Date Published: 8/1/2013
Getting fired over a workplace meltdown was bad enough, but getting dumped at the exact same time by her boyfriend-slash-boss was the ultimate humiliation. With no real friends in L.A. and perennially absent parents, Daphne Simms has no one to turn to. To heal her heart, she runs to the only true home she’s ever known—her grandmother’s rural Texas ranch, called Crazy. She knows ranch folks will be a far cry from those she’s known in L.A., but she certainly doesn’t expect to be greeted by a cranky cowboy shoving a shotgun in her face.
Mick Williams has lived and worked on Crazy for twenty years. Though he’s utterly devoted to Daphne’s grandmother, he’ll be damned if he’s gonna let a city slicker like Daphne sashay in and disrupt his nice, quiet life. When the future of Crazy is threatened, Mick and Daphne must join forces to keep the ranch afloat, but the heat of their attraction makes working together more complicated than either of them imagines.
When their physical and emotional connection deepens, Mick tries to turn away from the woman he’s convinced he doesn’t deserve, so Daphne has to pull out all the stops to convince him that the heart of Crazy is big enough for the both of them.
At some point during the night, Mick pulled the covers over their bodies and they dozed in each other’s arms. He woke up with Daphne snuggled in to him with her head on his shoulder. As he watched her sleep, he’d never felt so at war with himself.
One side railed against the Mick who was lying in bed next to Daphne, telling him that there was no way that a cowboy with no roots, no real family, no ties would ever be good enough for a woman like her. The other side wanted so badly to stay here in her warm arms, wanted to believe he was good enough, that he almost convinced himself.
He closed his eyes and willed his mind to still. He’d calmed crazed cattle, lived on the streets as a teenager, and survived a druggie mother, why was he scared now?
He was as terrified of losing Daphne as he was of keeping her.
How could he possibly keep her? They had nothing in common except Missus B and Crazy. As much as he loved Missus B, he knew he wasn’t part of the family. She said he was, even Daphne had said he was, but blood runs thick. Being like family wasn’t the same as actually being family.
He was the hired help. Sissy’s jibe had hit so close to home because deep down that was how he felt. And everyone knew the hired help couldn’t live happily ever after with the princess.
Daphne stirred and snuggled into Mick, sighing as she cinched her arm around his waist. With that simple touch, Daphne wiped away any thought he had about living without her. Damn status and family, how was he supposed to walk away? But how could he stay?
“Stop thinking so loud,” Daphne mumbled.
He laughed and kissed her hair. “Sorry,” he whispered, stroking her hair and back. “Go back to sleep.”
She propped herself up on her elbow and looked down at Mick. She reached up and gently brushed his tousled hair out of his face. She trailed her fingers over his temple and down his cheek, and he couldn’t help nuzzling into her hand to accept the caress.
He grabbed her hand and kissed her fingers. “Guess I need to shave, huh?”
Her teeth flashed in the darkness when she grinned. “Actually, turns out I’m kinda into the scruffy, outdoorsy type now.”
His heart skipped a beat. Or three. “Daphne…” he started.
“Mick.” She frowned in mock severity.
Absurdly he bristled. “Are you picking a fight while we’re naked in bed?”
Daphne gasped. “We’re naked?”
He groaned and rolled his eyes. The woman never took anything seriously and he said as much.
Daphne straddled him and braced her palms on his shoulders. “You take things too seriously. What on earth has got you in such a lather so early in the morning?”
He gazed up at her, shrouded in sheets and faint moonlight, with her hair shimmering around her face, and couldn’t think of one damned reason. “I can’t think when you’re on top of me like that,” he admitted.
She leaned back with a coy smile and pushed the sheets off her shoulders, exposing herself fully. “Finally, a fault I can take advantage of.”
And she did.
My ****4 STAR**** Review
Daphne Simms has just watched her life fall apart, and she can think of no one on earth she’d rather run to than her Nana, Missus B. Daphne decides to leave the big city lights behind and return to Crazy, Texas, a place she only visited once as a child. Daphne finds herself quickly falling in love with Crazy, her grandmother’s ranch, and the ranch’s main man, Mick Williams. Problem is, Mick isn’t sure that he’s good enough for Daphne. Mick had a rough childhood and wouldn’t have added up to much if it hadn’t been for Missus B taking him in.
I really enjoyed both Daphne’s and Mick’s characters in this story. One unique thing about Daphne was that she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind with Mick. She didn’t worry about if he really liked her or how he felt in general. She was just determined to lay it all on the line no matter the cost. I don’t think I’ve ever read about another heroine as brave on that front. I also thoroughly enjoyed the minor characters in the story. Missus B was certainly a vivacious character. All of the characters seemed to be full of spunk with the exception of Mick. Although, he dug deep and found some of his own spirit on a few occasions, and those were times were when the fireworks really went off. There was also the evil cousin set out to destroy Daphne, and that brought about more drama and intrigue.
The story had a nice smooth pace throughout, and I was carried through a rollercoaster of emotions. I found myself laughing out loud on multiple occasions, heart-sick at times, and outright swooning at others. I also thoroughly enjoyed the setting and the descriptions of life on the ranch.
The only thing that bothered me was how over-the-top supportive everyone seemed, with the exception of the evil cousin, Sissy, and her cronies. There were just a couple times that I thought it just didn’t seem real enough with that. Really, though, this was a VERY minor thing and didn’t take away from the story at all. I look forward to reading the next book in the Crazy, Texas series. The next one is about Raney, Daphne’s bff. She’s full of spunk herself, so it should be interesting!
Warnings: There are some adult scenes (not very detailed), and some language (not heavy, or used often). Nonetheless, I would recommend this only for adults ages 18+.
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
About the Author
Cate Baylor has been a technical communicator for over fifteen years. When she’s not writing, she suffers from hobby addiction, which includes (but is not limited to!) reading, jewelry making, crochet, knitting, scrapbooking, cross stitching, and home DIY. She lives in Houston with her geeky husband, three neurotic cats, and precocious Yellow Lab named Tex. She comes from a long line of Texan farmers who are likely rolling over in their graves knowing she’d much rather stay blissfully air-conditioned than suffer outside in the Texas heat. She’s a die-hard Texans fan but hasn’t decided whether she’s willing to embrace the Astros as an American League team.