There’s something about a horse barn in the early morning hours that makes my heart full. I love walking into the barn hearing the horses chewing on the sweet alfalfa and feeling their contentment. This is where I feel most like myself, this is where I am no longer Paige Vandenberg, daughter of millionaires or the chubby rich girl. I am just me and I am free.
I have been raised around horses my whole life. My parents own a large horse farm in the picturesque Dutch town of Lynden, Washington. Lynden sits just a few miles south of the Canadian border and truly is a small town. My family is one of the oldest families and we own or have owned practically everything. You can’t drive down the main road and not see Vandenberg scrolled on something. For many people I’m sure this sounds wonderful, but to me it’s a prison. One in which I fully intend to break free of next year when I leave for college. I will miss my family and of course my horses but I will not miss the people, and especially not resident bad boy Cutter Daniels. I hate him.
*Warning contains sexual content and coarse language. Mature audiences only 18+ years old.*
I love books where the chemistry between the lead characters leap off the page and affect me, and Love and Hate did exactly that. Paige is the rich daughter of a couple who own a horse ranch and is a beautiful girl inside and out…even if she isn’t a size 2. She has very loving parents and a good group of supportive friends. So, you would think she had a “perfect” life, right? Wrong…she is the target of Cutter Daniels and his brother, Cooper’s, hateful taunts and name calling. She tries to steer clear of them in their small town which isn’t always easy, so she is looking forward to going away to college. Paige seems to be flourishing at college, making new friends and pledging a sorority. However, it doesn’t last long when she runs into Cutter Daniels. As her luck would have it, he is attending the same college that she is. She again tries to avoid him, but he seems to be seeking her out. A friendship develops between them, but as they spend more time together, Paige finds herself falling for the bad boy. He seems to be falling for her too, but does he have ulterior motives, or are his feelings real?
Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. The angst and chemistry between Paige and Cutter was mesmerizing. I felt butterflies in my stomach when these two were even close to each other. I started out not liking Cutter very much. He was a jerk to her when she was a child. But, holy crap, he is one fine specimen of a man. There aren’t many women who could resist his sexy charm. By the end, he had me under his spell as he did every other woman in the book. And Paige, one of my favorite female characters EVER! She isn’t your stereotypical rich girl; she has so much substance and such a sweet, loving heart. Her heart is just as beautiful as she is on the outside.
Again, the push and pull between this couple is explosive! It’s not just a romance, but there is a lot of conflict, angst, anger, and tears. It does end in a bit of a cliffhanger, but not a major one that will rock your world. As I write this, I went right ahead, downloaded the second book, Love and Hate Book 2, Love. I am in the middle of reading it right now, and let me say….WOW!!! I am so glad I found J.J. Dorn!
**ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review**
J.J. Dorn lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and terrifyingly maniacal cat, Pippa Kiddleton. She currently owns three American Paint Horses. She has been riding and competing since she was a very young child. J.J. competes on a national level with her horses. When she isn’t spending time at the barn, she is busy working on her next novel.