Almost Home - Barbara Freethy Katherine Whitfield never knew her father and lost her mother when she was only twelve. She longs for family ties, for roots, and most importantly for love. When she finds her mother's old trunk and discovers a letter that hints at the location of her father she drops everything and heads straight for Kentucky.

Katherine is searching for a map when she nearly collides with a trailer and meets a very unfriendly Zach Taylor. Zach is furious at Katherine's reckless driving and gives her an earful. The trailer she nearly hit contains his horse, Midnight Rogue, who he believes will win the Kentucky Derby. Despite his anger he stays with her until a tow-truck arrives.

Their attraction is immediate but a relationship seems to be an impossibility because Zach refuses to risk his heart after he was left at the altar by a woman he loved. He has no room in his life for a woman, he stubbornly insists. He only wants to win the Derby, own his own stud farm and live a quiet simple life without all of the complications that love is sure to bring along. Lucky for us he falls hard and fast for Katherine.

I tend to favor relationship driven novels about people who genuinely care for one another as opposed to those books where the couple spend the book calling each other nasty names and then immediately hop in the sack. That's why I enjoyed "Almost Home" so much. The relationship between Zach and Katherine begins with a lusty attraction that gradually deepens into a friendship and eventually develops into love. It's clear to see that these two down-to-earth people genuinely "like" each other and aren't mistaking infatuation with love. The end result is an intensely satisfying love story.

If you're in the mood for a slower-paced, feel good romance that isn't plagued by the unnecessary subplots that are far too common in contemporary romances give this one a try.