Clashing Hearts by Nicky James
Easton Campbell loves the farm and the land he grew up on. There is no place else he wants to live, but the farm isn’t doing well, and Easton fears it will just be a matter a time before he loses his home. However, if Easton is forced to sell, it won’t be to Lachlan Montgomery and his big city ideas and money. If only Easton could have known who Lachlan was before he kissed him.
Lachlan likes living in the city and he likes his money and his expensive clothes. He has no interest in driving hours to the country, but when his father, who is also his boss, says jump, Lachlan jumps. Lachlan has no choice but to make this deal and get Easton to sell, but Lachlan didn’t count on how stubborn Easton would be and also how hot he looks in his jeans and cowboy boots. The city is about to meet the country and sparks are gonna fly.
Clashing Hearts starts a new series by Nicky James and Easton and Lachlan’s story is up first. It’s a true opposites attract story with a dash of enemies to lovers mixed in. Easton loves his home and working the land, but money and time are not on his side. Wearing anything besides jeans, boots, and his cowboy hat is a struggle and Easton knows who he is and what he wants. Lachlan is the complete opposite in looks and wealth and attitude and, while the attraction and chemistry are there from the start, the men want exactly the opposite things as well, at least at the beginning.
This is a slow burn romance as Easton and Lachlan have a lot to work through and work towards when they first meet. It was easy to like Easton right away and, while Lachlan was tougher to take in the beginning, he does come around. Easton is proud and has a close relationship with his family. Lachlan works for his father, but his relationship is not at all similar. Lachlan’s father became somewhat of a caricature as the book went on. He never has one nice word to say to either Lachlan or his younger brother, Christian; we are only given short bursts of him yelling at them; and Lachlan, at the age of 38, keeps taking every single thing his father throws out at him. It’s one thing to be respectful, but at some point Lachlan could have stood up for himself or his younger brother.
While the main focus is the story of Easton and Lachlan, there are also several other storylines going on here. There is the story of young, neglected Percy, who spends time with Easton. There is a vandalism and homophobia plotline, and there is an underlying medical storyline as well. The threads of these stories were picked up and put down several times throughout the book, but there were details missing or some of the storylines were not fully realized.
I have read a number of books where the city guy falls for the country guy and it always seems to end the same way, so there were no surprises here. The draw here was watching Easton and Lachlan fall for each other despite their many differences. They got their happy ending and that was rewarding to see. There are several characters introduced that could have stories next. Books by Nicky James always have me taking a look, and Clashing Hearts would be a good choice for a small-town romance with a big heart.