Title: Kentucky Home by Sarah Title
Southern Comfort Series Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 197 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In this warm and witty new series, author Sarah Title introduces readers to the down home Kentucky hospitality of the Carson family and their Wild Rose Farm and Stables. It’s a place where love is always possible—and sweeter than ever the second time around…
Mallory Thompson and Keith Carson are far from impressed with each other when she arrives at his family’s horse farm, fleeing an abusive marriage. Mallory sees nothing but a gruff man who’s as patronizing as her soon-to-be ex-husband, and Keith has no time for a city girl who’s afraid of dogs. But the struggling Wild Rose is too small to allow anyone to keep their distance…
As one by one, Mallory wins the hearts of his family, from his cranky father to his headstrong younger sister and three-legged dog, Keith finds himself more than a little attracted to her stubborn charm. And the longer Mallory stays, the more she realizes Keith is nothing like the overbearing bully she married—and the more she fantasizes about being in his strong, loving arms. Maybe some folks get a second chance to make a first impression after all…
An impressive debut novel by newcomer Sarah Title, Kentucky Home is an absolutely delightful romance that is full of charming characters. This well-written novel is a wonderful story about starting over and finding love when it is least expected.
Good friend Luke Carson provides sanctuary for Mallory “Mal” Thompson on his family’s farm when she needs a place to escape her abusive soon to be ex-husband, Michael. Mal is quickly welcomed into the family but this city girl is definitely out of her element on the horse farm. With little skill, but a whole lot of enthusiasm, Mal eagerly volunteers to help out with the daily chores. She is attracted to Luke’s brother Keith, but Keith reminds her a little too much of the man she has left behind. Keith is drawn to Mal, but his misconceptions about Mal force him to keep his distance from his sexy house guest.
The richly developed cast of characters literally jumps off the pages of Kentucky Home. Mal is wounded and she is carrying a ton of emotional baggage, but she is upbeat and positive. In the beginning, her past issues with Michael lead her to think the worst of Keith, but as she gets to know him, she is quick to revise her opinion. Mal’s recovery from her abusive marriage does not happen overnight and she soon finds herself repeating past behaviors when dealing with Michael. Her struggles to come to terms with her past are realistically depicted and her reactions to certain situations ring true. I loved watching her find the self-confidence she needs to overcome her troubled past.
Following a tragic loss, Keith retreated to the family farm and he is just going through the motions. His attraction to Mal is very unexpected, and it is just the catalyst he needs to make peace with his past. There is a pretty nice guy lurking under his gruff exterior and once he begins to fall for Mal, his sweet side really comes out. Some of their scenes are incredibly touching and show just how much their characters have grown.
The secondary cast of characters is outstanding. Luke remains an enigma and I am impatiently awaiting his story. Sister Katie is extremely feisty and she is going to need to a pretty strong man to keep up with her. Surrogate mom Miss Libby has an open, loving heart and she is the backbone of the Carson family. Tantalizing glimpses of close family friends Chase and Billie have me wildly speculating how they are going to figure into future novels in the Southern Comfort series.
If you are a fan of homespun novels with close knit friends and family, then you are sure to enjoy Kentucky Home. It is a fast-paced and compelling novel that has depth and substance. Sarah Title has an engaging writing style and her character development is superb. I am eagerly looking forward to Kentucky Christmas, the next installment in this refreshing new series.