Ed has lost his place in the racing world because of a gambling scandal. He is down and out, drinking more than living. Maggie Anderson is in need of his skills in the racing world to start a racing horse stable and breeding program. She finds him but will it be worth it? Not only is she gambling on her and her children's future, she's gambling that Ed can clean himself up and help her. To add to her burden someone is trying to get her land and will stop at nothing to do it including murder if necessary. Who is it and why do they want her small farm?
Wow! I love how Adriana Kraft has remade Ed into a likable character. At the end of Cassie's Hope Ed was a player and a jerk. Now Ed has grown up and become the man he had been hiding from the world. He's not a sweetheart but he has become humble and sees the world from the bottom of the pile. He decides he can, and will, change. He misses the racing world. He misses the track. He knows even though he is helping Maggie build a stable and teaching her and her children that he still cannot go to the track. But he will do his best by her. He makes a commitment to her and keeps it.
I like Maggie. She is strong and often gets her way. Her children, Carolyn and Johnny, are good kids. They are starting their teen years and need a man around. Johnny worships Ed and takes the lessons Ed teaches to heart. When he gets hurt, he is so afraid that Ed will no longer allow him around the horses. Carolyn also tries to use her feminine wiles on Ed and he acts just like a father. I love how it leads to a mother-daughter talk between Carolyn and Maggie. There is an openness and honesty between them that is wonderful.
Maggie does not hide her attraction to Ed. He is freaked by it and runs away but eventually remembers his commitment to the stable and returns where they have a talk and a truce. The heat between them still simmers though.
When troubles arise on the farm Maggie is ready to let Ed go so he is not injured by the troubles. Ed will not go. He plays the protector whether Maggie wants it or not. There are times when I wanted to smack Maggie up along side her head. Her trust in Ed is low. His trust isn't much higher but he does trust her more than she trusts him. Fortunately she had her daughter and her brother to point out the error of her ways.
Heat Wave is an excellent continuation of the series. I loved Ed and Maggie. I loved what they built with the farm and their love. Cannot wait for book 3.