Review: Meg Cole is now the richest woman in Texas. Her oil magnate father died unexpectedly and long before she wanted the reigns of the family business, Meg is back in the small town of Holley and taking over her father’s title and empire – a man she really did not know. Despite a successful company, Meg is making cuts. She has no desire to indulge in her father’s hobbies and sees no reason to continue to pay for staff or offshoot companies she will have no use for – one of which is a horse farm that is far from paying for its own expenses and yet her father, William Cole loved horses. The farm manager, Bo Porter has poured his life into this farm and he isn’t about to let the intriguing Meg Cole take it away. She’s his boss – the woman who may, in six months be shutting down his and his employee’s livelihood and yet, he cannot help but like Meg. Something about her inspires a side of himself he didn’t know existed…
The Pros: Much as I adore getting lost in a 1900’s era historical, I think it’s safe to say that the contemporary genre is – overall, my favorite. A big reason complimented to author Becky Wade. Any story that could fit into the romantic-comedy genre is one I am quick to snatch up. And if this book is anything, it’s a charmer of a rom-com – from the inside out. First off, I just have to say kudos to Bethany House for their gorgeous graphic design and photography work on this one – if I thought the front-on cover was charming, what I didn’t know was how well the entire composition would be. Not only is the front shot pretty but in the entire design, there are three photos used to help sell this story and it’s done well. (Ahem, now that we have that bit of fangirling “out of the way,” moving on to the actual review…)
The first book in her new “Porter Family” series, in brief introductions, we meet each of the Porter siblings – Ty, Jake, Dru and the hero of this book, Bo. In true “big brother” fashion, Bo makes for a wonderful, compelling hero and Becky manages to write a beautiful spiritual journey that is often missing in fiction, seeming to be in name only and never following through what its genre should define. Instead of relying on the people in her life – although Bo’s presence in her life does change things, Meg leans on the grace God extends and I was particularly interested in the small but impacting way that Meg feels God reaching out a hand by providing the presence of a person who cares about her just when she most needs it. Also pleasant was a lack of a character turning their back on God – Meg clung to her faith whereas Bo was raised in a household of integrity and healthy Christian teachings leading to a spiritual relationship that was more than merely “mandatory.” There was a quiet subtly to these scenes that may not have been “epic” but were certainly impacting – and that was just one of the reasons Undeniably Yours was another bright spot in an otherwise similar genre of contemporary fiction.
If Bo is one of the more memorable leading men, then Meg was adorable. I enjoyed her character very much and was repeatedly impressed by how sincere Meg was. She was the epitome of a character whom we could relate too, and was both “flawed” and likable. Pleasant to both the most romantic heart and those who like “cute” exchanges of affection such as happens here between Meg and Bo; Becky’s unique furthering of the starry-eyed romantics or passionate tension isn’t vibrant in an impression of sparks flying between them – it’s very subtle. In fact, the first meeting of Meg and Bo is very businesslike, no flirting or funny “first meeting” incidents and instead of conversations in which we can rely on the character’s sparring, this relationship is built off of solid friendship (big fan of this!) and summary portions that regale picnics or evenings spent talking lying in front of the fireplace.
Meg had been bruised and left in her past making her a cautious soul which in turn causes panic attacks and Bo was first and foremost a protector who was unquestionably attracted to Meg, eventually falling head over heels in love with her. There are some cute moments between them such as Meg bravely deciding to take the first step, showing up at his doorstep with a package of Oreos or Bo carrying around tissues, and it’s in these small joys that the character’s shine – even the secondary players are interesting and unexpected. I was also happy that Becky left the focus on Meg and Bo instead of shifting back-and-forth to multiple other characters. The rare third party point-of-view is inserted just when it should be but not abused.
Cons: In certain spots, there is still a slight “rough” edge to some of the writing. It didn’t take away the joy of the story, although I’d be lying if I didn’t say it seems “awkward” and somehow out of place. Fortunately, these moments are very rare.
Conclusion: Charming may not be the optimal word to describe this because its romance is subtle and there is hardly any conflict between Meg and Bo. Nonetheless, I found it was perfectly charming. In the last few pages, the book brings in some hints of danger in the form of Meg’s past resurrecting and makes the reader wish to finish quickly while also offering an act of selfless love. In Meg and Bo, I’ve met another memorable leading couple and from Becky Wade, a sweet contemporary that is undeniably, a keeper!
Coming Next: N/A
Synopsis: When Meg Cole’s father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tenderhearted–more interested in art than in oil–she’s forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father’s empire.
The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father’s thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.
Bo’s determined to resent the woman who’s decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them–her wealth, his unworthiness, her family’s outrage–and earn the right to love her.
But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg’s past. Can their love–and their belief that God can work through every circumstance–survive?
With thanks to the author, Becky Wade for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.