Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who’s been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm…or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off. Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn’t wanted to marry…until that handsome Texan shows up. Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows.

What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills–and it’s clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love. As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes. Todd’s mother, however, has entirely different plans for her son that do not include Maggie. In light of their hasty marriage and mistaken dreams, is there any hope of recapturing their love and building a future together?


I don’t actually remember when I purchased this novel, but I finally got around to reading it recently and decided that you needed to know about it. It’s the fifth in Hake’s Only in Gooding series, but I can testify that it reads just fine on its own because I didn’t realize it was the fifth in a series until I was almost done with the novel. There were a couple points where my reader sense kicked in and thought, “This feels like a wink to an earlier book” but that was it. I was completely able to understand and enjoy the entire story. Which is good, because when I checked, I realized that I had actually read book one in the series many years ago and barely remembered anything about it. So, all that to say: Yes, you can read it by itself.

Now, I should confess that I bought the Audible version as well as the Kindle version of this book because they were on sale and I listened more than I read. The hero and heroine each have beautiful and different accents which the narrator executed with admirable skill and made the listening of this story a thorough pleasure.

As for the story itself, I found the characters to be complex and mostly charming. However, I admit that I struggled to warm up to the hero and wasn’t entirely sure what the heroine saw in him aside from a man who took care of his mother and was handsome. Now that first part might sound good, but it’s what becomes part of the problem later on. There were several times where I wanted to bash the man over the head with a frying pan. He isn’t an unlikable character, but I suppose he’s a little too period appropriate in his thoughts toward women for my tastes. Nevertheless, I did enjoy this story (it made me laugh aloud several times) and would recommend it with the caveat that a reader needs to keep an open mind regarding the hero.


Do you enjoy complicated characters? What about characters with strong accents? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Note: I purchased my own copy of this book and was under no obligation to review it at all. You may read my full disclosure of materials HERE.

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