The last place city girl Desiree Burke expected to find herself was living at and working on a ranch, much less butting heads with the ranch’s sexy cowboy owner, Zach Gamble. But that’s exactly where she ends up after an incident at work leads her to her best friend Rory’s doorstep. Desiree is a gifted physical therapist, and Rory knows exactly where her brand of tough love is needed the most.
Zach’s been through hell and back. A devastating car crash left his brother gone, his father paralyzed, and him with mental scars a mile wide. His survivor guilt alone makes him sure he doesn’t deserve to find love. But as Des works her way into his ranch, his family, and his life, suddenly the last person who belonged there is the only one he believes belongs…with him.
FTC Disclaimer. This review was requested by the publicist. I have no relationship with the author nor was I paid for this review.
This book was not what I think of as a normal read for me and honestly, probably not something I would have pick up. His Reluctant Rancher is a triumph over adversity sort of story and is very sad and painful at times, but I don’t regret reading it.
Desiree is a stubborn woman but she knows how to use that to her advantage, making her successful at her job. But when she is suspended pending an investigation after a patient complains she starts to struggle with the distance she has always tried to keep from people and wants more even though it terrifies her.
Zach and his family have been through so much and Zach tries to shoulder the blame for an accident that devastated the whole family but wasn’t his fault. The pressure he puts on himself and the emotional distance he tries to keep between him and his family is sad and also painful as he thinks he’s protecting them but he’s not. The pressures the family are under, so soon after losing their son and the severe injury to his father, make everything so much more difficult and strained.
I found the relationship built naturally between Des and Zach but when they distanced themselves it was awkward. I think this is the first book I have read in years that had fade to black sex scenes and it made me realise that I like my books with sex – not just for the sake of the sex but because to me it removes the uncertainty of how someone is feeling (they can’t hide behind their normal barriers) – and I felt this was missing in this story.
Some parts of the book felt incomplete to me, especially the fact the sisters reaction was never dealt with; she was a cruel person but she was allowed by all members of the family to get away with it. Even with the unresolved elements I did enjoy the story.