McKenna Mason, a New York City attorney with a love of all things Prada, is on the run from a group of powerful, dangerous men. McKenna turns to a teenage crush, Will Ashton, for help in starting a new life in beautiful horse country. She finds that Will is now a handsome, successful race horse farm owner. As the old flame is ignited, complications are aplenty in the form of a nasty ex-wife, an ex-boyfriend intent on killing her, and a feisty race horse who refuses to race without a kiss. Can Will and McKenna cross the finish line together, and more importantly, alive?
This is the first of both the Bluegrass Series and the second series set in the same town, Bluegrass Brothers. Since I previously read Bluegrass Undercover, the first book in the Bluegrass Brothers series, I already knew some things that happened before they happened in Bluegrass State of Mind.
McKenna Mason, better known as Kenna, flees New York terrified and in earnest pursuit of two things: familiar and obscure. This leads her to small town Kentucky, which houses the family of her deceased grandmother’s best friend…and first crush Will Ashton.
The Ashtons are a prominent family in Keeneston, and Will Ashton has returned to run the family’s horse racing business. McKenna rolls into town in hopes of fulfilling a district prosecutor position, and she needs all the help she can get. In sweet little Keeneston, that’s not too hard when the entire town is heralding her as if she’s lived there her whole life. Family connections and strong ties can do that for a person!
“Here’s to girls, their rifles, and law degrees.”
As things heat up between Will and Kenna, several other things are also in the mix.
- Kenna strikes up a friendship with the sheik, whom everyone in town suspects of sabotaging the Ashton farm with an increasingly dangerous and alarming number of incidents and accidents. The sheik is a very loyal and loving man, and has a bodyguard who has lethal interrogation skills. Thankfully, this comes to Kenna’s advantage a few times, and proves the sheik’s loyalty and intentions to the town.
- Kenna keeps in contact with her friend from New York, who was with her that terrible night. Unlike Kenna, her friend elected to remain in New York and is backtracking upon the powerful and dangerous men. She has determined that one of the men is a state senator, which the Men In Black (Suits) keep referring to as The Senator. Kenna is getting a little intel, but is also very worried for her friend.
- Kenna endears herself to the town of Keeneston, at the heart of which are the Rose sisters and John Wolfe. When strangers come to town, they uncharacteristically keep quiet.
- Will’s wife, Whitney, comes to town. Except, Kenna doesn’t know she’s his EX wife until much, much later. Whitney has the upper hand for almost the duration of the novel, even though everyone in town hates her. It is made quite clear that the girl ain’t nothing but a gold digger.
- Kenna becomes the good-luck charm for the Ashton’s prized racehorse.
- Kenna discovers the exact identity of The Senator.
- Kenna endears herself to the town, who take her into the fold.
This novel has a bit of everything: big city, small town, crime, drama, suspense, thriller, action, romance, humor. I loved reading about Keeneston and meeting all the locals in Bluegrass Undercover, and I loved seeing even more of them in the beginning!
This novel focused more on the foil characters to those in Bluegrass Undercover, where the Davies family and the Rose sisters who run Blossom Cafe were the focus. In Bluegrass State of Mind the sheik, the Ashtons, Paige, and the third Rose sister are the town focus.
Kathleen Brooks did an excellent job keeping readers interested in just what it was that made Kenna flee New York in fear for her life. When it was revealed, it was clear Kenna was up against some of the most powerful men in the country, and it was a battle she would most definitely lose.
“I know this is a serious situation, but come on! Blowing up a car? That’s true friendship.”
What I loved most about Bluegrass State of Mind, besides the love and devotion of the town, was how the main set of characters worked together to get their shit straight, solve the Ashton farms incidents and most of all to protect Kenna.
*****Atbout the Author*****
Kathleen Brooks is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Kathleen’s stories are romantic suspense featuring strong female heroines, humor, and happily-ever-afters. Her Bluegrass Series and follow-up Bluegrass Brothers Series feature small town charm with quirky characters that have captured the hearts of readers around the world.
Kathleen is an animal lover who supports rescue organizations and other non-profit organizations, such as Friends and Vets Helping Pets, whose goals are to protect and save our four-legged family members.
Kathleen will begin a new series in 2014 called Women of Power. This series will follow the lives of successful businesswomen as they fight off dangers to their lives and careers while searching for true love.