Publication Date: February 19th 2019 by HQN Book
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
About the book:
He’s hoping to bury the past. She’s ready to settle the score.
The Sterling Ranch’s season opening isn’t going so smoothly. With the ranch’s lodge full of guests and a Montana blizzard threatening, Will Sterling needs help—and he needs it fast. So when his childhood friend Poppy Carmichael agrees to lend a hand, he’s grateful for a second chance…and more enticed by the woman she’s become than he cares to admit.
For Poppy, it was supposed to be a retreat full of horse rides and hoedowns—with a side of showing Will what he’s been missing all these years. But as the snow deepens outside, the guests’ suspicion and mistrust turn sinister inside, catching Will and Poppy in the crosshairs.
Weathering the storm in each other’s arms is all too easy for Will and Poppy, but will a confrontation with a killer mean their reunion is short-lived?
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author B.J. Daniels starts her Sterling’s Ranch series off with a bang in this suspenseful story of romance and revenge.
Will is opening his guest ranch earlier than he’d like as a special request for a long-time customer, Big Jack, the owner of a fly-fishing gear company. He wants to take a few select employees for this trip, and it was clear from the beginning this group was going to be trouble. Normally Will wouldn’t open in March since Montana weather can still be pretty brutal, and snowstorms are not uncommon. His ranch is off the beaten path so a storm could potentially strand everyone up there, so yeah, you know where this story is going.
Also, Will is minus a cook, since his regular one broke his leg, so he needs someone on short notice. This is where Poppy comes into the story. Will wouldn’t normally ask her since they didn’t part ways in such as nice way, but she was twelve and he was fifteen, would she really hold a grudge? The answer to that is yes!
Poppy does hold a grudge, because Will broke her twelve-year-old heart, but the job cooking for the lodge gives her the perfect opportunity to show Will what he’s missing now. So, this was sort of a revenge plot, but nothing I ever took very seriously. It seemed a bit juvenile, IMO, because, hello, she was twelve and he was fifteen, and what did you expect at that age?!! Also, Poppy is in her 30s now(!!), but I let it slide since she never seemed all that serious about her revenge plot.
Stroke of Luck is my first experience with B.J. Daniels, but I’ve been wanting to try her books for some time since I love romantic suspense. I enjoyed the story for the most part, but I will say the romance fell a little short, because I felt the history between Poppy and Will was glossed over. Had I got a memory from the past that showed a bond between the two, that was then crushed when Will rejected Poppy, I would’ve felt a deeper connection. While Poppy said her heart was crushed and Will knew he treated Poppy badly, I didn’t witness it. It was more of a telling instead of showing which didn’t really stir my emotions. I’ve since read in a few other reviews, stating that the character development here wasn’t quite up to Ms. Daniels’ usual quality, so maybe this is a fluke. At any rate, I hope for more in the next story. Still, I had fun with this Stroke of Luck, and I was rooting for Poppy and Will to solidify their attraction into a HEA.
Plus, the romance wasn’t the only thing happening here. The guests at the lodge are quite the hot mess, and one of them ends up murdered. And that isn’t the end of all the danger that just keeps coming! Getting to the bottom of the mystery while staying alive must be the center of our hero and heroine’s focus.
I read the excerpt for the next story, Luck of the Draw, centering on Garrett Sterling, Will’s brother, and it sounded good! I’m in!
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