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JANESSA GREENE IS LEAVING THORNTON SPRINGS
All she's ever wanted is to attend cooking school in Seattle. But when a big-shot rodeo rider comes to work on her family's Montana ranch, Janessa's determined not to let the cowboy distract her from her goal?no matter how charming he is.
Micah was a rodeo star, but he's been trampled by one bull too many. While he's deciding his next move, he gets sidetracked by a pretty cowgirl who's headed out of ...
JANESSA GREENE IS LEAVING THORNTON SPRINGS
All she's ever wanted is to attend cooking school in Seattle. But when a big-shot rodeo rider comes to work on her family's Montana ranch, Janessa's determined not to let the cowboy distract her from her goal—no matter how charming he is.
Micah was a rodeo star, but he's been trampled by one bull too many. While he's deciding his next move, he gets sidetracked by a pretty cowgirl who's headed out of town. Can Micah convince her to take a chance on a cowboy ready to put down roots?
Janessa Greene could have sworn her old hatchback lost a little more oomph with each passing day. As she pulled off the highway and through the Bar-G Ranch gate, she sent up a prayer. No way could she spend money on her car right now—not with all the expenses she had coming up. Both she and her car would have to go the extra mile for just a little longer.
As she gunned down the long stretch toward the house, the sight of twenty or so impatient-looking parents standing outside their horse trailers made her stomach buckle. She checked the clock on the dash and grimaced. Why did they all have to be so prompt on the days when she was running behind?
She clattered to a halt between the house and the barn, then gathered up her work bag and purse. Leaping out of the car, she gave the parents a quick wave. "I'll only be a sec!"
A grating mixture of grumbles and moans followed her as she ran toward the front porch steps. She winced. Those folks had paid good money to have her teach their kids to ride this summer, and they had every right to expect her to deliver her best. She had tried to get there on time. If only the restaurant would stop being so busy on her class days.
She scurried inside, slowing only to push the door shut and to gather up the mail from the table next to it. Flipping through the stack as she bounded across the foyer, she held her breath. Today had to be the day.
"Argh!" She tossed the pile of pure disappointment onto the bench at the base of the staircase, gripped the bannister, and charged up. It was July already. Shouldn't she have heard from Le Cordon Bleu by now?
Reaching the top step in record time, she darted across the hall and into her room. She kicked the door closed, dropped her bags on the bed, and tore off her grease-splattered tee, then grabbed a plaid cotton Western shirt from the back of her desk chair. As she yanked it on, a rap on the door gave her a jolt.
"Ness, it's Courtney."
Her fingers found the shirt buttons as she searched the floor for a pair of jeans. "I'll be right out."
"I can go down and get the kids started if you want."
"Really?" Relief surged as she retrieved some decently clean Levi's off the window seat. "That would make you my favorite sister-in-law."
Courtney's laugh sounded through the door. "I'm your only sister-in-law. Besides, you know I love those kids."
Janessa breathed a little easier. The parents would feel better seeing Courtney, but she'd still have to hustle.
As she fumbled with her cuff button, her focus fixed on the poster over the desk. A plain chef's jacket hung on a fancy wire hanger with the words Le Cordon Bleu—L'Art Culinaire above, and the logo of the school below.
Leaving her second cuff undone, she tugged at the laces on her white SlipGrips—great for the kitchen but definitely not for the arena—and allowed her thoughts to stray. Le Cordon Bleu had been her dream ever since she'd realized she wanted to be a chef. Not only was it a great school, but they had a location in Seattle, not far from Thornton Springs. She bit her lip and yanked at the second lace. Okay, not too far to drive home for holidays and an occasional weekend, anyway. Montana only seemed like a million miles away from everything truly exciting in the world.
She kicked off the shoes. For as long as she could remember, all she'd wanted was to get out of Thornton Springs. Now that she had finally graduated from high school and worked for a year to save up money, her plans were just about to jell.
Flinging herself onto the bed, she quickly replaced her white Dockers with the jeans. She rolled onto her belly to reach under the bed, pulling out one boot, followed by a second.
She maneuvered into a sitting position, then yanked on the boots and scanned the immediate vicinity for her belt. Her eyes flicked across the framed photo that sat on her bedside table, momentarily sidetracking her with the familiar combination of comfort and sorrow that always accompanied it. Absentmindedly fingering the ever-present heart-shaped-diamond necklace at her throat, she wondered for the zillionth time how different her life would be if her dad was still here. He had her heart, even after he'd been gone for so many years.
Forcing her thoughts back to the task at hand, she plucked up her floral-shammed pillow from the head of the bed and let out a mini-cry of victory. She dove for a large gold buckle that peeked out from under her sloppily placed duvet, then swung her legs around and clambered to her feet. She quickly looped the belt into her jeans and grabbed a hair band off her bedside table, then dug through the pile of hats on the chair next to the door. She paused, running her hand over her Le Cordon Bleu ball cap. Her mind latched on to the one problem with her plan, the probability of which grew with each passing day: What if the school didn't accept her?
Shoving away the thought, she snapped up her favorite white cowgirl hat and plunked it onto her head. She just couldn't let herself think that way. It was only July. There was still plenty of time for her to hear from them. Besides, if she didn't get in, they'd send a rejection letter. No news didn't necessarily mean bad news.
She darted back out into the hallway and took the stairs two at a time, awkwardly yanking her hair into a pony-tail as she flew.
Making her way across the drive, she saw that Courtney had gotten the class started preparing their horses. A few parents lingered along the outside of the fence, but most of them had left, probably furious at her for cutting short the hour they counted on to get things done while their kids were occupied.
Posted November 30, 2013
Wit and wisdom shine through in this feel-good tale of love gone right. If you're looking for a happy ending, there's one in the pages of Big Sky Bachelor, book two in the Montana Hearts series by newcomer Lesley Ann McDaniel.
All Janessa Greene wants is to attend a prestigious cooking school in Seattle not find love in her Montana home town. Why then is it so hard to ignore Micah, a handsome cowboy with a mysterious past?
Like Lights, Cowboy, Action, the first novel in this series, Big Sky Bachelor entertains while it delivers something of substance. This book contrasts the value of home and family with the inevitable choices of having a wider dream. These are tough waters to navigate, but the author manages her craft with finesse. While the story contains romantic tension, this is a clean romance that focuses on love over lust.
I recommend Big Sky Bachelor for readers who enjoy an inspirational sweet romance. This book is teen approved because of its wholesome portrayal of romantic love.
Reviewed by Janalyn Voigt, author of Dawnsinger
Posted November 7, 2013
For Janessa the grass does look a lot greener on the other side of the fence. She wants out of her hometown, and wants to go to school in Seattle. Every cent she earns is being put aside towards that goal.
Micah Brody is in a way running from his past. He ends up working for Janessa's brother Adam, on the family ranch! Sparks fly, but he has had his fill of groupies from his Rodeo career. Can any kind of a relationship be forged between these two?
There are many human challenges here, such as, forgiving you Father, accepting that your Mom has moved on and is dating, and more. Don't miss this sweet and very quick read.
I received this book through First Wild Card Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted October 15, 2013
Great follow up on Lights, Cowboy, Action!
There are stories and there are well told stories. This one is well told. From the very beginning of this book, the well crafted characters of Janessa and Micah pulled me into this story. Each had something driving them. Janessa was heading full steam to culinary school in Seattle. Micah was heading as far away from his successful rodeo career as he could get. The collision of these two delightful people threw them both off course and we get to go along for a very bumpy ride. It seems that suddenly neither one can really form complete, coherent sentences without saying something they don't really want to say. Pick up this book and come along. The story is told in a rich and satisfying way and once engaged, you will have trouble putting it down.