After months of denial, single dad Nick Stafford finally gives in to the principal's pressure to take his two daughters to professional help after their mother's abandonment three years before. However, the recommended family therapist--the principal's sister--is not what Nick was expecting. After a traumatic incident, Dr. Elsa Andreas left her practice for the seclusion of a backwoods cottage. But Nick's two needy little girls--and the handsome cowboy himself--might just have the power to draw her out of her own protective bubble and back into the world.
The author can certainly write children! Especially sisters (boy, did Cheyenne and Dakota remind me of my cousins at that age). These are no two precocious little angels--they are the usual sort of children who whine, cry, sulk, and fight. They know exactly which buttons to push to get a bigger rise out of the other. And just when you're ready to break down and give up, they hit you right in the heart with how sweet they can be.
I liked Elsa a lot--she's not at all the stereotype of a child psychologist. She's sensible, fun, and quite mom-like, but without the heightened emotions of this being Her Own Troubled Kid she's dealing with.
To me, it felt like Nick's reaction to Elsa's reveal of her history was overblown, but then I don't have abandonment and trust issues like he does. However, I felt that the situation with Whitney (the girls' mom) was done really well--the characters acted with wisdom even in the face of her antagonism and manipulation. It's a good example for anyone dealing with a manipulative and untrustworthy relationship--"wise as serpents and innocent as doves" in action. Godly and loving, yet with very necessary boundaries.
And the dance dad thing is pretty cute.
Thank you Blogging for Books for providing a free book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
Double S Ranch
1. Back in the Saddle
2. Home on the Range
3. Peace in the Valley (Spring 2017)