This month's TBR Challenge was "How did this get here?" A book that you don't know how/why it's in your TBR. Well, I, like Wendy, pretty much remember every book I've purchased or gotten in a swap or...whatever. There's nothing on my shelf that is a mystery to me. lol So Wendy offered up a "Free Pick Month" and I ran with it. Enjoy!
Seth Remington had a fortune at his fingertips, but something was missing in his life. Purpose.
Knowing he has one last chance to redeem his son, terminally ill Sterling Remington rewrites his will. To earn his inheritance, his son Seth must labor as a groom for a horse trainer.
Katie Murphy's orderly existence is turned upside down by Sterling Remington's will. Raised on hard work and dedicated to her harness racing stable, Katie agrees to take Seth on as a groom. How can she ever fulfill the challenge of instilling a work ethic in Seth and still keep her faltering stable running?
Kept at arm's length by the strict terms of Sterling's will, Seth and Katie are forced to struggle with their growing attraction until a devastating racing accident forces them to take a hard look at their relationship. How much is he willing to risk for her love?
Seth is a totally reckless 29 year old. Though he did go to college and actually got a degree in psychology he's never had to work a day in his life – he's a totally spoiled rich kid. After Seth crashes yet one more car (his 4th totaled car) his very ill father has had enough. He knows that Seth will be mighty pissed at him but he goes ahead and changes his will.
Seth's is mourning his father's death and still a bit in shock about it all when his lawyers read the will. Seth has a choice. He either goes with the woman he's just met, Katie Murphy, to her horse farm and become her underpaid groom for 9 months or he gets nothing. In fact if he chooses to decline the groom position he'll be left with 2 suitcases worth of clothing and nothing else. Seth is pissed but he can do nothing but agree to the stipulations of the will – there's like 95 million dollars on the line!
He chooses at first to make Katie and the lawyer, Ross, miserable with his attitude. He's agreed to the terms of the will but he doesn't have to like them. He isn't a stupid fellow though and soon is learning all about the horses, Katie's harness racing business and how much it means to Katie. He likes Katie a lot and wants to take her to bed but other terms of the will included the fact that Katie and Seth could not be together sexually for fear that Seth would try to influence Katie into saying he worked hard as a groom when he didn't. In fact the will went so far as to say that if Seth completed his 9 months he wouldn't be allowed contact with Katie for 5 years – thus proving that he didn't buy her acquiescence.
As the months go on and Seth gets more and more involved with the horses and yes, eventually with Katie, he thinks that maybe there's more to life than money, nice clothes and fast cars. Who knew? But he also thinks that Katie would never accept him without his money (no one else has, why should she?) and frankly he's not sure he can live without it.
This was a really good story – mostly of a man finding his place in the world - and it was a good one. I have to admit that when the author told me about the book she stated that Seth was a complete jerk but he redeemed himself in the end. I was skeptical that a jerk that big could pull it off but I tried to keep an open mind. Lol Seth was a jerk, absolutely, an complete idiot at other times, and overly-cautious about his feelings for Katie when he had never been before, but honestly I never saw him as all that bad of a guy. Yes, we saw his one car crash and we were told of all of his previous exploits but what I was shown was a man who was grieving for his father, trying to deal with the changes that he was forced to make and actually, a pretty nice guy after you took away all the expensive layers. He would open his mouth occasionally and I would want to smack him, sure, but overall I felt for his confusion and grief so much that I couldn't see him as too much of an ass. Maybe I'm just a big ole softy! :)
The relationship between Katie and Seth was sweet and tender. She was an independent woman but one who had been betrayed and hurt by a man in the past and she was understandably leery to get involved with Seth when she knew his background. But Seth proved to Katie that he was the type of man that she could lean on. That didn't stop her from having many, many doubts but who wouldn't. There was a bit of secret keeping on Katie's part that I didn't care for very much, I have to admit. She had every opportunity to come clean and be open with Seth and she chose not to. For some reason this just bothered me as I thought she was being a bit too much of a martyr. Oh well, whatcha gonna do, right?
When it was down to the wire Seth had to decide what was more important to him, money or love and I wouldn't have wanted to be in his place. I'd of course have chosen love but dang – that's a lot of money! Lol
The story was well written and so far what I've read of Sandy James's work I've really enjoyed. She created a love story that was engaging and quite emotional at times with great characters – what more could I ask for?