One sizzling night… One life-changing moment!
Beth Copeland has made a terrible mistake. She slept with her long time crush Mark Asher…the man she couldn’t get out of her head, the man she dreamed about…the man who recently broke up with her friend Kelsey Woods, who everyone thought he would marry!
Beth is consumed with guilt and is certain she will never let that one night of passion be repeated, but sometimes a gorgeous cowboy is hard to resist…
The second blazing novel in the brand new Copeland Ranch romance trilogy from Kristina O’Grady
This little review is like an old lady who lives in a shoe, it has so many spoilers it doesn’t know what to do!
Except warn you.
Beware: spoilers within! Read at own risk.
Source: ARC from Carina UK via NetGalley
Oh, dear. Though I wasn’t absolutely blown away by the first book in this series (I Choose You), I had higher hopes for the second book. Alas, I must repeat, oh dear.
Things start off with the two main characters naked in bed. Despite the fact that Beth has been in love with Mark for years, he’s only just split up with his girlfriend – who happens to be Beth’s oldest friend – so her panic is justified. Except nothing happened. She was drunk, she fooled around a bit with Mark, they fell asleep naked together. But that’s all. Until she gets up, is a complete klutz, they end up kissing and… yeah. All those panics and worries that Beth was just thinking about vanish in an instant.
Hm. Firstly, since Mark clearly wasn’t that drunk, what was he doing letting her spend a naked night with him? Secondly, where’s all your bleating about your friend now, Beth?
Don’t worry, that follows swiftly after. And firmly sets the tone for the book. Mark pursues Beth, she runs away. Mark whines to himself about how in love with Beth he’s always been, while Beth reminds herself not to touch her friend’s ex man. There are time jumps – four unexpected months at one point – and there’s a whole sideplot about Beth wanting to be a chef but not being good enough so going to work with the film caters. More on that later.
First back to Mark. Who, really, when I think about it is not a particularly nice guy. Oh, he’s really nice to Beth and he appears to be a good friend to her brother Ben, but he dated a woman for five years while being in love with her friend. And now that they’ve split up he doesn’t want to hurt her? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Kelsey’s biggest fan because she’s manipulative, but the idea that he dated her for five years simply because she was there, even though he never loved her or had any intention of taking it further? What a prize.
Anyway, amongst all this Mark almost dies. Since Kelsey the Manipulative has already told Beth that she knows Mark is in love with her (Beth) and that Beth has always loved him – even if she did twist the knife by reminding Beth that she promised not to sleep with Mark again, and she always keeps his promises – you’d think the near death experience might change Beth’s perspective. Nope. She thinks a couple of times that it was probably her fault because she should have been helping on the ranch instead of messing around with the caterers that she hates, but it’s all lip service and she neither changes her plans, nor thinks about everything she could have lost if Mark wasn’t in the world.
In fact it made me question the whole point of that plot device, because it literally adds nothing. They spend a bit more time together, Beth gets antsy, Kelsy manipulates and nothing changes except Mark’s mobility is hampered by a broken leg. He also shows that he’s a weak-willed idiot by not throwing Kelsey out when she moves in with him for a few days. The best he does is the silent treatment. Way to show some spine there, Mark.
As for the whole catering thing… what? Seriously, what was that about? Except to show that Beth is also lacking in spine. She’s not even getting paid for working herself into the ground for a petty tyrant who risks causing her serious injury. And she just takes it? There’s work experience and there’s bullying. She didn’t have to be there, she clearly didn’t even need to be there, yet she lets that man treat her appallingly. Don’t even get me started on the outside catering event. If she had the strength to stick it out working with him, you’d think she had the strength to then stand up for herself or at least take something positive from the whole experience. She wanted to be a better cook – everyone loves her food, even if she doesn’t get direct credit for it… and somehow she ends up thinking she can’t cook and her dream is nonsense?
Add in that ridiculous ending with the café and the rallying of small town spirit and the baffling behaviour of Tyrant Chef (why would he buy the café, except simply to mess with Beth? Was she really that much of a threat to him that he ended his Hollywood catering days just to destroy her forever!! Muha! Muahahahahaha!!?) and I was just glad when it was all over. To be honest if the rampaging cow returned from the dead to crush Tyrant Chef and they all got abducted by aliens, I wouldn’t have been surprised.
So it’s safe to say this book wasn’t for me. The time jumps, the lack of any real romance, the weird catering woes and the weakness of Mark just didn’t add up to enjoyment. At least not for me. Sorry.
Because of You is out August 25th.
Visit Kristina O’Grady for more details.