Josh King is an expert at running his family’s multi-million dollar ranch in Montana. (And all that outside manual labor has done wonders for sculpting his six-foot-three body, too.) But as sure footed as he is when it comes to the ranch, Josh doesn’t know anything about how to deal with an adolescent boy—so when his twelve-year-old nephew, Seth, is dropped off on his doorstep, looking scared and acting surly as hell, Josh knows he needs help in straightening him out.
Cara Donovan loves her quiet life as a teacher in her sleepy hometown, so she jumps at the chance to make a little money over the summer as a tutor. But when she learns she’ll be teaching Josh King’s nephew, Cara’s sweet summer job gets a little bit hotter. Cara tries to focus all her attention on tutoring Seth, but Josh proves to be a delicious distraction, while Josh’s memories of the shy girl he once teased in high school are nothing like the beautiful woman he’s facing now. Can he persuade her that there’s more between them than a summer fling?
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“What I feel for you is so big, Cara. No more doubts.” He tips my chin up to look me in the eye. “You’re with me because there’s nowhere else I want you to be. Got it?”
I offer him a small smile and nod. “Got it.”
“Good.” He lifts me and carries me toward the bedroom. “But just in case, I think I’ll work on reminding you some more.”
I intended to read this series some time ago, but just never got to it. Now that I've started with book #1, Loving Cara, I'm determined to continue this series in the hopes that my current thoughts are proved wrong.
Kristen Proby is one of those authors I'll always follow. I've followed her With Me In Seattle Series (Book #1 in this series is currently free on Amazon) right from the start and I'm not about to give up any time soon... but that doesn't mean that I'm not concerned. And it's honestly my concern that's made me become dedicated into looking into the matter a little more thoroughly by reading this entire series.
I noticed a while back that KP books are lacking a bit. The With Me In Seattle Series started out amazingly, then kept steady with the next couple of followups.... but eventually hit a dip and then I got really concerned. I found the 8 books in that series rather inconsistent and I started noticing that with the release of the 5th installment - Safe With Me. Then Tied With Me blew me away again... but it was short lived because book #7 was again a let down only to then slightly improve with the release of the 8th and final book in the With Me In Seattle Series, Forever With Me. But hey... 6 / 8 ain't bad at all. I get it's hard to please everyone. Not all readers will love each character. And when you have an 8 book series that each consist of new characters, a new plot - it get's harder and harder. But what I can't get out of my head (and I've tried) is that when the slump books came - I couldn't help but wonder if there just wasn't as much love and dedication put into them as the rest. Now that I've read Loving Cara... I'm thinking along that train of thought more than ever.
Until 50% through this book I couldn't recall the names of the two main characters. Both Josh and Cara made such a bland impression of me that until I realized it, I would't have been able to give you their names.... and Cara's name is in the title!
I also think I only got half of this book. I can't mention anything unique regarding both Cara and Josh other than the fact that Cara had curly blond hair when she was younger, now it's straight. She was fat, although Josh didn't think she was and get's upset when she even mentions her weight. Josh has muscles. They are and were achieved because he works on his farm. He wears Levi's. Cara is a lightweight drinker and her best friends name is Jill. And Cara'a a teacher. Other than that, I have nothing notable to include to their character development. They were faceless and one dimensional to me.
Although they have known each other for many, many years and randomly see each other around town... we don't know if they were previously attracted to one another. Cara arrives at Josh's farm to tutor his nephew and suddenly they long for each other. Somewhere along the line they went from "hey Cara" / "hey Josh" to "in a relationship" and desperately needing one another so, so quickly I couldn't follow. I struggle to understand this. I get instant attraction and insta-love, but this was neither. This book is just the surface. There's clearly more to be told, but we aren't privy to it. They knew each other, they've seen each other often enough in the past, but suddenly all it took was for Cara to be assigned to tutor Josh's nephew and BOOM! They are desperate for one another. The progression simply didn't exist. Neither of the two resist, not once. A week later (I think but there's no way of telling for sure) with no evidence or details of interaction, something happens to Cara and she's crying for Josh. Needing him and his arms around her. Josh hears somethings happened to Cara and he's all macho man running around fearing that he's lost her right when he just found her... but I'm not sure when he 'found' her. It's so incredibly strange. I'm unsure of the timeframe within this period of time because it doesn't really get mentioned, so it could be a week or it could be a month (which would make more sense of course) - but I have no idea. There is so little interaction between the characters before the initial hookup that from there on out I was withdrawn from them both.
I struggled to get through the first 60% of this book. I honestly struggled. If it weren't for the fact that this was a Kristen Proby book and I was dead-set on getting through this series, I'd have given up way before 50%. But I'd committed myself to this and so forced myself to make it to the end... but the reality is that the only reason I continued to read Loving Cara was because it is a Kristen Proby novel.
From 65% onwards it did get better, but not because suddenly all the issues I previously had were resolved. I guess this was just the point were I sort of became familiar enough to share emotions with the characters and their relationship had reached a point were I liked and maybe could start believing.
This isn't an angsty, gut-wrenching read. It was fairly predictable, with issues and moments that aren't anything new to those of us who read loads of romance books. I often found myself wondering about the dialogue. Why certain things were said because they seemed out of place or not really consistent with the character's behavior. Loving Cara felt just another romance novel with the typical cheesy cover. Don't expect wow, an awesome plot or characters that will stay with you for a while.
I wasn't a fan, nor was I impressed in any way - but to be able to just read a book without using any energy or get worked over... I guess is relaxing from time to time.
Rating: 3 Stars
RELATED BOOKS & READING ORDER:
* Although each book in this series could be considered as standalone, because each book builds on characters introduced in previous books, it's best to read them in order and avoid the risk of getting any spoilers -
Loving Cara (#1) • Seducing Lauren (#2)
Saving Grace (#2.5) • Falling For Jillian (#3)