Let it Be Me by Barbara Speak
New Adult. Can stand alone, but a follow up is coming.
Though I don’t usually read NA or cowboy books, I was asked to review Let it Be Me by Barbara Speak book and accepted before realizing what it was. Since I rarely read either of these type of books, it was actually a nice change for me.
Let it Be Me began with a sullen teenager, Arianna, and her younger half sister moving to to “Nowheresville” Montana with her mentally absent mother and abusive stepfather because of something she did. We don’t know what Arianna has done to force the family move, but we know it’s bad enough that she is not allowed to talk about it. Arianna’s mom is practically a vegetable and lets her stepdad spew hate at her and beat her daughter. The only light in her life is her little sister Shelby. Arianna is biding her time until she turns 18 and can get away.
We see her first day in a new small-town high school with people who have grown up together, and there is of course, the obligatory mean girls and male flirts. And then there is Canyon, her neighbor. Yum. Canyon is in his early 20s and gorgeous. He seems to be running the farm next door by himself, and harboring lots of secrets himself. “Ari” begins helping Canyon work his horse ranch, and in turn changes from a city girl to a country girl pretty quickly.
In that moment I realized I was helping him somehow just as much as he was helping me.”
I enjoyed how Ari and Canyon’s relationship wasn’t rushed, and how Canyon’s secrets gradually unfolded. But Arianna’s were bigger, and it took almost the whole book for her full story to come out. And when you get the whole thing, boy, it’s a doozy.
I really grew to care for Canyon, and my heart broke for him, and all I wanted was his happiness, whether it included Ari or not…I just hoped she was smart enough to realize what a prize he was and stick around beyond her 18th birthday.
No amount of time will ever be enough with you, Ari”
- Slow build-up to love.
- Canyon was a perfect book boyfriend.
- So many twists and turns, I was kept on my toes the whole time.
- Shelby was a great character. I love little kids in my books.
- How much Ari grew throughout the book.
- If you grew up on farms, or around animals, you will really appreciate the accuracy of the book.
- The first half was a little slow, and the end was way too rushed. I know there is now a follow-up book planned, but I think a nice long epilogue could have wrapped up the story well in one book without need for a follow up.
- I like a little more adult books and I found this to be more of a YA than a NA.
- These poor kids! What more can happen to them? Please, no more crap in the next book, they need an HEA!
Rating: 3.75-4 stars, 2 heat
The Down and Dirty:
Purchase Let it Be Me by Barbara Speak