Wednesday, February 12, 2020

"That Hollister Man" by Margaret Desmond

Sage Dolan is a young 20-something, leaving Boston and headed for Montana. Her 17-year-old brother Danny is reluctantly with her; it’s because of Danny that they’re headed west. A brush with the law after getting involved with the wrong people has convinced Sage she needs to get him away. They’ve used the money left by their late grandfather to buy a home with a barn and acreage in the Sweet Grass Valley of Montana, realizing a dream Sage has always had of living out west.

She’s bought the house along with a restaurant from one of her online pie-recipe-sharing friends, Gigi Rinard, who’s now on her way to Arizona for the birth of her first great-grandchild. She leaves a casserole and some instructions, which include a kind of warning to “pay no mind to that Hollister man.” That Hollister man is Spence Hollister, who operates the ranch that mostly surrounds Sage and Danny’s new home. Gigi has informally promised Spence she’d sell him the property when the time came, and the Dolans turn out to be a huge and rather unwelcome surprise.

Margaret Desmond
Spence is the almost-stereotypical image of the modern cowboy. When she first sees him (riding a horse, no less), she’s knocked for a wallop, never having experienced that kind of reaction before. Spence is polite and friendly, but he wants the property. As it turns out, Spence is a widower in his mid-30s with a 15-year-old daughter, and he’s determined he will never fall in love and remarry after the pain of losing his first wife. But people begin to notice that something is changing Spence Hollister, and the only difference is Sage Dolan.

The reader knows where the story of That Hollister Man by Margaret Desmond has to go. The fun is watching it go there.

Desmond is the author of numerous romance stories set in Montana, including Her Ordinary JoeTrusting TravisAnnie and JakeEthan’s BrideReturn of Devin Wakefield, and The Wrangler’s WishThat Hollister Man is the first in her Sweet Grass, Montana series. A native of northern California, Desmond lives in Montana.

That Hollister Man is an engaging story of two people who fall in love but areboth  afraid of what falling in love means. 

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