Emily has just recovered barely from a bitter marriage which ended in divorce, and has come to the small town Valentine to sell her mothers restaurant, when she encounters a sexy cowboy who makes her head spin with his kisses. Emily's plan is to fix the place enough to sell, then go to San Francisco to go back to college. Nate is a rancher, and his life is full of taking care of his responsibilities. When he sees a beautiful young woman, he is intrigued when they share a passionate encounter that makes him forget everything but having her in his arms. As Nate starts to help Emily repair her mothers restaurant, they start to build a friendship which slowly turns into something more than either of them imagined. Soon Emily will have to make a choice a life in the big city where she knows no one, or a life in Valentine Valley with a man who loves her?
A Town Called Valentine is the first in the series. I have seen this author pop up quite a bit lately, and since I am a fan of Avon romances, I decided to pick this one up at the library. I do love the sweet contemporary westerns, and this one fit the bill 100%!! I had read some mixed reviews, so I was a bit nervous to read this one, and now that I have read it, I definitely need the other books in the series. I fell in love with this story. It has a fun beginning, with Emily coming into a bar for a bit to eat when she first arrives, where her car breaks down. Nate challenges her to a game of pool in the back and the bet is a kiss, and then Nate keeps popping up helping her out when she needs him. Thus begins a sweet and slow courtship. There is also a bit of a mystery involved when Emily learns that her birth father may be in town but she has no idea who he is. Plus with some involvement of some elderly ladies, one who is Nate's grandmother, who think of themselves as matchmakers, adds to the mix of this charming romance.
The characters were lively and fun and very endearing. They captured my heart from the beginning. Nate is a heart melting cowboy whose smile makes you want to melt. I loved him as the hero. Nate is a helper, and is very involved in the community. I loved him as a "Good Boy" even though he does have a bit of a daredevil side to him. He loves risk. He doesn't settle for any woman, and has the record of never dating a woman longer than 10 dates. Emily is a woman that has been hurt by her ex, and all she wants is to have children, even if she has to adopt. She is very independent, and I loved seeing how she starts from letting no one help her out, to building close bonds to the Valentine Valley, even though she tries to close herself off from doing so. The side characters definitely were lively and fun. I liked how they added the extra spice to the story.
This story is charming and a classic contemporary western that warms you from your head to toes. A captivating romance that is impossible to put down, with heart endearing characters, fun engaging plot, a dialogue to capture your attention, and a sweet tale that will make you believe in finding the happily ever after when you least expect it. A FAVORITE OF WESTERN ROMANCE!!!