Always On My Mind

always on my mindAlways On My Mind: The Sullivans
by Bella Andre
Published by Harlequin MIRA
304 pages
Genre: romance; chick lit 
4 / 5

 

If you have read any of Bella Andre’s Sullivan Family series, you undoubtedly are as hooked on this herd as I am. With each book, I find it more and more difficult to pick a favorite. But from the start, I’ve been intrigued by Lori (aka “Naughty” to her twin sister Sophie’s “Nice”). Lori is the wild child, the one who, as her family observes, runs in and out of rooms so quickly that you hardly have time to register that she’s been there. Yet she nonetheless leaves an impact wherever she is.

Lori has been living in Chicago, where she works as a dancer and choreographer. Like most of the Sullivans, Lori has achieved some fame and adulation – professionally, at least. Personally (romantically), her life is far less admirable. She’s been in a relationship with a man who does not put her first, to say the least. One day she decides she has Had It and she bolts for her hometown in California.

But the thought of being near all of those Sullivans rankles her. She isn’t ready to face them. When she gets off the plane, she rents a car and asks the attendant where she should go. Pescadero is the answer, so off Lori drives.

A girl has to work, regardless of what she’s trying to escape, and Lori answers the first job posting she finds: for a cattle hand. What does she know about ranching? Um, very little. One of her family members owns a winery and her mother planted flowers, so she kind of sort of understands horticulture, but cows? Pigs? Chickens?

No.

What she certainly does understand is that Grayson, the ranch owner, is H-O-T. If he isn’t worth the mud and filth of the job, nothing else could be.

Conveniently, Lori has to stay with Grayson.

Very conveniently.

As drawn to each other as they are, each is reluctant to pursue the romance. Grayson has decamped to Pescadero for his own reasons, and he is slow to let Lori know those. It isn’t that these two are opposites; rather, it’s that they are too much alike.

Andre writes in a way that makes you enjoy her characters. The entire Sullivan clan gets together a couple of times, so you will get to check in on your favorites from past installments. Despite the size of the family, Andre lets you get to know each one of them, and she gives each one his or her own voice.

Lori and Grayson are flawed, and those flaws are not glossed over. Theirs is a romance that comes in fits and starts, and it’s nice to see the man as the more persistent pursuer for a change. It’s nice to get to know Grayson, period. Girls. Trust me on that one.

This is a fun, romantic book with its share of hot headboard rockin’. Not too graphic, but hot nonetheless.

Spend some time with the Sullivans. You will want to join their family too.

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Filed under chick lit, Harlequin, romance

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