In A Nutshell

  • Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick-Lit
  • Notes: If I had not read Lisa Kleypas’ Regency Novels and knew that I liked her writing style, I would never have given this book a  second glance. But I’m really glad that I did. It wasn’t everything I expected it to be but it went beyond my expectations.
  • Recommended for: Kleypas fans, People who a new take on Rags to Riches, People who like Texas.

Not Your Average Chick-Lit . . . To get it out of the way let me post the Book’s Summary:


Liberty Jones has dreams and determination that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas—if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty is a complication he doesn’t need. But something magical and potent draws them to each other, in a dangerous attraction that is stronger than both of them.


When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty finds herself alone with a young sister to raise. Soon Liberty is under the spell of a billionaire tycoon—a Sugar Daddy, one might say. But the relationship goes deeper than people think, and Liberty begins to discover secrets about her own family’s past.

The reason I like to include the summary is to allow you to see the published promotion and have something to compare it to. What I have to say about this summary is it really exaggerates the role of the men in the book. Make no mistake – this is a romance novel – but at its heart it is a story about a young girl who embraces a heavy burden that forever defines her life.

The whole beginning of this book is about Liberty growing up in a trailer park, going from awkward girl to young woman, seeing her mother go from man to man, and eventually raising her baby sister. The best part of this book is really the best part of any Kleypas book. She knows how to write characters that you love, feel for, and root for. Normally if I hit this much exposition in a romance novel it gets boring or the rising action falls flat. But for this novel, the character development is so crucial and done so well that I never felt bored.

I will say though, if you don’t like a lot of exposition – no matter how interesting – then you probably won’t like this book or it will take you awhile to read it. For me, it was so interesting I zoomed through it.

It’s charm is truly in its uniqueness as a contemporary romance – I would say while it develops into a fantastic romance story – it really starts as a coming-of-age tale of a young girl forced to take on great responsibilities at a very early age.

As for the two men, Kleypas writes this conflict in such a way that you really feel the struggle Liberty faces. At the same time – I had one I rooted for very hard, but I won’t name which so you all can experience that on your own.

Things to keep in mind:

  • While I do admire the realism that Kleypas injects into the story by describing Liberty’s childhood, it is a romance novel and does have a sweeping love story in it.
  • If you are looking for a serious book – I can’t imagine you’ve even made it this far into this review – then you are reading the wrong genre.

I was so pleased to find a contemporary romance novel that wasn’t simply sex-sex-minor plot-sex-drama-sex-sex-fin. Don’t get me wrong – there is some brown-chicken-brown-cow! But it isn’t overly flaunted and in the beginning of Liberty’s adult life it is very realistic – which I can’t help but respect in a RomNov.

If you have a weekend, or a trip, this is a great book to drag along with you and get lost in.