“Plots and Pans” is written by Kelly Eileen Hake, daughter of Cathy Marie Hake. It is a stand-alone book and was published on April 1, 2014 by Barbour Publishers.
Jessalyn Culpepper has been wounded in her past when her ranching father sent her away from their Texas homestead to an English boarding school, in hopes that she would become a fine young lady like her late mother was. Jessalyn constantly misbehaves and wants desperately to go home; when her father dies, she makes that trip.
Tucker Carmichael has worked on the Culpepper’s land for a least half a decade. When his boss dies, he inherits an unexpected portion of the land, alongside Ed, the boss’s son and Jessalyn’s brother. When she returns one night, he is surprised to see how much she has grown, but is wary of giving her any jobs on the land because he wants to protect her. She continues rebelling against the rules, and because her brother left on a business trip, he’s put in charge of her.
This book reminded me of “Fancy Pants” by Cathy Marie Hake in some ways, so I would not recommend reading the two back-to-back or you may get confused. Overall, though, this was a decent story. I really enjoyed the background information on Jess; it helped me feel her pain and understand her. Tucker was a lot shadier on how he came to work with the Culpeppers and his family background and upbringing, but still was a fairly solid character. The plot was mainly about the characters finding themselves and each other, and while that is good and I did not put it down, it’s not something so magnificent I would read it again. It begins slowly but remains pretty steady throughout the book, except towards the end where the resolution super-speeds up to the closing. The setting was your typical Western ranch, but it and the dialogue were good. I would recommend this book as a simple yet heartfelt read.
Thank you so much to Net Galley and Barbour Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.