Forty years ago, sixteen-year-old high school student Carol Franklyn was madly in love with a bad boy cowboy with an irresistible smile and sexy swagger. The day he asked her to meet him at the local hangout, the Main Street Diner, Carol thought all her dreams had come true. What she didn’t know was that she had become a pawn in a cruel and manipulative game that would spin her life painfully off course.
Now happily married to a man who loves her unconditionally, Carol is finally ready to share her painful past, but will she be believed? And can she be forgiven when she faces two of Marietta’s most powerful, tight-knit families?
Carol has lost so much. But this Christmas, she hopes she can find two puzzle pieces of her past and sets out on a journey, hoping she will finally be healed, not once again hurt.
Titles in the 85th Copper Mountain Rodeo series include — Take Me Please, Cowboy by Jane Porter —♥— Tempt Me Please, Cowboy by Megan Crane —♥— Marry Me Please, Cowboy by Sinclair Jayne —♥— Promise Me Please, Cowboy by CJ Carmichael —♥— The Untold Story of Carol Bingley by Jane Hartley —♥—
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
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Title: The Untold Story of Carol Bingley
Series: The 85th Copper Mountain Rodeo #5
Author: Jane Hartley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Modern Western Romance
Published: September 27, 2023
Publisher: Tule Publishing
My Rating: 4.5
If you’ve spent any time over the past decade in Marietta, Montana then you know who Carol Bingley is. If the 85th Copper Mountain Rodeo series is your first introduction to her, then you’ve had a taste of what Carol has been like over the years, a bit toned down but still a well-known gossip and often mean girl of this small town. I think most long-time readers of this amazing fictional town’s many stories have (as I have) wondered why Carol is… well, the rather nasty piece of work that she is. Or, maybe I should now say …that she was. It’s time to find out the secrets of one annoying woman in The Untold Story of Carol Bingley.
I’m not giving away any plot from this heartbreaking story. No, this is one that should be read by each reader in order to get the full impact of what we are about to learn. I will say that we’ve all been young, and we’ve all made mistakes and decisions we wish we could somehow change… but cannot. I am so grateful for this character that she found Frank and his complete love for her, warts and all.
Carol’s journey is often heartbreaking; at times, it’s also frustrating as we watch events unfold. I was easily caught up in discovering who Carol was before she became the town gossip, and realizing the pain she was going through now has me remembering those earlier stories a bit differently. It’s an emotional, sometimes devastating story of a life changed by one decision. It also will become an uplifting story as we discover what happens to Carol now. It will be interesting to see how Carol is portrayed in future stories set in Marietta, Montana… I look forward to that discovery.
In all, I would not hesitate one second in recommending The Untold Story of Carol Bingley to any reader who loves to discover the secrets behind well-known secondary characters in a well-written, emotionally engaging, satisfying story.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the author or author’s team via Booksprout, and I sincerely thank them for their trust. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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