In the first book set at Crooked Creek, we meet Victoria and Eli. I like to say up front if this is a stand-alone type of book or not and this is one that straddles. I think you can enjoy this as a stand alone – I don’t think any of the details are too hard to maneuver through without the plot of Can’t Buy Me Love. However, I think to fully grasp the back story with these two, I would recommend starting with that first one.

Eli and Victoria – or Tori as he calls her – have known each other nearly their entire lives and while they once were friends, they have not been for many years. Eli is nursing a long held grudge against Tori’s family which colors his entire world. Tori is trying to figure out who she is after losing everything when her husband’s Ponzi scheme was exposed and he killed himself. She chooses to rebuild herself on her father’s ranch in Texas as she turns that ranch into a spa.

That’s the bare bones of the story, but damn y’all. I think this whole series is something special since we still get a full happily ever after as is required but the twists and turns are delightfully crafted. I loved falling for the two of them as they fell for each other, I loved rooting for them, I loved it all. I tore through this on a flight this week and pulled that thing where I read as I was standing in all lines probably pissing off everyone around me but I didn’t care because THE BOOK WAS HAPPENING. (Do you know that feeling? I’m the worst to travel with sometimes because I view plane time as reading time and damn anyone who gets between me and fictional favorites.)

Totally recommend this book and this series for anyone who likes happily ever afters that take their sweet time in a believable way with complicated but vibrant characters. I enjoyed this one with a lovely Diet Coke (thanks, American Airlines) and I think it was a good companion.


Further Reading:

  • So you can’t go to the Crooked Creek Spa, but the Lake Austin Spa is real and stunning. If you’re looking for an escape in the Lone Star State, go there.
  • If you’ve never heard of a Ponzi scheme or would like to know more, Khan Academy has put together a wonderful video for that purpose.
  • 9 most brazen Ponzi schemes in history


I got a copy of this book from the eBook section of my local library. Viva la bibliotheca!