Pick Me by Tanya Hanson

Pick Me by Tanya Hanson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Valentine’s Day)
Length: Short Story (89 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Volunteering at a horse rescue has helped heal schoolteacher Kelsey Hunter after her celebrity ex’s betrayal. Life in the rural California community suits her better than the bling of Hollywood. When she seeks help for a classroom project, she’s thrown into the sphere of a down-to-earth organic farmer and horseman who could really steal her heart…

Landry Mills, successful mega-spokesmodel for a famed Westernwear line, returns to his hometown to regroup and reconsider signing the next contract. Meeting Kelsey explodes feelings in him he wants to make real. But finding out a fancy director’s son recently crushed her spirit has him take things slow. What will Kelsey do when she finds out he’s a celebrity in his own right? He might not be able to bear it…

Kelsey had moved into the countryside for the man she thought she’d marry – only to have him break her heart and leave. Instead of moving again though, Kelsey decided to stay. She loved her work as a teacher, and particularly loved spending time at the Horse Rescue ranch. Then she stumbles upon Landry. While their attraction is immediate, Kelsey has been burned before and isn’t sure she wants to jump back into the fire. Can Landry convince her to pick him?

This is a fun and lighthearted story I really enjoyed. Warm and sweet it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day story. I loved the slow, emotional pace of the story. Kelsey has been hurt in the past, but she can’t resist Landry. And Landry is tired of the glitz and soulless glamour of the modeling business and being semi-famous and just wants to settle back home with a real, traditional girl. They’re made for each other, but neither is willing to jump head first into anything. So I found this really set the pace and tone for a sweet, soft, gentle romance and was not disappointed.

I also really enjoyed how there was such a country feel to the story. Set in farming country, with horses and plenty of healthy farm-style work this book really feels like one that can pass the test of time. It could have been set twenty years ago – and likely will still be pretty relevant and feel right in twenty years time. While I found the conflict side of the plot pretty predictable it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the story too much. The fresh characters and slow, lazy progress of their romance helped me enjoy their sweet kisses and romantic ending.

A sweet story with lush characters and a happy, feel-good glow at the end. Recommended.

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