From the winner of the XOXO Connects flash fiction contest comes a story about an uber-focused executive knocked off her stride by a riding accident and then swept off her feet when she least expects it!
Alejandra Barros doesn’t know the meaning of failure until fate pulls the rug right out from under her Louboutin stilettos.
Board of Directors’ meetings, corporate takeovers, and jet setting around the globe don’t allow for much of a personal life—and even Ali’s limited free time is dedicated to her beloved horses, show jumping at a championship level. When a freak riding accident shatters her wrist and messes with her confidence at work, her boss mandates a month-long hiatus. If she wants to save her career, she has no choice but to go.
Pebble Creek Lodge is not far from Denver, but the high-end retreat might as well be a world away from the frenzied pace of Manhattan. From the moment she arrives, Ali feels so out of place she’s practically ready to skip the whole “required recovery” nonsense and hop on the next plane back to New York. The only thing stopping her is the ranch hand Hank Mathis and his perfectly chiseled abs, which are intriguing and delicious enough to make her linger.
By the time Ali admits she’s in a bit of a funk, not even the moral and physical support of a gorgeous cowboy is enough to bring her back to her old self—especially when the object of her desires is secretly battling his own demons. To get her life back on track, Ali will have to decide what it is she’s really fighting to regain and what it will take to find it—or she’ll risk losing the one thing that could truly make her happy.
I read The Last Resort over two airplane rides. It's a light, quick read that draws you in from the beginning and keeps the momentum going from the first page.
Ali is a textbook workaholic. She has no time for anything but work and riding horses. On a trip home for a family function, she takes out an unfamiliar horse and gets in an accident. She ends up with both substantial physical injuries and PTSD. People at work begin noticing that she's not in a good head space and send her on a work-mandated retreat to help her heal.
The cast of characters in The Last Resort is interesting but kind of one-dimensional. Even our main characters are not as deep as they could be. There is definitely room for and hints at complexity, but most of the writing stays pretty surface-y. The romance is also practically instantaneous, which bothers a lot of readers; there is a some burn but once it lights up it flames fast.
But that's okay. Hank is sweet and tortured and swoon-y, and Ali spends a lot of time trying to figure out what her best life looks like. She is ambitious and career-driven, and neither the book nor Kovach tries to undermine that by just giving her a relationship to fall into instead. I also loved the descriptions of the Colorado country side and the horse care. The novel jumps right into the action and it's a fast-paced ride from start to finish.
If you're looking for a breezy romance to plop down on a beach or airplane with, try out The Last Resort by R.S. Kovach.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Published by Pocket Star on March 20, 2017
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