A Higher Standard

A Higher Standard

Revisiting the tagline of this novel by E.R. Dodd, “Big city confronts small town in a new steamy enemies-to-lovers romance,” gives you a glimpse of what to expect in this sassy and fun read.

A strong heroine, Everest Kennedy is dead set on ensuring all property stays sacred and development-free around her equine rescue ranch in Mimosa, Minnesota. When she meets the latest in a string of business moguls set on taking over the land, she’s torn. Boston developer, Gideon West isn’t like the others. He’s charming, successful, and way too gorgeous for her to ignore.

From their very first meet, Gideon can’t forget the woman who came between the horse that threw him and a skull-crushing disaster. Discovering she’s the neighboring landowner is not only a delight but stunningly, a beautiful hurdle. As he strives to change her mind and convince Everest his motives are pure, he falls for the woman who can hold her own against any opponent. The more time he spends with her, the more his heart succumbs, and a budding relationship takes root.

This is a fun read, with a strong, successful heroine with saucy pluck. Everest Kennedy is the kind of woman that inspires readers, with a business head and a beautiful heart, one can easily slip into her place.

You also learn where she gets it from; her parents have a rich impact on the backstory and her character arc. As Everest blocks and banters her nemesis, you root for the independently fierce woman, but all the same want her to soften into the hint of happiness and partnership Gideon presents. Thankfully, Gideon soon wears her down, but it’s not a fair fight. They have proximity, stubbornness, lifestyles, and pursuits working against them. That’s what makes this steamy contemporary romantic read vastly entertaining. Yes, it’s a fun read, and it’s also a good one. Dodd’s a solid writer, setting a mood and illustrating a scene that draws the reader in. She also excels in constructing witty, smile-worthy banter between the two protagonists, that keeps you turning the page to the very end.

Image and Book Courtesy of Smith Publicity, Inc. 

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