The Heart of Texas - R.J. Scott You know when you read a really great book and you just don't know how to explain it? Well, that's how I feel right now. I absolutely love this book to death. My emotions were so invested in this story that I honestly didn't want it to end even with how much I was crying over it. Lol

Riley Hayes is young, rich and successfully working at Hayes Oil but he has a carefree life. He's extremely pissed off when his father requires him to stay married to someone he loves for a whole year before he can claim his rightful portion of Hayes Oil. In retaliation to his father's demand, he seeks out Jack Campbell, a rancher and the son of his father's enemy. Jack Campbell hates the Hayes family as much as the Hayes hate the Campbells. When Riley asks to pay Jack to be his husband for a whole year, Jack says no. In response, Riley resorts to blackmail to get Jack to play along. It's a hardship for the two, acting like a loving couple in public, trying to convince everyone they're in love but hating each other behind closed doors. It doesn't take long before Riley's dad and brother start causing trouble for the two but in the process Riley and Jack become closer, slowly working through the hatred that consumed the start of their relationship and turning it into love while they stick together to get through life-changing events.

From the start I loved Riley and Jack. There's just something about them that draws you into the story. While Riley might seem like a monster for forcing Jack into marriage, he's really not. He's sweet and nice at heart and the actions he does indirectly show that. Jack is about the sweetest man you'll ever meet. His life revolves around his family and his ranch and he'll do whatever he can to keep both safe. Overtime, Riley becomes his family, too, and it's just really sweet what Jack will do for all of them. It made me cry at times, lol.

The plot is good. Outside of the characters, it kept me riveted and I just couldn't put it down once I started it. The things that Jeff, Riley's brother, and Gerald, Riley's father, do just because Riley married a Campbell were so heart-breaking to me but interesting at the same time. I especially liked the process Riley went through as he was figuring out who he really is and how he handles certain things he learns. I loved the secondary characters, even the ones I hated. Beth, Jack's sister, was my favorite of them, most likely because I just felt so sad for what she's been through. How she has a heart defect and then getting raped and pregnant made me feel for her all the more.

Overall, this was an awesome book. Whether you like cowboys are not, this is a must read and I recommend it to absolutely everyone. thumbs-up-2