Saturday, March 7, 2015

Betting on Hope by Debra Clopton (Review, Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Betting on Hope
by Debra Clopton
A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance, Book 1
Christian Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Available February 2015
Thomas Nelson
320 pages

About the Book
A bet gone wrong. A small town’s meddling. And a cowboy intent on saving his ranch.

Maggie Hope is an advice columnist whose background leaves her with little advice to give . . . and it’s beginning to show. When Maggie fills in at an interview with champion horse trainer Tru Monahan, the on-camera chemistry between them is undeniable. Maggie’s bosses know this is the opportunity she's been looking for to launch her career—and their bank accounts. In order to save her column, Maggie takes Tru up on the bet that he can teach her to ride a quick-stepping cutting horse like any cowgirl, despite the fact that she has never been on a horse. And in the meantime, she can get the scoop on the man under the cowboy hat.

Tru has been on the competition circuit for longer than he’d like, but he knows it's the only way he can afford to keep the Four of Hearts Ranch that means so much to his ailing grandfather. So when his sponsors see the opportunity for Tru’s fans to get to know the star on a more intimate level, he knows he must oblige. To his dismay, Maggie not only invades his small town of Wishing Springs, but she also invades his heart, and that is something he cannot let any woman do—for her own good.

In Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart’s desires.

Buy a copy  |  Find out what others think

My Thoughts
Betting on Hope was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Let me get my "negatives" out of the way first . . .
  • My biggest hangup with this book was the way the relationship between Tru and Maggie (the main two characters) developed. During the first half of the book, I felt like everything was solely focused on looks. Beyond that, the romantic feelings didn't really make sense to me. As a friendship progressed between the two (particularly in the last fourth of the book), there were still times I didn't understand the motivations behind their actions. Perhaps more showing (instead of so much telling) would have helped move this relationship along better.
  • There was WAY too much going on. There were probably a dozen story lines carried on throughout the book, and at least six of them were primary stories. I felt like this hindered story development at times.
  • Finally, I was surprised by the number of grammatical errors throughout. I don't fault the author, but the publisher. Comma placement (or lack thereof) was my biggest frustration.

Now then . . . on to the positives. I've read a couple of other books by Debra Clopton and really enjoyed them. Betting on Hope has the potential to set up Wishing Springs as the next Mule Hollow . . . and that's a good thing!
  • I loved the small-town charm of Wishing Springs! It's a small town in the country in Texas. Small town + middle of nowhere + western = a winner. 
  • Beyond Maggie and Tru (who were very likeable), Wishing Springs is home to quite a few fascinating characters. Clara Lyn and Reba are compassionate busybodies (if that's possible). The twins who switch out as mayor were hilarious. And the vet with the pig who has a great bedside manner was definitely unique! My favorite, though, was Jenna. Her story was so poignant and emotional, but truly hopeful. Maggie grew a lot through knowing Jenna, which made their relationship special.
  • The author set up the rest of the series perfectly with Betting on Hope! I'm assuming that the next books will feature Tru's brothers, who I am quite intrigued by. And I'm desperate to know more about Rand. There just seems like there's a ton of back story there that hasn't come out. I need to know more!

Although this is a bit of a mixed review, I definitely am glad I read Betting on Hope and plan to read the upcoming books in the series. [3.5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist and has written more than 22 novels. Along with writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra's goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words.

Debra Clopton Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

Saddle up for a new romance from novelist Debra CloptonBetting on HopeIn Wishing Springs, Maggie finds what she has always been looking for: a community and a home. But when her past catches up to her, it threatens everything, even the tender hope that this town holds all of her heart’s desires.

Enter to win a Kindle Fire HD 6 to celebrate the release of Betting on Hope


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of Betting on Hope
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 8th. Winner will be announced March 9th on Debra's blog.



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