This book had a promising start. A bank robber is shot dead by FBI Special Agent, Pilar Campos. The dead man's brother, Boone, vows the ultimate revenge – her death: a life for a life. She is then forced into hiding until such time her safety can be guaranteed. Her boss decides that the ranch belonging to her working partner's brother, Amos, would be the perfect hideout, but Pilar is, independent, argumentative, feisty and not always compliant and somewhat irregular methods have to be adopted in order to get her to the ranch. Once there, despite her annoyance at her abduction (however well-intentioned), she finds herself becoming endeared to her new environment and beloved by all on the ranch; not only is she smart and spunky, but she has an uncanny knack of being able to be 'communicate' with the four-legged residents of the ranch. Beloved by all, however, except Amos himself…….at first.
The story had good components, but I felt the proportion allotted to the somewhat predictable love-hate relationship between Pilar and Amos was greater than it needed to be; I was waiting for the action surrounding the contract on her life by the brother of the man she killed and his attempts to find her, but the drama was rather hurriedly condensed into the last 15-20% of the book and Pilar's reaction to the revenge taken by Boone was not what I would have expected after those nearest, and most definitely dearest, to her were targeted by him.
There were some slightly distracting changes of tense in parts of the story, along with random changes of POV that added to the inconsistency.
I did however like the characters – they were diverse, well-conceived and the balance between the good, the bad, the genial and good-hearted was just right. My instinct however was to get a spoon and stir the novel up a bit to reduce the spicy concentration and add more boil and bubble!