At Bluegrass Bend Ivy Tucker runs Healing Hills where horses are used as a healing technique to help people who’ve suffered traumatic events. But Ivy is still dealing with the aftermath of her own life-threatening event.

Meanwhile Ronny Sinclair is released from prison after murdering a man who seriously assaulted Ivy.

Fate throws them Ivy and Ronny together. Ronny doesn’t reveal who he really is and with Ivy trying to build her trust in a world that let her down values are about to be tested.

Can Ivy learn to trust again with Ronny and find the love she so desperately seeks?

Bluegrass Bend was an enjoyable read. I was really pulled in by the story and Mandy makes Ivy and Ronny believable and relatable characters. She builds an empathy for both characters.

The friendship and subsequent love between Ivy and Ronny builds slowly and I was drawn into the inevitable tension as the story developed.

I definitely felt the connection between Ivy and Ronny and Mandy does a great job in showing both their growing emotional and physical attraction although some of the love scenes came across as a bit too sweet.

Mandy’s style is fun, light-hearted, tense and funny where it needs to be and she does a great job in creating likeable characters (except Amy!).

The secondary characters of Lottie and Larry played an important role in Bluegrass Bend and were developed well. Unlike some books, Bluegrass Bend didn’t have too many other characters that you had to try and keep track of.

Mandy’s descriptive accounts of Bluegrass Bend were small enough to paint a compelling picture without going overboard on excessive detail.

As I’m not a horsey person, I was pleased that there wasn’t a lot of scenes about horses.

Ivy is a great heroine, however, I did feel she didn’t give Ronny enough of a chance to explain who he really was and why he lied.

Both Ivy and Ronny have strong goals and life-like personalities. I really felt for the hard knocks Ronny had received in life.

Bluegrass Bend was strong in plot with a few sub plots that weren’t distracting in any way.

The overall theme of trust was tested throughout the story and Ivy and Ronny were strong enough to give love another chance.

The ending was perfect and romantic!

For writers:

This was a good study in showing how well an author has developed character goals, arcs, motivations, fears, wounds and false beliefs. Backstory was sprinkled throughout which was good as we learnt more about the relationship between Ivy and her mother rather than it being info dumped.

For readers:

A light, but entertaining read. Great for a lazy weekend or summer time.

This was the first Mandy Magro book I’ve read. She is obviously a popular author having now written a number of books. I look forward to reading more of her books.

PS: I tweeted Mandy to say I was reading Bluegrass Bend and she replied back! Nice!