Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Jake Grady loves Bull’s Hollow ranch and all the challenges and hard work it entails. But the past year hasn’t been easy—his father’s good name has been tarnished, and new financial problems are threatening to destroy everything the Gradys have built. Performing live under a stage name has become his escape, a way of blowing off some serious steam.
Accountant Paige Reynolds found Jake’s guitar-playing alter ego intriguing, but her connection with the real Jake sends her attraction into overdrive. When she’s summoned to make order out of the chaotic paper trail at Bull’s Hollow, he sets her world a-rocking—both in bed and out. But Paige has a plan; she’s determined to create her own path for the future, but is soon left scrambling for firmer ground.
Good news about Jake’s potential singing career is followed by the revelation of another family secret, one that has him questioning whether he belongs at Bull’s Hollow at all. But leaving the ranch would mean leaving his family…and Paige. How much is he willing to give up for a real shot at fame?
This blurb came from the author’s website.
I participated in a joint review with MinnChica involving the first installment Slow Ride Home of The Grady Legacy and I fell a bit in love with this poor messed up family and all of their secrets. After all of the revelations from this installment and the drastically changed dynamic between Ben, Jake, and Gabe I couldn’t wait to see how things would start to hopefully settle down as they dealt with the overall ranch financial difficulties. I was mistaken about things settling down but I was not mistaken about my enjoyment of this series and the characters.
Formerly the youngest Grady son, despite his love for the land, Jake developed an entire life outside of ranching as the lead singer. It was a life he kept secret from his family because he was tired of having everything he did on the ranch criticized, belittled, or ignored. That same life gave him both an opportunity and stirred up conflict as the story progressed. He was a mixed up guy, torn between his loyalty to his mother, to his brother, to his currently estranged best friend, and to his band. As Paige became a larger piece of his life, he also started to feel loyalty towards her. Then his newfound balance was lost again when another secret was revealed.
Paige had struggles of her own. Judged most of her life by the actions of her mother, an unwanted obligation to her father, and dealing with a hostile work environment she was happy for a diversion. I loved how she took due diligence and checked to make sure people had been informed of her past before she started working on the Grady account. I liked how she let her actions speak louder than her words and always maintained her sense of awareness about what it was like to be judged by the sins of the parents. I loved how she never allowed her feelings for Jake to overwhelm her financial sense and how she was able to use that to discover a new life calling.
I really enjoyed watching Paige and Jake grow closer. She provided a stabilizing force while maintaining her own independence. She trusted him with her secrets as she was learning both the financial Grady family secrets and other secrets with potentially far-reaching consequences. Jake on the other hand didn’t judge Paige by her parents but accepted and liked her as she was. I also admired how the Grady family realized what an asset Paige was after a while.
I was rather surprised with some of the secrets Braemel revealed in this installment. They impacted Paige, Jake, and several others in the short term and I think they will continue to have long term effects. I was very glad to see that certain things appeared to become resolved because I think the challenges this family faces are certainly not easy ones to solve. I loved how Jake’s brothers went to bat for Paige on several occasions because it was very satisfying to see a few individuals get what was coming to them along with watching the brothers make amends. I also loved the truly EPIC grovel from Jake as he tried to recover from a serious lack of judgment. Paige made him work to get back into her good graces but she also gave him a chance. I didn’t feel cheated with easy forgiveness nor did I feel she needed to give Jake a break. I really can’t wait to see what happens next because the overall tension keeps growing.
I give No Accounting for Cowboys a B