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?
Bo manages a thoroughbred farm
I enjoy Becky Wade's romances because I easily get caught up in her characters and the emotion of her writing. In Undeniably Yours, Becky has created two compelling lead characters and placed them in an impossible situation: rich female boss, regular country boy employee - separated by wealth, job position and social ranking. I knew she would somehow resolve this invisible barrier imposed by society, but the fun is in how she gets us there.
Becky creates a great sense of place with her descriptions of the small Texas town of Holley and Meg's family ranch with its thoroughbred farm. Whispering Creek Ranch resembles the famous Southfork and I loved her description of its interior: "Everything in the place was either costly, a shade of brown, or lifted off a dead animal."
Meg and Bo are likeable and engaging lead characters. Texas oil heiress Meg Cole is quite different from what her job title implies. She is fair, gentle, tenderhearted and vulnerable; she suffers from anxiety and doesn't feel the job she inherited is what God wants from her. Meg is first attracted to Bo because she feels a calmness and quietness in his company.
Former Marine Bo Porter is a humble, honorable, and self-sacrificing character who has finally attained his dream of running a thoroughbred racehorse ranch. In the very first scene of the book, Meg tells Bo she’s closing the ranch down - and from there, we watch Bo struggle to deal with the heartbreak of losing his ranch while wanting to protect Meg and be the ally she needed. After hilarious evening of babysitting a young child, Meg describes Bo as "a man christened with the miraculous ability to gentle horses, nervous women, and one-year olds."
Whispering Creek Ranch resembles Southfork
Becky may go a little beyond what some readers of Christian romance are comfortable with as far as descriptive adjectives, characters cursing under their breath and being placed in compromising situations, but I think she just writes in a more realistic style that shows people's imperfections. And everything fits the Texas setting well.
The supporting cast was great, and I especially hope we see more from Meg's Asian gardener, Mr. Son. He treated a young boy with dignity and expectation, and their interaction was one of my favorite parts. "Mr. Son might not look like a traditional baby whisperer. But he had a way - a stiff, prickly, and unusual way - with children. Just like with his acres of flowers, he could coax them to bloom."
Readers will enjoy the suspenseful conclusion and spiritual themes as Meg discovers her ministry in the "more" that God intended for her life. There's also a great stewardship message as Meg realizes that none of it is actually hers . . . "Not the bank accounts, the properties, the staff, the possessions, nor the controlling interest in the company. All of it belonged to Him."
I am glad Undeniably Yours is the first of a series because I definitely want to see more of Bo and Meg, as well as the other Porter siblings. I'd also love to see further development of Mr. Son's character. I highly recommend this book to all romance fans.
Q: What inspired you to write Undeniably Yours?
A: I’m huge fan and student of the romance genre. I love taking classic romantic plotlines and/or characters and giving them my own unique twist. Imagine the following in a Regency England setting: a wealthy Countess who falls in love with a man who works in her stable taking care of her horses. You can immediately grasp all the obstacles they’d have to overcome to make their relationship work, right? Nobility. Education. Worthiness. Birthrights. Expectations. Censure. In the case of Undeniably Yours, I took the above inspiration and brought it into a contemporary Texas setting. Many of the same obstacles applied.
Q: What is the book's theme?
A: Undeniably Yours is about a woman's journey from weakness to strength. She's able to find that strength, little by little, as she trusts in God's power and plan.
Q: How would you describe your writer's voice?
A: My voice is funny, authentic, and modern. I write love stories about imperfect people redeemed by a perfect God. It's my hope that my books will charm and entertain my readers, while simultaneously stirring their emotions and encouraging their faith.
Q: Is Undeniably Yours part of a series?
A: All of my books stand alone. They each tell a complete story in and of themselves. At the same time, I've long wanted to write a group of books about members of the same family. Undeniably Yours is the first of four books about the Porter family from Holley, Texas. My next novel will be about Bo’s brother Ty.
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To learn more about Becky and her books, visit her website at beckywade.com.
This book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.
"Cast all your anxieties on him,
because he cares for you."
- 1 Peter 5:7