Note: This ARC was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.
Retreat is the surprise release from bestselling author Jay Crownover and the first novel in her brand new Getaway series, which features the family that runs a privately-owned ranch that offers retreats and the guests that are looking for a simple getaway but gaining more in the process. Book one is about the eldest Warner brother, Cyrus, who doesn't necessarily embody the image that city girl Leora, better known as Leo, has in her head when it comes to a cowboy. But while he may not quite meet the specifications for the physical appearance of someone out on the range, Cy knows his stuff and he doesn't mind putting the mouthy Leo in her place when need be. But what if that place were right beside the gruff man who has Leo fascinated, flustered, and frustrated? Can the girl from the heart of the city truly find her heart's happiness in the countryside with a man who challenges and cares for her?
There are hints of the familiar with this new Jay Crownover series starter--alpha male, feisty female--but the setting and the story as a whole are a change of pace for the author. I do like an author willing to take a risk and venturing into parts unknown and Crownover eagerly takes readers with her on this new journey. Is it one worth taking along with the author? Yes, it is. The story is a strong one, with a rugged kind of romance, lots of hot sex, and a strong action suspense angle that keeps you on the edge of your proverbial seat for a certain period of time. The intrigue and the mystery seemed to be just the right thing in such a vast place and it pushes Leo beyond her comfort zone plus tests what kind of woman she is. This is where and when it becomes clear that she and Cy truly work well together and that, in the face of adversity, they're able to carry whatever weight may be bringing the other down.
As always, Crownover makes excellent use of the supporting cast of characters while still keeping the spotlight on her main characters. Leo could very well find love and so much more if only she takes a chance and Cy may not quite be a cowboy but he's a man who stands by his family, their legacy, and those he loves most. There's a lot of bickering and these two seemed to unknowingly antagonize one another. But then it could all be seen as nothing more than foreplay, because trust me when I say that these two had chemistry and it was in spades, people. There's clearly something going on between two other couples introduced in this story, and I'm excited to see how those love stories are going to play out, although there's no guarantee that they're actually going to be the next couples in Getaway. Whatever may come next, Retreat is a true advancement of Jay Crownover's career. Five stars. ♥
Date Read: 04 January 2017
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