by Jaci Burton
When a movie crew asks to film on his cattle ranch, Logan McCormack doesn’t expect Desiree Jenkins, the young star with the bad-girl rep, to be so open, so down-to-earth, or so intimately interested in him. But the last thing a loner like Logan needs is a distraction like Des, who wouldn’t understand what it’s like to live peacefully off the land.
But it’s Logan who doesn’t understand. What Des wants is an escape from paparazzi and gossip columns, and she’s found it at Logan’s ranch. Now it’s up to her to prove that she’s like any other girl looking to be accepted for who she is. And she’s hoping that it’s by this real-life cowboy who has everything it takes—and more—to give her the kind of happily ever after that can’t be found in the movies.
Since life is so busy these days, I was late to the Hope party and I missed the first book, Hope Flames, and the novella, Hope Smolders. But that’s great news for readers because you can read the book as a standalone without a problem.
Hope Ignites is aptly named. When Logan and Des meet the sparks fly and the tension mounts. Des is old enough to know what she wants, and she definitely wants Logan. She doesn’t need to beg, when Logan says no she backs off. Des knows there is more going on with Logan than meets the eye. As an actress she has a career that others work a lifetime for, but that isn’t all she wants. Des is down to earth. She’s a great character to get to know. She comes off as someone you would want to hang out with.
Then we get to our hot, loner cowboy. Logan is a man of the land. He loves his ranch, and maybe his brothers and his housekeeper. His entire history is wrapped up in the ranch. It affects every part of his life. Logan likes the ladies, but he isn’t interested in keeping one. He doesn’t see how a woman, especially some city slicker actress, could be happy settling down on a ranch in Oklahoma. But he just can’t manage to get past being attracted to said city slicker actress.
There’s a bit of back and forth before Logan finally gives in to a physical relationship with Des. They both know this isn’t going anywhere past the bedroom, well maybe the barn or her trailer on set, but definitely not into forever territory. A relationship strictly limited to the physical is what they both want and need. Somewhere along the way wires get a bit crossed and feelings and hearts start coming into play.
Logan doesn’t want anything to do with feeling more for Des, so he puts distance between them. Des might only be twenty-six, but she’s pretty wise. She calls Logan on his bull shit and steps away to let him deal with his own issues. When the time comes for Des to leave, she does so with minimal regrets. Des knows she put everything out in the open before she walked away from Logan. Logan just needs to realize that this time he sent the woman away, she didn’t choose to leave because she hated ranch life.
The story Jaci has crafted is a great romance. It’s not an epic tale, but is engaging and makes you care about what happens to these characters. They’re a little bit of the fantasy we love in a good romance while still seeming like real people. I love Jaci’s writing style and her ability to craft stories that leave me feeling like I’ve been given a glimpse into a friend’s life.