„Hearts Aflame” is a beautiful Bella Books style lesbian romance that this time involves a farm in Arizona that one of the main characters inherits, it’s a cute Western tale with many cowboy’s metaphors and glimpses of their lives.

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Our two main characters are : Krista Whyler and Dr. Rae Barrett.

Krista  has a real estate business that’s working very well in the big city, yet she works to much and has no one to share with her success nor her auburn beauty, but her friend Suzanne. She had a wonderful childhood at the Whyler ranch thanks to her aunt Judith and uncle „tio” Clinton, yet on her road to success she forgot to come back to her roots and hasn’t been visiting her uncles’ for fifteen years and now she comes back because her aunt Judith is really sick and asked for her help. She leaves her business on Suzannes’ hands and finds the ranch have gotten old, her aunt quite bad and her uncle seems to have memory leaks, while the financial situation looks pretty bad and Krista thinks of selling it, but her aunt Judith doesn’t want to hear about it, yet asks Krista to work together with a stranger, Rae –Dr. Rae Barrett.

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Rae is a veterinarian and has worked for the Whylers for five years now and cared very much about their horses and cattle, yet they have gotten old and cannot take care of the ranch, that’s why Judith asked her to work together with her niece, Krista, to save it from being sold or becoming a ruin.

Rae is the typical cowgirl style, an athletic body, cowboy clothes like : worn jeans and cozy shirts and boots and hat, her life has been good, professionaly she’s doing very well, helped by her assistant Lindsay, yet her private life was bad, especially when her former girlfriend Shannon has lost her life during a car accident while they were fighting and she drove. Rae didn’t loved Shannon, yet she cared very much about her and felt very guilty about what had happened, she felt vulnerable and hasn’t been into a relationship for three years.

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When Rae and Krista first met, fireworks sparkle through daylight, because Krista doesn’t want Rae involved in her family business and because Krista feels so much sexually attracted to Rae has the opposite reaction : she rejects her and treats her pretty harsh, so that Rae believes she hates her,while Krista feels something she has never felt  before and runs away from it.

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After a sexual endeavor with a stranger, Krista comes up with the idea to make the ranch a dude ranch, so people from all over the country come there and have the chance to live the life at a ranch for a couple of days with real cowboys and real cattle and farm horses. It does work, but Krista needs Rae along especially because of her fear of horses after a childhood accident and because she hasn’t enough cowboys to help through. The group has various members and of course one is very attracted to Rae and Krista is very much jealous, yet her feelings for Rae grow stronger, but she behaves worse because of the jealousy.

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Rae seems to have singing talent and I loved the image where Rae sings at night in the forest and Krista watches her incognito.

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They have a bad cowboy that had issues before and have incidents, also Krista walks on Rae with the other woman, but Rae denied her proposal, because of her own feelings for Krista, yet three years is a long time and she finds release in the other woman’s hands, short live though. After the incident with the cowboy and because aunt Judith is feeling worse and seems to be in a coma, Krista and Rae head back to the ranch, leaving one cowboy in charge with the group. Rae’s tent was cut by the problematic cowboy and somehow they need to sleep in Krista’s tent. They are to close and cannot deny their feelings at this point, they kiss, lean into each other and make love, Rae starting it all, yet afterwards she runs away and sleeps in the rain, because she’s afraid of commitment and because of the scars of the past. Krista doesn’t know nor understand and cries and their relationship grows colder.

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They arrive at the ranch and Judith dies a couple of days later and Krista needs Rae so much now that Rae cannot deny and thanks to the nurse taking care of uncle Clinton they are able to go and take the group back to the ranch safe and sound, yet Rae keeps running away from Krista, even when Lindsay tells her she’ll go out with Krista if Rae is not interested, Rae sees them on the date and grows jealous,yet Lindsay knows the two of them are very much in love with each other and she does it on purpose to make Rae jealous and realize her feelings for Krista and get over Shannon’s death.

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Lindsay, one day, takes Krista to Rae’s home and leaves them both to talk. Surprisingly or not, Krista seems more down to earth and bolder and asks Rae to speak about Shannon and her fears and reassures Rae she’s not going anywhere and prepares a bath for Rae and washer her hair and then of course, they end up in the bedroom and spend the night and the morning after together. Many happy endings.

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I loved the novel, very romantic and erotic and loved Krista’s uppsettings and Rae’s good manners, yet I expected Rae to take the initiative, especially at the end, i know she needed to be rescued and to show that stubbornness of cowgirls, yet Krista seemed more real and knowing what and whom she wants as she gives up her big city life and moves at the Whyler ranch for good and for Rae.

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