Baker Publishing Group|May 1, 2013|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7642-0975-8
When Meg Cole’s father dies unexpectedly, she becomes the majority shareholder of his oil company and the single inheritor of his fortune. Though Meg is soft-spoken and tender-hearted – more interested in art than in oil – she’s forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of her father’s empire.
The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father’s thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter six months to close the place down.
Bo’s determined to resent the woman who’s decided to rob him of his dream. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him a profound desire to protect. The more time he spends with her, the more he longs to overcome every obstacle that separates them – her wealth, his unworthiness, her family’s outrage – and earn the right to love her.
But just when Meg begins to realize that Bo might be the one thing on the ranch worth keeping, their fragile bond is viciously broken by a force from Meg’s past. Can their love – and their belief that God can work through every circumstance – survive?
William Cole was an oil man and very rich but unfortunately he was now dead. His daughter Meg always said he was a lousy father but very good at being rich. Now that he was gone it was up to Meg to step forward and pick up the reins of the business but Meg had different plans.
Being home at Whispering Creek Ranch is not where Meg wanted to be. She’s just spent two weeks with Cole Oil Advisors undergoing a crash course on the family holdings. They also counselled her on Whispering Creek Ranch which included the family home and her father’s horse farm. The advisors urged her to release the Whispering Creek employees who had fit into her father’s life-style but couldn’t possibly fit into her own. As a result, Meg had already fired three people this morning and she fired her father’s chauffer – she didn’t need one. Next on her list was to fire Mr. Bo Porter who ran the thoroughbred horse farm.
Mr. Porter arrived at her office and Meg was nervous and full of anxiety. When he walked into her office he was a lot younger than she though he’d be. Looking at him, Meg pegged him at around thirty to thirty-three. She also noticed he was very handsome. Meg said that she regretted to tell him that she was closing down the horse farm and offered him a severance package worth ‘triple’ what normally one would receive. Bo wasn’t interested in looking at the severance package and informed Meg that he had twenty employees working for him. Meg made it clear that all employees were to receive the same severance package in order to ensure people had ample time to find new jobs. Meg then told Bo they were to sell her father’s ninety horses. A few minutes later, Bo walked back into Meg’s office and said he couldn’t do it – sell the horses. He told her if he had six more months, then he could break even rather than losing money. Meg wasn’t happy but her resolve was slipping fast and before she knew it she told him, yes he could have six months but no more. Bo had one more request that Meg come out and see the horse farm for herself. Although she hated horses she agreed.
Giving up the horse farm was going to be very difficult for Bo. As farm manager he got paid well and he put in twelve hour days, woke at the crack of dawn, and thought about horses 24/7 because it was his dream job.
Bo was thinking about Meg Cole. When he’d heard people gossiping about her, he’d pictured her as a “Paris Hilton type of person.” She did look rich and she must have spent two hours getting ready that morning. Her make-up could have come straight out of a magazine ad. As much as Meg looked the part, there had been something about her that had struck him as strange for a rich girl, something he’d sensed more than seen. Beneath her appearance he detected an uncertainty, a vulnerability about her. This was bad news for him because he was a sucker for vulnerability and it made him want to protect her. Bo thought this was laughable since she was the one with all the money and power. She was the one firing him from his job. And yet he stood there in the mansion’s office, fighting the urge to help and comfort her.
Bo had asked Meg to visit the ranch because he had a small hope that she might soften if she could see the place for herself, meet the staff and spend time with the horses. Over the new few months he could take her out on rides, escort her to the owner’s box at the track for races, explain to her why her father had liked it so much, and show her the farm’s earning projections over the next decade. For the sake of the people who worked at the farm, he had to try.
Meg was under so much stress and was feeling anxious. Her Uncle Michael had arrived who was her father’s youngest brother. He’d just spent thirty minutes explaining an oil and gas exploration deal that Cole Oil was in the middle of negotiating. Michael told Meg not to worry that he was going to look out for her and her best interests, no matter what. But an iron grew around Meg’s chest, and her pulse quickened. She needed to escape. Quickly, she made her excuses and let herself out.
The day arrived for Meg to visit the horse farm. She was dreading it. When she arrived, Bo had all of his employees lined up to meet her. She took the time to shake each person’s hand and say a few words to them. Bo then began his tour of the stables and the horses telling Meg little stories about each one. When they were done, Meg realized that her anxiety was gone “like a wisp of smoke.” Her stomach was easy, her nerves steady, and her heartbeat and respiration were normal. Astonished, she moved her gaze to Bo. HE had done this, she realized. Bo Porter had stilled the roiling inside her. She couldn’t believe it. What therapy, antacids, breathing techniques, and hours of self-talk had not been able to do for her, HE’D done. This person she scarcely knew. She just wanted to stand next to him and gratefully drink in the calm.
Soon both Meg and Bo were having deep feelings for each other but they kept their thoughts to themselves. Meg is thinking that she could never have a relationship with an employee of hers and Bo is thinking Meg would believe he was just after her money. Finally, Meg decides she can no longer hide how she really feels but something terrible happens. Can their relationship – and their belief in God work through every circumstance and will they both survive?
Undeniably Yours was an utterly delicious and beautiful read. The characters were so well drawn out that I felt I knew each of them personally and could draw a picture in my mind of what each of them looked like. I will definitely be recommending this scrumptious novel to everyone and plan on reading this one a second time.
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”