Wednesday, June 15, 2016

BACK IN THE SADDLE By Ruth Logan Herne

Colt Stafford returns home but not because he wants to but because he has no choice, broke and in need of a job to regroup and survive, he arrives to an unceremonious welcome as well--the barrel end of a gun. Angelina Morales, knows Colt is coming home but she didn't expect him so soon; and she has her reasons to be on guard.

Colt is one of Sam Stafford's three sons, the oldest, a financial wizard. He's made his own way in the New York world of stocks; but his life has taken a real low turn just like his investments. He left home with bitter feelings and nothing's changed except now his Dad is so sick that the boys have to run the ranch and he's hired a housekeeper and cook named Angelina Morales.

Angelina has other skills too and keeps a glock tucked in the back waistband of her pants and her mother and son hidden in a cabin on the ranch. But even though she has her secrets she knows how to keep the boys in line and teach them manners. And she lives her faith out loud.

Ms. Herne's has a great ability to write about tough subjects and family relationships. She makes you feel for her characters and with them. You find yourself pulling for Colt and Sam and Nick and Angelina and wanting to shake some sense into each one of them.

Her descriptions of ranching life, the people, the animals make a wonderful setting for her story; and Colt is like the prodigal son, Sam needs forgiveness, and Angelina needs to trust. I recommend this as another keeper by Ruth Logan Herne.


The Husband Manuever by Karen Witemeyer, an entertaining read that contains two stories in one in that the heroine loves reading dime novels especially about the man she loves. Daniel Barrett, retired bounty hunter, now ranch foreman has the heart of his bosses daughter,  Etta Hawkins; but he has decided he will move on to a ranch of his own. Etta, loves reading the folk lore novels about Daniel's exploits in his other life if only to get close to the man she loves. Now, she finds she needs to take more drastic measures to convince Daniel that they are meant for each other and to get a proposal out of him. The author slides you so naturally from her story into the one that Etta is reading that you can't not put the book down for wanting to find out what happens in both stories.

Her Dearly Unintended by Regina Jennings opens with the heroine, Katie Ellen struggling with a dilemma and the creek rising. She finds herself trapped with her nemesis, Josiah Huckabee and then a stranger arrives. Josiah convinces Katie Ellen that their survival and reputations depend on pretending they are married. Ms. Jennings skillfully writes humorous dialogue and romantic situations.

Runaway Bride by Mary Connealy quickly finds the heroine rescued by her hero, an ex-Texas ranger ready to escort her and her brother to safety as she flees an unwanted engagement. I usually enjoy Ms. Connealy's books full of humor and amorous adventures but this one was not up to par with her usual work for me.

My favorite of the four stories was  Melissa Jagears, "Engaging the Competition", the story was aptly named, her characters endearing, and the opening attention grabbing. But the ending was an HEA winner. Harrison Gray, visually handicapped without his glasses, pursues tomboyish Charlie Andrews at the height of a storm and finds himself trapped with his old nemesis and schoolboy crush in the depths of her barn's hulled out storm shelter. From there things get even more interesting, when they discover his glasses crushed in the stall with his horse and Charlie volunteers to help him with his school teaching duties until a new pair of glasses can be ordered and delivered to him. In the course of their close, daily encounters they discover that their years of competitiveness have been more to impress each other rather than to out best each other. From the opening storm, Harrison and Charlie struggle to balance what they thought they knew of each other to what they find to be the truth about themselves and the feelings they've kept buried all these years. A truly fun story that leaves you smiling at the end.

With this Ring, is a great group of novellas to spend a free afternoon engrossed in. It has my recommendation for your reading list.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Montana, a beautiful state and the setting for a wonderful story by Tracie Peterson. Her book is aptly named for the more you read, the more you find to keep you turning pages. Her descriptive opening reveals the heroine, Emily Carver; and we are at once, intrigued to find out more about how she survives in a mostly male environment. She and her parents live near a small mining settlement where her Dad continues to chase his dreams of finding a gold treasure. Her mother is dying of an unknown illness; and Emily finds pleasure in the few friends she has, her animals, and her garden.

Enter our hero, Caeden Thibault, a geologist on assignment for the government. Emily's dad invites him home for a meal and a place to stay and sends him up to the cabin, where he walks in on Emily, having just finished her bath and clad only in her underlings. From this unceremonious beginning, they begin a fragile but budding relationship complicated by the pronouncement by Emily's Mom, that Caeden is the man God means for her daughter.

This is a thoroughly entrancing read, peopled with interesting characters, and a plot with many twists and turns. You will find there is more than one treasure to be discovered. I recommend this book as worth your time to find "A Treasure Concealed". I received this book through Bethany House's Blogger Review program for an honest review.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

I have loved the whole Porter series by Ms. Wade. They keep getting better and better. The Porter boys were great but Dru can keep up with the boys. Gray Fowler needs protecting, but, he is the typical all testosterone athlete who thinks he needs to do the protecting. He lets Dru know right up front her services are not needed unless she follows his rules.

Dru has reasons of her own for going by the book and putting Mr. Football in his place--the fun begins. But, the threat is real and Dru takes her job seriously; however she soon realizes that her heart might be in danger as well. In the meantime, Gray ends up making a bet with a team mate that he just might be sorry for later. 

Things get complicated along the way and Gray's past has a lot to do with the man he's become. Dru, on the other hand, finds more than she bargained for with Gray.

Ms. Wade's books flow very well. Her plots make sense without you being able to figure all the angles out ahead of time. Her descriptions paint beautiful pictures and though her intimate scenes are clean, you still feel the passion. More importantly, for those who need to see how faith works in the lives of hero and heroine, she fits that in without being preachy to those who don't believe.

This whole series belongs on your keeper shelf.