Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tracy Reviews: At Wolf Ranch

I'm thrilled today to welcome back my sister-in-law Tracy with a review for a fun and sexy Avon western. Cowboys for the win!

AT WOLF RANCH
Montana Men #1
Jennifer Ryan
Contemporary Romance/Western
384 pages
Avon
Available Now
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?


TRACY'S THOUGHTS

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
 

Find Jennifer:


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.

29 comments:

  1. Hi Tracy! And Jenny! As a current Montana resident, I'm very intrigued by this. Real Montana rancher men do indeed wear cowboy hats, but they look more scrubby than they do sexy. Until I moved here, I assumed that people only wore cowboy outfits for Halloween. But no - they really do dress like that everyday. I've seen entire families - including toddlers - in cowboy hats, boots, and giant belt buckles wandering around the local Kohls. Admittedly, it is very appropriate ranch wear. Despite living in the largest city in the state, many people come from ranch backgrounds - which is probably why no one stops at red lights.

    Still I see enough Montana every day that I don't really want to see it in my books. Perhaps if we move to Minnesota in a few months like we're planning (or "escape from Montana" as I prefer to think of it), I'll be in a nostalgic mood for a sexy rancher man.

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    1. Yes, if you are looking for nostalgia down the road, definitely pick this one up!

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  2. Oh a good Cowbiy book, that's nice! It's been a while since I haven't read a book like that and I confess that I'm quite curious to go back to them. I have a few at home but not from this author but I need to keep in mind. thanks for the review!

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    1. It was enjoyable - have fun with it!

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  3. I'm thrilled to see that there was much more to Gabe and Ella's characters than just what meets the eye. Damsels in distress really get on my nerves these days, so I'm glad that there was none of that around. So glad that you were able to enjoy this one overall Tracy! Great review! :)

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    1. Thanks! I enjoyed reviewing a fun one!

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  4. You're so lucky, Jenny, for having such a fabulous and interesting family! Save a horse, ride a cowboy, huh? I can totally get behind that! Plus, I love a strong, smart heroine more than anything else since damsels in distress tend to annoy me to no end. I haven't read a straight up romance in ages, but this sounds lovely.

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    1. Well, I am lucky to have Jenny pass me new and interesting reads! :-) Yes, Ella was definitely a strong motivated heroine - it was great.

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  5. I love my heroines strong and smart, no damsels in distress please! I think I'm going to love Ella and Gabe. Great review Tracy! :-)

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    1. Thank you - hope you pick up and enjoy this one!

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  6. I like the sound of the characters a lot in this book, and I'm surprised by the mystery and suspense of it. I'm definitely interested in reading the book and anyways, who can resist cowboys? :D
    Wonderful review, Tracy! I hope we'll get to see more of you around here! :)

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    1. Thanks, Nick! I am thrilled to pop up every once in a while on the blog! :-)

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  7. Oh my goodness I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day now! :P

    I love a good cowboy romance!

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    1. You're welcome for the music. ;-) If you love a good cowboy romance, you are sure to like this one!

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  8. Yay you! What an awesome and enjoyable review Tracy - fun, well written and insightful comments on the characters and their values. And your personal thoughts sprinkled in were absolutely hilarious! Really looking forward to reading this romance - thanks for your review and super well done!!!! Pam

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    1. Hi Pam! Thanks for the lovely comments. :-) Can't help myself but to write some personal thoughts...

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  9. Hi Jennifer.... I am a reader that actually doesn't like all the steamy erotic scenes, I would totally love the suspense and mystery in this one. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. No problem - I think you will really enjoy this one - it will definitely appeal to a variety of readers!

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  10. Such a compelling review! It makes me think I need to borrow it. I am blessed with talented daughters in law!!

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    1. You are too sweet. :-) Yes, I will put this on the borrow stack for you!

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    1. That is always a fine choice! :-)

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  12. Hello Tracy!

    I'm really glad to hear that despite having an awesome cowboy to lean on, the heroine is not made into a damsel-in-distress! Fantastic review!

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    1. Thank you Pili! Yes, this one was refreshing - this girl had a plan for sure!

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  13. It's definitely a bonus that this doesn't have a fast or overly sexy romance. I also like that it moved at a fast pace. I'm not huge on romance novels so having those other elements is a bonus for me!

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    1. Candace - It was a really great mix of romance and mystery in this book. I hope that you pick it up and enjoy it!

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  14. Now I have "Save a horse, ride a cowboy" as an earworm! I do enjoy a good cowboy story, as long as it's not too stereotypical.

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