'Denim & Diamonds' doesn't disappoint

'Denim & Diamonds' doesn't disappoint

Debut novelist Lori Robinett has penned a sweet and intriguing romance with "Denim and Diamonds." In the novel, she explores what the word family really means and city life versus country life, as well as loyalty, love, romance and perseverance.

Mostly set on a ranch in rural Missouri, "Denim & Diamonds" is a good read that reminds you of the comforts of home and family no matter where life has taken you.

Meet red-headed Beth Jameson, an attorney living the city life, estranged from her recently deceased father, who spent most of his adult life running a successful ranch, the Diamond J. Recovering from a broken engagement with a cheating fiance, who also works at her law firm, Beth decides to take a challenge from her father that's spelled out in his will.

Mr. Jameson made his last wishes clear. He wants his daughter to come to the ranch and live there for one year, managing it and all the employees. He also requires a profit in order for her to keep the ranch after the year is up, or it will be sold at a public auction.

Meet Beau, Mr. Jameson's trusted "right-hand man" on the ranch, and the one person who feels the ranch should have been left to him instead of Beth. He's not exactly bitter, but he's very reluctant to trust the big-city, beautiful, attorney daughter whom he winds up calling "Boss." Beau's pretty handsome himself, tall, lean and rugged — a real cowboy. There's an instant physical attraction between Beau and Beth when they meet after she runs off the road in her fancy, expensive car during a storm.

But the physical attraction is where the connection ends because of the tension between the two on the ranch. From the first morning, when Beth leaves the gate open to the horse pasture, to her first official meeting with her employees who are all still loyal to the deceased Mr. Jameson, Beau treats her like she's incapable of doing anything and she should just go back to the city.

As romance authors often do so well, and Robinett joins the ranks with this debut, they take two young, attractive, butting-heads people and open a small pathway for one of them to walk toward the other. Both Beau and Beth care about the ranch and want to make it successful.

Although Beth has a completely different picture of her father than Beau — she saw him as a philandering, stiff, distant father and Beau saw him as nothing but loving and caring — the two have many touching moments full of physical and emotional attraction over caring for the animals on the ranch.

Robinett writes romance well, but she also includes other interesting plot points to keep readers turning pages: working the farm, trying to make a profit, dealing with the past, managing employees and more.

The subplots help to make "Denim and Diamonds" unique and stand out from other novels in this genre.

Robinett works in the legal field herself as a paralegal for a law firm in central Missouri. She is a huge participant in National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMO, which takes place every November and encourages writers to pen at least 50,000 words toward a novel. She has met this challenge eight times. You can read more about this author and her accomplishments on her website, LoriLRobinett.com.

If you love romances with hunky heroes and strong heroines, then check out "Denim & Diamonds." You won't be disappointed.

Margo L. Dill is celebrating the release of her second novel, "Caught Between Two Curses," a young-adult novel exploring love, family and the Curse of the Billy Goat on the Cubs. She also is the author of "Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg," a middle-grade historical fiction novel. She lives in St. Louis with her family.

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