Locking Horns

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Locking Horns

Lexi Cunningham was a city girl at heart even though she grew up on a horse farm in Charles Town, West Virginia. The farm consumed so much of her father's time that he had no time for his family whatsoever. This put a rift between all the Cunningham family members. Lexi's Mom took off with the gardener and ran off to Aruba to live her life. She severed her ties with her husband, Ray and her daughter, Lexi. Ray drove himself to work even harder on the farm and Lexi was annoyed beyond belief at everyone and everything that came in her path. That included Harlan Beckett, or Buddy as his friends called him. He had such a crush on Lexi in high school, but she wouldn't give him the time of day. Buddy never seemed to fully get over it though.

Thirteen years later, he would finally get his revenge for all the cruel things Lexi said to him. While leaving her Baltimore city life hanging, she rushed back to West Virginia when her father took a stroke. Needing intensive therapy to get him back to somewhat a normal life again, Lexi jumped in to help care for her father. Unfortunately, she was nabbed for speeding by one of the Charles Town police officers and part of her penalty was to do 100 hours of community service. She wasn't liking this very much, but she had no choice in the matter. The judge, Edmund Ruckenbeak, also another guy Lexi was mean and nasty to in high school, fixed her hide by setting up the community service at none other than Buddy Beckett's cattle ranch.

Comedy ensues throughout the story as Lexi starts volunteering her time to the cattle ranch. Everything she does or touches turns into a major disaster. She does more damage than good at Buddy's ranch. But as time passes, they both realize something about each other. Buddy realizes he is still in love with Lexi and she finally realizes what a good guy he is. She is regretful that she didn't give him a chance thirteen years ago. But now wasn't the right time to start a relationship. She wanted nothing to do with West Virginia once her father was well enough to care for himself and Buddy wasn't ready to leave West Virginia to go to Baltimore.

They have this chemistry together that keeps you hoping they end up together in the end. Even after all of Lexi's mishaps, they both realize they have feelings for each other, but Lexi is seriously torn. She is now able to leave West Virginia because her father is much better now and she is offered an opening position at Atlas Gym, the place she works at, as manager. But the position wasn't in Baltimore. She would need to move to Philadelphia. She is so excited about it, but apprehensive too because she knows the time she has with Buddy now is limited.

She does accept the Philly position, but finds out that it's nothing like she thought it would be. She's so sad and misses Buddy tremendously. She decides to invite him to this black tie event that's kicking off the opening of the Philly location. He accepts and she is so thrilled to be seeing him again. They enjoy the time they have together, but Buddy is extremely uncomfortable with the whole sophisticated situation. When they head back to her apartment finally, she asks him to stay the night. He politely tells her that it's only prolonging the inevitable and he thinks now is a good time to cut their losses and say goodbye. He promises her that he will settle things with the judge and have the rest of her community service taken care of for her. She is devastated, but won't let him see it. While he's traveling back home, he realizes the ache he felt in his heart thirteen years ago just got bigger and deeper. Ironically, he had his bag packed with clothes so he could have stayed the night with her.

Toward the end, Lexi realizes that the city life isn't what she wants anymore and gives up everything. She goes back to West Virginia hoping on a wing and a prayer that Buddy will take her back. When he sees her on his ranch again his hea

Book Blurb for Locking Horns

High school comes back to haunt Lexi Cunningham when she finds herself doing community service in Charles Town, West Virginia at Buddy Beckett's cattle ranch. Buddy was the school trouble-maker she had no time for. Now she has to make time for him - 100 hours of time to be exact.

Buddy Beckett's favorite fantasy thirteen years ago was arrogant, unapproachable Alexis Cunningham. Much to his delight, she's gotten herself into dutch with the law and her retribution includes cleaning stalls in his barn. Quite a come-down for the girl who considered herself better than everyone else in high school.

Thrown together in one crazy situation after another, Buddy and Lexi discover that life can toss some pretty big cow pies into the ring - including the big "L" word, Love.

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2007 4.50