Finding Clarity (The Secrets)

Lori L

WESTERN:  Lark Gates left Michigan after a heart-breaking divorce. She returned to the Diamond J Ranch in Missouri for the summer to regroup. The Diamond J was her childhood home where her dad was the ranch foreman. It is also where she now encounters Ryker Stewart, her teenage crush. He’s all grown up now, and is the neighboring vet — and even more attractive than she remembers.  Ryker can’t believe the calm, cool, and confident stranger who jumped in and helped him in a foaling emergency is Lark Gates.  As kids, she followed him and his buddy, Ian, around and pestered them like crazy. They were so mean to her in their efforts to escape her. Now she is all grown up and looking mighty fine. 

This is a sweet, heart-touching story about second chances. Lark and Ryker seem like a perfect match now, though that was not the case when they were kids. She was that geeky pest who never left the boys alone. The book suffered some technical issues that held back what is clearly a good story. First, the characters would have been more realistic if the story had been longer, enough so to fully develop them. Lark and Ryker are thoroughly likeable, but the ranch owner came across as harsh and shallow. Other characters seem flat. There were a few typos sprinkled throughout. In addition, the ending seemed to come as a rush to the happy-ever-after. However, any reader who was, or knew, that geeky, tag-along kid, will certainly enjoy this ugly duckling to beautiful swan story!

Emerson Matthews