AT WOLF RANCH
Montana Men #1
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads):
After years on the rodeo circuit, Gabe Bowden wants nothing more than land of his own and a woman who will claim his heart for more than one night. When he has the chance to buy the enormous Wolf Ranch spread, he snaps up the incredible deal. Everything is set, until Gabe rescues a woman on the deserted, snowy road leading to the property, and the half-frozen beauty changes everything.
Ella Wolf rushes to her family's abandoned Montana ranch after her twin sister is murdered. She knows she's next . . . unless she can uncover a secret hidden somewhere at Wolf Ranch. The last thing Ella expects is to be rescued by a rugged rancher with his own agenda. A man who almost makes her forget how dangerous love can be.
As an unlikely partnership sparks into something so much more, and a killer closes in, can Ella and Gabe learn to trust one another before it's too late?
Hello Again Supernatural Snark Readers!
Thank you, Jenny, for entrusting me with your blog for a second time - I appreciate the chance to flex my writing muscles!
When I first looked at the cover of this book, my head immediately queued the Big & Rich song "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy". :-) I was not exactly sure what to expect from At Wolf Ranch, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this easy read!
Ms. Ryan flings us into action immediately, and rather unexpectedly, into an intense scene. Ella Wolf witnesses her twin sister's murder, and goes on the run to uncover whatever secrets her sister investigated at her family's ranch that caused her life to be taken from her too soon. While Ella is running, the sexy cowboy Gabe Bowden comes to her aid. While some parts of the book are slower moving, the overall pace of At Wolf Ranch was good.
The storyline was full of mystery and intrigue - much more than I expected out of a romance novel - which pleasantly surprised me. That being said, if you are looking for a book with a lot of steamy erotic sex scenes - this might not be the book to pick up. Ella and Gabe only kiss 1/3 of the way through the book, and the sparse sex scenes that follow are more of the loving and comforting variety.
During the second half of the book, much focus is put on the superficial differences of the 'Rich City Girl' and 'Cowboy', and questioning whether their budding relationship could last long term. What strikes a cord with me (because it reminds me of myself and my husband) is that despite their outward dissimilarities, Ella and Gabe both value family, friendship, commitments, and hard work. These principles bind them to be more alike than people could ever imagine.
The characters of Ella and Gabe were both extremely likable, and I appreciated the fact that Ms. Ryan wrote Ella's character not to be a 'damsel in distress', but rather a smart, strong young woman who just needed a sturdy shoulder to lean on during a horrific and terrifying point in her life. Gabe was a perfect gentleman, and the cowboy that every girl dreams about. More than just killer biceps (which make me swoon...) and a pretty face, Gabe is written as intelligent, driven, and caring. Gabe is the whole package of goodness - what is not to like about that! :-)
Overall, At Wolf Ranch is an enjoyable read, with lots of action and emotion. I will definitely check out the Montana Men series to come and welcome the opportunity to meet Gabe Bowden's brothers!
Rating: 3.5 to 4 out of 5
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is Tracy's honest opinion.