Title: Always Mine
Series: Love in Eden #1
Author: Sloane Kennedy
Published: June 18, 2019
I had one reason for never going back to the small town I once called home, but I never guessed it would be the same one that made me want to stay…
I grew up in the small town of Eden, Wyoming, but never really felt like I fit in.
Until I met the one boy who changed all that.
When we were kids, Xavier Price understood horses, but somehow, he got me too. He’d made me feel like I wasn’t just the overdressed, too sensitive fifteen-year-old geek who loved math and didn’t always say the right thing. But all that changed the night he threw my trust back in my face and betrayed my family in the worst kind of way.
And while I’m back in Eden to make sure my uncle’s horse ranch is operating in the black, the one thing I know I won’t have to deal with is the man who’d been on the verge of stealing my heart ten years ago.
Because Xavier Price is still in prison for what he did and even if he weren’t, he wouldn’t be foolish enough to show his face in Eden ever again.
That’s what returning to Eden after ten years behind bars feels like. But it wasn’t like I had a whole lot of choices. And it wasn’t like I was going to be handed any decent job offers, let alone my dream one of working with horses.
But that’s exactly what happened and now that I’m foreman of Black Hills Ranch, I’m not letting this job go for anything.
Not even the spoiled little rich kid I’d thought was different when he’d glommed onto me ten years ago.
I have no doubt Brooks Cunningham didn’t wait long to move on to bigger and better things the second my jail cell was locked behind me, and that’s just fine by me. I’d been wrong about the sweet, emotional boy who’d had a habit of wearing his heart on his sleeve anyway.
Except fate has decided to have another go at me by tossing Brooks right back into my sometimes too small world. Gone is the scrawny, stars-in-his-eyes nerd who used to do math problems just for fun. In his place is a gorgeous specimen of a man who thinks he can go toe to toe with me and once again destroy everything I’ve worked for.
First, let me start by saying that the cover of this book is HOT!! I absolutely love it and it definitely had me wanting to get my hands on the book the moment I saw it.
I really loved the blurb and the idea of these two men coming together after 10 years of ugliness and betrayal, having to tolerate each other as past feelings and emotions overwhelm them. I knew this would be an emotional journey for both men and I was honestly excited to see how Sloane played it all out. She’s the queen of angsty and unforgettable reads with characters that seem to be larger than life.
But after a few days, this has been a hard review for me to write. Generally, I love Sloane’s stories and can’t stop gushing about them. However, this one is a bit different for me. For some reason, I just didn’t connect with it on an emotional level that I’ve come to expect from a Sloane Kennedy book. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe this rut I feel I’m in is distorting things even more than I thought, either way, something here was missing for me.
Brooks and Xavier were both likable as individuals as well as a couple but I didn’t totally feel the chemistry between them. I didn’t necessarily feel like I was invested in their relationship other than knowing that they should be together because this is a romance about them. They were missing that pull that couples generally have in romance stories. However, having said that, What definitely wasn’t missing was the sex. Wowza! There was plenty of sexy/steamy scenes between Brooks and Xavier (bordering on too much) and these two spent most of the first half of the book fighting or f$&@ing. So if that’s what you love to read about, you are in for a treat.
The writing was well done, as always and the story kept me engaged and wanting to find out more about what happened to Xavier and how and why he was sent to jail. He was too sweet and “good” to have been in prison without there being a lot more to the story than what the people in the town thought about him. I was hoping like crazy that he would be vindicated and everyone would realize what a great person he was. Then there was Uncle Curtis who I fell in love with. I could definitely read more of him in any future stories.
Overall, this wasn’t my favorite of Sloane’s books but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend it. Always Mine is still a good story and a great beginning to a new series. I am excited to see what the small town of Eden has in store for us next.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***