Sunshine and Sammy
by Melanie Moreland
Every time I open a new book by this author, I’m simultaneously excited and a little worried. I’m excited because I expect it to be terrific, like all the other books I’ve read from her have been. And I’m worried, because eventually something has to fall short of that mark. Well, once again, far from falling short of her own reputation, Melanie Moreland has somehow raised the bar once again. “Sunshine and Sammy” is the 5th book in the ‘Vested Interest: ABC Corp’ series, which follows the adult children of the main characters in the original ‘Vested Interest’ series. You can absolutely jump in and read this book as a standalone, then you’re going to want to go back and start at the beginning of this series.
Somehow, the author knew we all needed a strong and steady cowboy right now. Luke is precisely that, plus good-looking, grouchy, and growly, too. His life is entirely focused on the family ranch, and his younger sister. These days, it’s harder than ever to keep a ranch financially in the black. When his sister comes up with a wild plan to bring in additional revenue by having guests stay at the ranch, Luke reluctantly agrees to go along with it. Samantha is a far cry from being the boring businessman he expects to be helping implement the changes at the ranch, and that makes him even more unhappy with the whole project. Luke’s sister had warned Samantha that he was grouchy but hadn’t prepared her for how ridiculously hot the man was. It quickly becomes obvious that the attraction is mutual, but neither of them is looking for a relationship. It gets even more complicated because not only are they attracted to each other, but they also like the dynamic between them – the fiery give and take and snarky banter. Rules are made so Luke and Sammy can indulge themselves in the intense physical connection between them, but we all know that hearts don’t really care about rules, do they?
Sammy story of why she’s wary of commitment is sad, but Luke’s past heartbreaks are soul-crushing. When it all causes him to behave terribly to Sammy, even though I cried along with her I understood the inner torment driving him. There are plenty of fun and light moments to balance out the serious ones. There are also wonderful appearances by Sammy’s father, Van, and various members of her extended family. In true Melanie Moreland fashion, the epilogue is amazing and worthy of its own tissue! As this beautiful story reminds us, never give up on finding real love, and remember that it doesn’t take a blood connection to be family. I truly can’t wait for the next book in this series; will it be about Mila?