Type: Novella (Apple Trail #2)
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
My Copy: Sent from author for review
Welcome to Apple Trail, Arkansas!
If Shellie Chambers has to hear one more condescending comment from her mother about life or men, she might scream. So, she packs up and takes a trip to see her long-missed high school friend, Riley. He’ll know exactly what she needs to loosen up. But instead of the girl-chasing jock she remembers from their youth, Riley’s gone country, keeping up a farm of his own.
Riley Hamilton has settled down on a farm his uncle left to him. Not the life he ever envisioned, but after getting a girl pregnant in college and then watching helplessly as the baby was aborted, he learned the hard way it was time to settle down. Shellie’s reentry into his life reminds of his wild past and it’s a fight to ignore the tempting woman she has become.
On The Fence is Keri’s second book in her Apple Creek series. The first book in the series, Through The Wall, blew me away with its character insight and writing level. On The Fence was good, but I had some issues with parts of it.
Shellie has been listening to her mother put her down her entire life. Her mother belittles her and makes her feel as if she isn’t good enough. Wanting to escape that she heads to an old friends house for a little R&R. And maybe a hot fling on the side. The instant attraction she feels when she gets near Riley are unmistakable. Problem is, Riley as been hurt and has become a reserved, lonely version of himself. Getting him to let go of his inhibitions and his guilt may take a little flirting and seduction, something Shellie has never been good at.
The book starts out with Shellie arriving on Riley’s farm. We are given a bit of background on the two and know immediately that they once shared an awkward kiss and the reasoning behind Riley’s guilt. I wanted to like him..wanted to love him…I love cowboys, even ones that don’t think that’s what they are. He was definitely drool worthy but I had trouble picturing him. I did really like his personality…the wounded man is something that gets me every time.
Shellie was a hard sell for me. Maybe it’s because I’m a total opinionated loud mouth but I could never imagine letting anyone, especially my family, walk all over me like she did her mom. So it’s not that I didn’t like Shellie, it’s just that we were so different. So the beginning of the book was a bit rocky for me. Some of it seemed hard to read, like sentences weren’t flowing right. It was odd because I didn’t have that trouble at all with the first book. I ended up re-reading several times to make sure I got the context and picture that Keri was conveying.
I did enjoy the love between Shellie and Riley. It was one of those long-lost but now reunited loves. Keri does and excellent job at the sexy scenes and making her readers squirm. I especially enjoyed the bathroom scene at a friends BBQ…wow. Shellie’s ability to make Riley tremble and let go of his past was definitely a page turner again and again.
Being a novella means you need to hurry along the story and get to the point. I think Keri does a great job with this without leaving me feeling like the plot was rushed. That’s a breath of fresh air really because I feel that way with novella’s a lot. She doesn’t sacrifice development of her characters in the story length at all. The only aspect I thought felt a bit “off” was Shellie wanting a flower shop. That seemed to come out of no where and with it being a novella, was never really delved into. Having said that, I hope Keri writes something full length in the future as I would like to see what she does with more time.
On The Fence is a good addition to the Apple Trail series with solid characters and a steady plot. Pick this one up for a short, fun read that will continue the story line first introduced in Through The Wall. Apple Trail….where you travel to might actually take you home.
I give On The Fence by Keri Ford 3 stars!