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Joint Review – Slow Ride Home (Grady Legacy #1) by Leah Braemel

Slow Ride HomePublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out now
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family’s legacy, he’s forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O’Keefe. Ben’s never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago—or forgiven himself for letting her go.

Allie thought she’d moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she’s become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben’s sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories…

Allie has every intention of leaving Bull’s Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie’s lost her heart.
This blurb came from the author’s website http://leahbraemel.com

E: I was flipping through the collections in my ereader a few weeks ago and saw Leah Braemel’s name. Looking inside there was a book that I remembered reading, enjoying and wishing she had written more in that particular setting. I also found myself thinking for the severalth time that I really wanted to read more of her writing in general. In happy coincidence shortly afterwards I became aware that she had a new story coming out that was a contemporary western. With my recent musings in mind, I decided to go ahead and request it. While I didn’t get what I expected based on the single title I had read before, I did get an emotionally complex, good second chance at love story with some interesting twists.

MinnChica: I’ve read and really enjoyed Braemel’s books in the past, plus any chance I get to read about kinky cowboys is a plus! I always enjoy second chance love stories, and although I thought that Ben and Allie were quick to jump back into a sexual relationship, I loved the way their second chance played out. They both had some emotional hits to take, and although Ben’s grandfather did a good job of screwing them both up, they also came out stronger than ever.

E: Ben’s grandfather was a serious piece of work. In fact several of the responsible adults during the time of Ben and Allie’s first romance were serious pieces of work. It seemed as if they were willing to do and say anything to ruin any chance at happiness for Ben and Allie and for several years it worked. Like MinnChica I thought given the way their relationship ended, it would have taken a bit longer for them to get back together physically but I was glad to see their emotional trust took longer to develop. I really enjoyed the convoluted trail Allie had to follow as she tried to determine the status of the ranch land and who controlled what. Braemel was able to keep me guessing on the exact details for most of the story which added to my enjoyment.

MinnChica: Yes, I thought the absolute strongest aspect of this book was (in addition to the sex scene, obviously 🙂 ) the little mystery surrounding the ranch lands and family secrets. Watching Allie help to unravel all the secrets that had kept Ben from truly knowing his family was both wonderful and fun. I like the fact that Allie got to be the one to break all the bad news to Ben, because I think it really helped them work on their emotional trust, to gain back some understanding and respect for the people they had grown up into. I really liked Ben, but after he and his brother Jake made a decision at the end, I found myself loving the guy even more. Ben came across as the kind of stand up, loving and attentive hero that every woman loves!

E: Oh yes, Allie having to break the news made her involvement in their life and Ben’s reactions to her all the more intense. I also loved how her boss never let Allie get away with avoiding her situation. I thought she had a hidden soft spot but also knew that Allie’s insider information would help clear up the tangle story quicker. Initially I had some issues with Jake both in how he treated Allie, understandable as the story developed, but also towards Ben and the ranch. Seeing Ben take Jake’s side and start treating him as a co-owner not just a quasi-hand really meant that Ben was growing emotionally. The decision that Ben and Jake made really cemented their status as hero material. I have to say by the end of the story I was really cheering for Jake and I hope that he gets his story is next **not so subtle hint**.

MinnChica: The whole relationship between Ben and Jake was wonderful. With Ben treating Jake like a hired hand, and Jake avoiding Ben because of family secrets, their whole time together was wonderful! I have to admit, one area I was disappointed in this book was with Ben’s best friend Logan. It was obvious from the get-go that Logan did not have it as easy as Ben did growing up. Despite the fact that they were best friends, being a punching bag for his dad couldn’t have been fun. And yeah, as a kid he made a huge mistake, and kept it a secret. But the way that Ben completely turned his back on his best friend felt a little too rash of a decision for me. Especially since Ben seemed unwilling to see anything from Logan’s point of view. While I didn’t really like Logan’s character to begin with (he came across as a self-centered asshat), but at the end of the day I also felt that Ben was a little quick to jump on the idea that Logan did anything maliciously. I think he was a kid stuck between a rock and a hard place, and made the best of an already shitty situation.

E: See on the other hand I didn’t have any serious issues with Logan to begin with but as the story progressed my doubts and questions about him grew. I understood that at the time he was caught between a rock and a hard place but he had a very long time to make amends. I got the feeling that Ben was a better friend than Logan ever was regardless of his mistake. I was glad to see what Ben decided to do given Logan’s actions even though it meant the end of a long-time friendship. I felt that if the friendship had continued Ben’s relationship with Allie never would have come to fruition. I enjoyed watching the secrets unravel as much pain as they caused at the time because of how Ben, Jake, and Allie were able to work through their anguish and build on the connection they used to have.

I enjoyed Slow Ride Home and I am glad I reminded myself that I need to read more of her writing. The romantic and familial relationships with their ups and downs provided satisfying reading. The addition of the complex web of lies, omissions, and half-truths added to my enjoyment as I tried to solve the puzzle. I look forward to seeing this series continue and also exploring Braemel’s backlist.
I give Slow Ride Home a B

MinnChica: All in all I really enjoyed Braemel’s Slow Ride Home. I thought the secrets that were revealed about the Grady family were wonderful as they slowly came out. I thought the relationship between Ben and Allie, while quick to develop, was wonder, super sweet, and incredibly sexy. I hope that Braemel continues to write more within this world, especially about Jake.
I give Slow Ride Home a B-

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

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