On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
In my quest to complete the Literary Escapes Challenge this year, I pulled this book from my huge Kindle TBR shelf.
The Ivy Tree
Contemporary Women’s Fiction / Romance
Setting – Oklahoma
Hardcover : 192 pages
ISBN-10 : 0803494661
ISBN-13 : 978-0803494664
Paperback : 158 pages
ISBN-10 : 147783169X
ISBN-13 : 978-1477831694
Kindle Print length : 160 pages
ASIN : B00DTTW5SE
After his rodeo accident, Truman James was just going home to his grandmother’s farmhouse to stay a few weeks while his broken leg healed. He surely didn’t expect to be awakened the first morning he was there by a snaggle-toothed kid and his sassy Irish mother, who’d moved right into the house with him.
Allie McCleary wouldn’t have ever consented to move to Dougherty, Oklahoma, if she’d known Truman had the freedom to use the house, too. And she sure didn’t expect Truman James to be the magic she’d been searching for since her husband was killed five years before.
The rest is what happens when you cross a handsome-beyond-words bull rider with a mostly-Irish lass with a temper to match her rich chestnut brown hair and mossy green eyes. It’s the story of an old ivy-covered elm tree in the corner of the yard, sitting in dormancy like Allie’s heart and rooted deep in the rich ranch soil, like Truman’s soul.
Will they realize that the real fight lies within their hearts? Although they’re as mismatched as oil and water, they have fallen in love. Can either of them admit it?
Allie McCleary lost her husband, Taylor, five years ago and she really lost herself as well. Her grandmother Emma, and her friend, Bert thought relocating may help ease her pain and help her move on. So Allie and her seven-year-old son Linc packed up and moved to the country, Dougherty, Oklahoma, into an old farmhouse owned by Bert.
Truman James has been on the rodeo circuit for many years but was thrown off a bull, the bull rolled with him, and “a couple of tons of weight landed on his leg” and broke it. Out of commission for at least 6 weeks he decides to visit his grandmother’s farm knowing there is plenty of work to keep him busy and her meals would surely help him to heal up faster. He never expected that his grandma wouldn’t be home and that a bossy Irish woman and her kid would be living in her house. They both called their grandmothers and were basically told “suck it up buttercup”. Then both women packed their bags and left on a cruise.
These characters were very engaging. Allie is a strong woman and had her guard up not wanting to get hurt again. She hopes a new man much like Taylor will come along in his three-piece suit carrying his briefcase and sweep her off her feet. Until then she will keep painting her coffee shop pictures and focus on her son Linc. Linc is a normal seven-year-old kid bursting with energy and talking a mile a minute. He loves living on the farm especially after Truman arrives with his horse. Truman is more laid back and he sure likes to push Allie’s buttons. He may settle down someday with a quiet country girl that is a “short little blonde who comes just up to his shoulder and will make a whole house full of kids just like him”. The banter between Allie and Tru was entertaining and their attraction sparks right from the start. I really liked the way Truman did things with Linc, telling him stories, taking him horseback riding, and teaching him how to care for the horse. He even gives the little boy a very special gift.
The ivy tree was such a great theme throughout the story. Allie is drawn to the tree and sets aside the flower paintings that are sold in coffee shops to paint the tree and it wasn’t easy. She wants to get the squirrels that live in the ivy-covered elm just perfect and the ivy needs to be just right. Later she wants it to carry the memory of a special day. Then one day she has an epiphany realizing that the tree symbolizes her life. Truman has one as well.
I am not sure exactly what year the author set this story in but the fact that the characters did not have cell phones and that Garth Brooks and Billy Ray Cyrus‘ early hits were mentioned along with some of the fashion choices I would say the late 80s or early 90s.
The Ivy Tree is a heartwarming feel-good story where the characters realize what they need is right before their eyes. A quick read with a delightfully happy ending. Ms. Brown’s books are always a nice little escape.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
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*This book was purchased and is part of my personal collection.