with his father's family, including his Uncle Josh. Uncle Josh hires Cara to help the troubled Seth get caught up on his school work, but when she shows up at the ranch, he all but decides right there that he is hot for teacher. Josh sets out to win Cara's heart (spoiler alert: he doesn't have to try hard, at all).
At this point, I'm coming to a standstill because honestly, that about sums it up. We have the father/son issues when Seth's dad, Josh's twin comes home. We have some back-and-forth with Josh and Cara due to her not seeing that he truly cares for her and means what he says when he declares love, and such. It was fast-paced, had quite a lot of sex, which we all know is typically fine by me. Josh and Cara were nice people and I liked them together. She'd had a crush on him for years and I love seeing the nice girl win the guy. It's sweet, right?
But, I didn't feel a true connection with the story. Due to the quickness of the relationship, the plot lacked build-up and momentum. That made it hard to become truly invested in the outcome because there wasn't a lot to fight for. And it's not that I want undue or overdone angst or contrived situations, but I needed something to root for.
There were several instance in which the story and/or dialogue just didn't add up, or make sense to me. Here are a couple of examples:
-Cara and Josh have lived in the same small town their whole lives. But, when Cara shows up to tutor Seth, Josh acted like he hadn't seen her in years. And all of a sudden, he wanted her and had to have her. I didn't get it. Why the sudden new feelings, Josh? What was it about Cara that captured you today versus last week at the grocery store? (that's just an example)
-Josh's best friend Ty has also lived in this town forever. When Ty asked Josh where Zack (his twin brother) was at these days, Josh told him Afghanistan. Seriously, dude? The brother had been deployed for at least a year, I think, so shouldn't his best friend know that? I mean, if my best friend didn't know something like that, I would be hurt and/or annoyed.
-I'm going to leave this one alone, mostly. It involved a creek and a circuitous conversation between Josh and Cara that reminded me of trying to get an answer out of my five-year old. But my husband, to whom I read the conversation, said that it could be taken a couple different ways. I'll begrudging concede that point.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I didn't read these particular passages clearly enough. Loving Cara has a rating average of 4.25 on GoodReads, so obviously I'm in the minority. I did look forward to reading it, and while I thought it was okay at best, I didn't hate it. I don't know, maybe it's just me. Have you read Loving Cara? Did you love it? Hate it? Was I just wearing a particularly tight pair of crankypants when I read it? I've read other books of Proby's and liked them quite a lot. At any rate, a lot of fellow readers seem to really enjoying this, and that difference of opinion is what makes the discussion fun.
"I have a whole list of reasons that I'm attracted to you, sweetheart. It goes without saying, although I've repeated it many times, that you're beautiful. But more than that, you're funny. You are dedicated to you're job and you're proud of what you do."
His hands glide up and down my back in long sweeping motions, soothing me.
"You're kind and generous. You're so fucking smart, baby. I plan to spend a lot of time making you see you how I see you because the view is unbelievable.
Love Under the Big Sky Series
(covers lead to GoodReads page)
I have one copy of Loving Cara to give away, courtesy of the publisher.
Open to US/Can only; must be 18+ years of age to enter.
About the author