2.75 stars rounded up
It is not that I disliked the book -- mainly I felt indifferent about it. It had a lot to do with the heroine, Mel Shaw.
At one point, Mel describes herself as "hot and cold, curt for no reason, unnecessarily bitcy" ... and I couldn't agree more. I realized that her Mom leaving has a significant role in Mel being standoffish. Mel doesn't let people close to her because it's heartbreaking when they leave; she refuses to let anyone in, including Dan. But this also makes her unapproachable as heroine. I became slightly unsympathetic towards her as a character, especially when she repetitively refusing help or dismissing Dan and everyone else.
Dan is better as a character -- throughout he shows the willingness to try to do his best, both with Mel and his grandparents' ranch.
I don't think this is a series that I will follow though. Mel's family is a bit too dysfunctional for me to enjoy. Mel's relationship with her brother Caleb left me cold, which is a problem because Caleb is the hero for the next book. Maybe Caleb is indeed a failure and Mel has reasons for not trusting him with their family farm, but I guess I prefer to read series with loving siblings. On top of that there is a dramatic turn of [an appearance of long-lost sister around 80%, and that screams drama to me.
I give kudos for the llama though (I don't encounter many llamas in romance *LOL*) since the llama contributes to one of the most unique lines I've ever read in a romance novel...
Orgasming was like that mystery llama—she had no idea where that would even come from. -- Chapter 12