The Second Chance Rancher
by Kate Pearce
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Book #1 in the Millers of Morgan Valley series
Number of pages: 352
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance/Western M/F
Read 5/13/19 to 5/14/19
There’s a reason Jackson Lymond left the Air Force, but he’s not telling a soul. He’d rather keep things simple, while trying to start a new life helping his older brother on their northern California ranch. At least Morgantown’s flirty local bartender can keep his mind off the past—that is, until he runs into Daisy Miller.
Daisy doesn’t really expect Jackson to remember her. Back in school she did her best to blend in—and pretend she didn’t have five brothers who’d hogtie any boy who even looked at her. These days though, she and Jackson might have more in common than just their ranching relatives. After all, they both left home only to return. Trouble is, under the watch of her fiercely protective family, Daisy is longing for some privacy. Letting Jackson into her life could make that even more difficult—or it might be the second chance they’re both looking for
First, this series is a spin-off of this author’s Morgan Ranch series. I don’t feel you have to read that series to get started on this one. As usual, you’d be better off reading it since it’s an amazing series. But it’s not necessary to understand and enjoy this story.
I’m so glad Kate Pearce found a way to extend our literary stay in Morgan Valley. While I love the Morgan family and had a great time reading their stories, I still felt there was more to learn from this town and its residents. Diving into the Miller family gives us so much more to look forward to.
Being raised with 5 brothers, Daisy is a strong-minded woman. It doesn’t exactly seem that way at first, but she really knows how to hold her own and voice her opinion when needed. Since Jackson has a tendency to stick his foot in his mouth, it’s a good thing Daisy has the backbone to call him to the carpet when he says the wrong thing. There comes a time when you figure she should be used to his word vomit and let things slide, but she doesn’t. And in hindsight, I’m glad she doesn’t. Jackson is very open to being corrected when he doesn’t state things in the right way, so how else is he going to learn if everyone always smooths things over for him?
Jackson is an interesting character. Always the gentleman, always wanting to make others smile, always joking around. It’s obvious there’s something lingering deep down for him, but besides Daisy, nobody but his brother Cauy (from The Rancher) seems to realize this. And the more Cauy or Daisy try to get him to be the “real” Jackson and speak his truth, the more he shuts down. When Jackson finally has his moment, it’s long overdue and not at all surprising to those closest to him.
Daisy, herself, has a lot of issues of her own. As much as she likes to call Jackson out on his “head in the sand” tactics and word vomit, she doesn’t like that mirror being held up back to her. She uses the excuse of protecting her family and not wanting to disappoint them, but in the process puts herself under such immense stress and guilt I don’t see how it can be good for her relationship with her dad and brothers. And, like Jackson, when it all crumbles she goes big.
This author has a knack of writing couples that will give me warm-fuzzies, and that holds true with this story. There was a bit of depth I found lacking until the last half of the story when we get to know Jackson’s “secret”, but I still felt connected to the characters.
The peripheral characters in this story really played a large role, as we are getting to know the Miller family in this book. We mostly see Adam and I am really looking forward to him getting his HEA. As was mentioned a few times in this book, he needs to learn to move on and find happiness again. I can’t wait to go along for that ride.
** I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in my review are my own and given freely. **