Born to be My Baby (Canyon Creek, CO #1) by Lori Ryan & Kay Manis
A homecoming he never wanted ...
Ben Sumner left the suffocating small town of Canyon Creek, Colorado ten years ago, and never looked back. Not for more than a visit. Even though his family helped found the town and owned a large piece of the mountain at its center, he always felt out of place.
His father’s death has changed that, bringing him home to discover his parents leveraged everything to build a lodge on the family’s property. Ben knows cutting costs is the only way to keep the bank from foreclosing on his family’s legacy. There’s only one person standing in his way: Maggie Lawrence, the high school crush who’d never spared him a glance. She might be just as beautiful as she was ten years earlier, but he’ll do whatever it takes to stop her.
Maggie Lawrence fought harder than most to get to where she is today. She’s overcome her father’s cruel taunts and jeers, and found a place where she belongs. At the Lodge at Canyon Creek, she’s a valued part of the staff, and practically a member of the Sumner family.
When the lodge owner, John Sumner suddenly dies, she’ll do everything in her power to carry on John’s dream, even if that means fighting the oh-so-sexy Ben Sumner every step of the way.
I felt like this book had more to do with the family dynamic of the Sumner’s than it did the romance between Maggie and Ben.
Maggie and Ben were definitely a big part of the story, but it really centered around how the boys react to the death of their father, how they choose to honor his wishes and whether they’ll support their mother’s dream of keeping the lodge going. None of them, in my opinion, were very supportive and not very accommodating. I was a little unclear as to why the boys were calling the shots anyway and why Valerie didn’t just make the decisions around the lodge. They were her kids! Lay down the parental law!
Maggie has a lot invested in keeping the lodge going. It supports her monetarily and allows her to pay for her father’s care. Valerie gives her the motherly support that she’s been craving and the running of the lodge gives her a sense of accomplishment. I thought she was sweet. She was good at what she did for the lodge and a lot smarter than she’d always been told. I still don’t get why she was intimidated by the Sumner’s. John and Valerie showed how much they obviously valued and trusted her by allowing her to take on such an important role in the lodge.
Ben and Maggie end up circling each other with neither of them ready to make the first move to say how they feel about each other. They spend a lot of time in their own heads and not really talking to each other. I wanted them to depend on each other, to open up to each other. Ben was better at baring himself to Maggie than she was with him. She didn’t tell him even the tiniest bit of why she felt the way she did about her father or why the lodge was so important to her. She never confided in him the reasons for her self doubt, while he explained to her the complicated history between he and his father.
Valerie and the aunts provide some humor and Emmett is surprisingly supportive of his mother’s dream and Maggie, but ultimately, I’d have liked to see more from Maggie and Ben.