Title: Nothing Sweeter by Laura Drake
Sweet on a Cowboy Book Two
Publisher: Hachette Book Group/Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
A Love as Wild as the West . . .
Aubrey Madison is starting over. Leaving Los Angeles and everything behind except the scars of her ruined past, Bree sets out for cowboy country. Now she has a new home, a new job-and a new worry: the ruggedly sexy rancher who makes her long for things she shouldn’t . . .
Rough and tumble cattleman Max Jameson has broken wild stallions and faced angry bulls. Yet the redheaded city cupcake who turned up at the High Heather Ranch might be his undoing. Bree has a plan to rescue the ranch from foreclosure that’s just crazy enough to work. But will Max gamble his future on a beautiful stranger?
Nothing Sweeter is another well-written and entertaining romance by the wonderfully fabulous Laura Drake. This second installment in her charming Sweet on a Cowboy series is a compelling novel about new beginnings, self-acceptance and of course, love. It is not quite as emotional as The Sweet Spot, but it just as heartwarming and the cast of characters is just as endearing.
Aubrey “Bree” Madison is searching for a new life when her journey takes her to High Heather Ranch. The serene surroundings and low stress job provide Bree the perfect place to de-stress and just enjoy life. Her attraction to sexy cowboy and ranch owner Max Jameson catches her by surprise but she is able to keep her distance from her gruff, grumpy boss. That is until she comes up with the perfect plan to help Max and his brother Wyatt hold on to their beloved family inheritance.
Bree easily settles into her new routine as a stable hand but putting her past behind her proves to be much trickier. Plagued by nightmares, she throws herself wholeheartedly into her new job and begins to find a measure of peace. At first uneasy around the other ranch hands, she is quickly accepted by her peers. But it is Bree’s close friendship with Wyatt and Max’s cook and surrogate mother Tia Nita that she finds most soothing. She shares an easygoing rapport with Wyatt but Bree butts heads with Max right from their very first meeting. Part of their discord arises from their simmering sexual tension while Max’s stubborn cowboy pride is responsible for the rest.
Max is still reeling from his father’s unexpected death and the abrupt end to his previous romance when he first makes Bree’s acquaintance. His life is in turmoil as he fights to keep the ranch solvent while trying to smooth over his relationship with Wyatt. Max is a quintessential cowboy with long held beliefs that keep him from accepting Bree’s help. Although he and Wyatt have a decent relationship, some of Max’s convictions make it difficult for them to grow closer. Will this irascible man conquer habits of a lifetime and hold on to what is dear to his heart?
There is great chemistry between Max and Bree but the past has a pretty good hold on both of them. Max’s hurt from his failed romance colors his perception of Bree and he fights his attraction to her. His instincts tell him that she is keeping something from him and of course that assessment is spot on. Bree holds on to her secrets long after she should have revealed them and it is a waiting game to see how the truth will eventually come out. This part of the storyline is brilliantly executed and Max’s observations about Bree’s reasons for keeping them hidden are surprisingly astute.
The relationship between Max and Wyatt adds another layer to the overall plot. While they have not exactly been estranged, there is a cordial distance between them. Max’s discomfort about certain aspects of Wyatt’s life continues to come between them but Wyatt insists that Max deal with his conflicted feelings so they can fully repair the rift between them.
Nothing Sweeter is a well-plotted story with true to life characters who are flawed yet easy to like. Their problems are realistic and each of them rises to the challenges facing them. The romance between Max and Bree is slow growing but deliciously sexy. Laura Drake keeps the plot marvelously unpredictable and of course I LOVE how she incorporates the sport of bull riding into the storyline. Once again I am highly anticipating the next book in the series, Sweet on You, which will be available later this year.
While this fantastic addition to the Sweet on a Cowboy series can be read as a standalone story, you won’t want to miss the other novels in this terrific series.
You can find my review of The Sweet Spot HERE.