by Vivian Arend
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I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
He’s her rock in the midst of the storm
When Maggie Ward’s world is torn apart by sudden tragedy, the only thing that makes her days bearable is Clay Thompson’s unwavering presence. He’s protective, caring, and everything she could ask for in a friend. But when she finds herself longing for more than friendship, it will take a little seduction to convince the stubborn mechanic she’s ready to start living again.
She’s his heart, whether he knows it or not
Clay Thompson’s got the taking-care-of-others business down pat, only he’s never faced this particular challenge before—the one woman he’s always wanted is unexpectedly his to care for. Suddenly it’s not just responsibility driving him, but a wild desire to make Maggie truly his. But following his heart might mean sacrificing the family he’s held together for years.
This is book 3 of the Thompson & Sons series, which is actually a spin-off from the Six Pack Ranch Series. You can read the Thompson & Sons series without having read the 6 Six Pack Ranch series, but I highly recommend both series because it paints a picture of the community life and the familial bonds when you put it all together.
Let it Ride has elements of second chance romance and friends to lovers. It is a good story, there just really wasn't enough of it. Maggie and Clay were friends in high school and possibly headed toward more, but when his life imploded with the death of his mother, and he stepped up to keep his family together, they drifted apart. Years later Maggie is back in town when tragedy strikes, and Clay being the big brother and stand up guy, he is there for her.
There are just some really lovely parts to their story, and some undeniable conflicts. The one in particular with his father was heart wrenching. It was believable that a man who hasn't stopped mourning his wife might feel some negative emotions toward someone who is willing to live and love again after tragedy. That part was believable. Some people might find the speed of Maggie and Clay's relationship problematic, but honestly I didn't. Where it broke down for me was in the speed of the resolution. It was a small let down though in what was otherwise an enjoyable book with characters I rooted for. 3.5 stars