Hang Tough

*ARC received for review*

Tobin Hale has long been that guy: you know, the nice guy that will go out of his way to help, the guy you can depend on...the guy that never gets the girl. I've been pulling for Tobin ever since he showed up in the Blacktop Cowboys series: I knew behind that easy smile and oh-so-helpful manner beat a wild and restless heart. Finally in Hang Tough, he's gotten his due. And boy, was he worth the wait!

Frustrated by a lack of job prospects and available women his age, Tobin's all ready to leave Muddy Gap for greener pastures. But before he goes, his Mud Lily pal Garnet has a problem and needs his help. She's in danger of losing her home and is convinced that her granddaughter has been sent to spy on her rather than help her out. Tobin, a born protector, goes to the rescue, moving in with Garnet and taking on her sassy, challenging granddaughter Jade.

They don’t exactly hit it off; tempers are short and the sparks fly every time they’re together. An aggravated Garnet throws down an order: she’s sick of their bickering so they need to avoid each other, period. But that’s real hard to do. And when she abruptly leaves town and they’re stuck together at the house, sparks begin to fly for a whole other reason. But is attraction enough for two lonely souls longing for real, lasting love?

Tobin and Jade’s story is very well done; all the pieces fit together perfectly with a few healthy dashes of Mud Lily chaos to keep it fun. I could really relate to Jade’s desire to have a place where she felt she belonged and Tobin’s need for someone to see him and want him for who he is, not what he can do for them. Their journey made my heart ache; their ending had me cheering. So good.

I love all the Blacktop Cowboys, and Bran has been my favorite…but after finishing Hang Tough, Tobin has stepped into the top spot. I have a feeling he’ll be staying there for keeps.

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