Friday, January 9, 2015

Clay Hearts series - Betting the Farm / Stratting the Fence, by Annie Evans

A  few months ago, I entered one of those internet contests hosted by another blog via Rafflecopter…and I actually won! The author was generous to not only send me the book that I won, but the second book in the series as well. Me, being a dork, said thanks thinking it was the bloggers that sent it to me. *hangs head in shame!* When I realized it was the author, I was mortified! Seriously, an author sends you two books and you thank the wrong person?  GO ME! 

In my defense, it was peak traffic time in my office – the trifecta of college application deadlines, enrollment for the next semester, and upcoming final exams. Anxious students, multitasking on my part, dealing with more student crisis than should be allowed all meant I wasn’t paying close attention to my personal emails and you know, little details like who is sending me cool stuff. Period. Sorry. 

So, winter break, I finally get to sit down with these two novels and I LOVED THEM!

Betting the Farm

Betting The Farm focuses on Fritz Carter – the local farm-boy who was left behind by Kai when she went off to college. In Kai’s absence, Fritz and his two brothers have made their family farm successful and profitable. One night Fritz walks into their local bar to see none other than the woman who left him, and his hometown without looking back. Kai, back in town and staying with her parents after recently dumping her fiancĂ©, is trying to find herself. 

The two reconnect, but it’s not that easy going back. They have to confront their past before they can move forward. Of course, Kai’s mom is not happy. She has aspirations of Kai latching onto someone else’s big star. The Carter family, on the otherhand, couldn’t be more thrilled. With the help of Ruby, Fritz’s mom, Kai finds her place not only in Serenity, but back in Fritz’s life. The Carter family not only supports Kai and her goals, but is there emotionally where her own family is not. 

While I absolutely loved Kai’s spitfire personality and Fritz’s sweet demeanor, the one thing I didn’t get in this story was the “sharing”. I’ll say no more. 

The first book, while focusing on Fritz, also introduces you to the Carter family and the Fritz’s brothers, Eli and Sage.  

 Straddling the Fence

 In the second book in this series, Straddling the Fence, the eldest brother Eli is at a Rodeo one night when he spots a woman he finds attractive. He later sees her stomping over to the local liquor store. Bellamy was ready to drown her sorrows in a bottle of tequila and forget that she didn’t get the dream Veterinarian  job that she wanted, and instead, inherited her grandmother’s debilitated home and is taking over her uncle’s practice in the town of Serenity.  Eli approaches her, they start talking and after spending some time with this hot guy, she has a one night stand and forgets about her messed up life for the night. 

While back in Serenity, the Carter farm is doing well. Eli is venturing out into the cattle business when one night one of his cows is in labor and distress, he calls the local Vet for some assistance. MmmHmm. 
You guessed it – Bellamy! 

While she tries to avoid him and chalk up their one night as a fluke, he’s not willing to let her go. Eli realizes he has real feelings for Bell and sets out to not only discover what was making her upset the night they met, but how to keep her in his life. Ruby is no fool – she knows Eli is smitten and does what she can to make Bellamy a permanent member of the Carter clan! Bellamy is alone in Serenity - her parents are off traveling and she has no siblings. The Carter family again comes to the rescue bringing Bellamy into the fold and making her one of their own.

The two novels were really well written, and the second novel carried over some of the characters and story line from the first. While it’s not necessary to read them in order, it will help you understand the dynamics of this family.

Of course, there is one more Carter brother, and while I don’t see an update on the author’s website or Goodreads page, I’m hoping that the follow up with Sage is in the works. There’s definitely a story there. Kai's friend Grace has already admitted she's carrying a torch for Sage, and when he discovers she's hooked up with someone else for a night, Sage is broody. The drama and tension between Sage and Kai’s BFF Grace - you know something is up with him!

 Come on Annie – end my misery and get this story out soon!!  

Annie Evans is a new author and if her first two books are any indication, she has me as a fan for life! 

Want to read them for yourself:
Find them on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers. 
Visit her website at

About the Annie Evans: 

A simple country girl who adores living in the South, I enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, biking and working out with my hubby, reading, and, of course, writing. I believe the most important thing you can do for a child, outside of loving them unconditionally, is to put a book in their hands. My favorite authors include Flannery O’Conner, Harper Lee, Gillian Flynn, Megan Hart, Cara McKenna, and Anne Calhoun, just to name a few. You won’t find me on social media much because I think that’s time better spent writing, but I’d love to hear what you thought of my books, so shoot me a line.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Yvonne, just wanted to pop in to say THANK YOU for reading and reviewing my books. I'm so glad you enjoyed them both. Just so you know, I am working on Sage and Grace's book, but I've been dealing with some personal issues so the writing is slow-going. But I promise I will give you their story soon!
    Happy Reading!