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Small town. Big secrets. Welcome to Sweet Ridge.

Gage Cooper has always wanted a particular piece of family land. Not only for the oil on the property but to prove to his father that Gage’s past doesn’t define his future. When his dad wills the land to stranger Charlotte Wilkinson and all Gage gets is a mysterious key, he’s determined to do anything to get his rightful inheritance back.

Charlotte Wilkinson never expected to inherit a piece of property in Sweet Ridge, Texas –the Aussie businesswoman is focused on building an environmental analyst career in America. But the moment arrogant oil-man Gage Cooper walks into her office accusing her of seducing his father, all plans for selling the property to him fly out the window.

Then fate threatens to send her back to Australia and the dueling duo are forced to accept a fake marriage to keep their dreams alive. But as they discover common ground, and a surprising chemistry together, suddenly Gage must decide what’s worth more: the land he’s always coveted or a future with Charlotte?

Titles in the multi-author series, Sweet Texas Secrets include – Sweet Texas Kiss by Monica Tillery – Sweet Texas Fire by Nicole Flockton – Sweet Texas Charm by Robyn Neeley

Title:  Sweet Texas Fire
Series:  Sweet Texas Secrets #2
Author:  Nicole Flockton
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  March 10, 2020
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Sweet Texas Fire brings us the second story in the multi-author series (trilogy) of Sweet Texas Secrets.  The Cooper brothers got quite a surprise at the reading of their father’s will, not only did they not get what they expected but what they saw as rightfully theirs was given to three unexpected women.  Their father might have been delusional or matchmaking but none of them was taking this calmly – least of all Gage.

Charlotte and Gage certainly got off on the wrong foot because of the will, but also because they are seemingly worlds apart in professions.  She is a protector of the land and expects oilmen, like Gage, to do their drilling mindfully which means following regulations.  He is a man hellbent on proving himself to others and sees Charlotte’s concerns as a coverup for duping his father into leaving her the land and home he expected to be his.  Toss in some very angry accusations along with a green card emergency and you’ll find Gage and Charlotte right smack in the middle of it all.

I liked this couple, sure they both have a temper and often refuse to see what is right in front of their faces, but their chemistry felt real and their move from enemies to friends to lovers felt smooth and realistic to me.  I also really enjoyed a secondary thread in this story – which I can’t say much about because of possible spoilers – but that certainly made Gage and even his father seem less set in their ways, and admittedly, stubborn.  Watching this couple find the middle ground, let go of their assumptions, and really begin to like and understand each other was an enjoyable journey.

I would not hesitate to recommend Sweet Texas Fire to any reader who loves an enemy to lovers trope or a marriage of convenience story – but the love story is very real, it’s just going to take these two a bit of time before they figure that out.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Tule Publishing. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in paperback and for the Kindle