A Connecticut heiress learns she's adopted. Her birth parents are mentally handicapped ranch workers in northern Florida. She gets a job at the ranch under a false name in order to learn more about her parents. To her surprise she falls in love with them, the ranch, and the ranch's handsome owner, a part-Seminole Indian "cracker cowboy" who cares for handicapped ranch hands including his own brother.
This book is a contemporary romance and might also fall into the women's fiction category. It is set in Florida - the back blocks Florida rather than the resort Florida. I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the local territory.
The plot all works out very nicely, perhaps too cleanly and sweetly, however I am not adverse to that, knowing that in real life it just doesn't go that way! It engaged me, I liked the story line and felt drawn into the lives of the characters and animals. I cheered every time Ben's 'family' showed up and stood up to the prejudices of the rich and arrogant.
It is the characters - people and animals that make this book enjoyable. I loved the way they interacted with each other and the care that Ben, the hero of the story, has for the array of people he has gathered around him. The theme of respect and love for those who some in the world would judge as 'retards' makes this book. The camaraderie between these people, the way they worked together was heart warming. I think in a way this book invites the reader to examine their own attitudes to those people who in life for one reason or another are handicapped in some way. Kara, the heroine, is also wonderful in the way she supports Ben's ranch workers and in the way she responds to her birth parents. Both Ben and Kara look beyond the handicaps to the real people. Kindness is at the heart of this book. I came away from it feeling challenged to appreciate each person I meet in my life, and satisfied from a book that I liked.
Personal Challenge 2013.
TBR Challenge 2013