One klutzy advice columnist. One champion cowboy. And an entire small town rooting for love.
Advice columnist Maggie Hope never dreamed she’d be shaking hands with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan over a high-stakes bet, especially one that involves horses. And saddles. And everything else a city girl like Maggie feels uncomfortable around. But after filling in for a coworker and interviewing the handsome cowboy, she finds herself doing just that. Anything to save her advice column.
Despite Maggie’s two left feet, Tru is bound and determined to bring out her inner cowgirl by teaching her to ride a cutting horse, trained to separate cattle from the rest of the herd. While her riding improves, their attraction intensifies, but Tru knows he can never let her into his heart—for her own good.
In Wishing Springs, a community full of meddling but well-meaning townsfolk, Maggie discovers the home she’s always longed for. But she’s holding something back—a secret that could destroy her reputation and any future she’s ever hoped for with the cowboy she might just love.
Betting on Hope is the first book in Debra Clopton’s Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series, and is the first novel I’ve ever read by her. I have to confess, I was a little worried going in, as I always am when I read a book by a new-to-me author, but I realized my fears were unfounded before I had even finished the first chapter. Debra did an amazing job of weaving together a wonderful story that captivated me until the last page, and I know that I will be reading many more of her novels in the future.
There are so many facets to Maggie Hope. She is strong, she is determined, she is fierce, and she is fearful. Though that may sound like a bit of an odd combination, it perfectly describes all that is Maggie. She holds so much fear inside her--maybe of failing, maybe because of her past—but she remains strong and determined just the same. Even though she has every right to be bitter and mad at God, she gives Him the glory constantly and continues to remain faithful to Him. Something that makes her inspiring story all the more interesting is the fact that you are only fed bits and pieces at a time. You have to read almost the entire novel to truly find out all that makes up Maggie’s past. It makes the story all that much more captivating, not that it needed help in that department.
And a huge part of what made this book so amazing is summed up in two simple words: Tru Monahan. There is no way to describe the power of a handsome cowboy, and Tru is the perfect example of that. Even though he is a bit stubborn and hardheaded at times, he truly proves himself to be a kind and caring protector, and that says a lot about his character. Although he faces so much adversary throughout the course of his life, he is able to remain determined and strong, and allows those struggles to shape him for the better rather than dwelling on them, for the most part.
Betting on Hope has made me a forever fan of Debra’s, and has even earned itself a permanent spot on my all-time favorites list. I absolutely loved this sweet, touching story, and cannot wait to read more in this series. I happily give this novel all five bookshelves, and would recommend it to absolutely anyone, but especially people who know the importance of a story set on a good, Southern ranch.
To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.
All credit for the italicized synopsis goes to Debra Clopton and Thomas Nelson Publishing.