The Rancher’s Redemption (The Millers of Morgan Valley) – ARC Review

44804884._SY475_The Rancher’s Redemption
by Kate Pearce
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Publisher:  Zebra
Book #2 in the Millers of Morgan Valley series
Number of pages:  352
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance/Western M/F
Rating: XXX
Read 11/24/19 to 11/25/19


Widowed for ten years, now running the family ranch, Adam Miller is no longer the fun-loving guy who married his high school sweetheart the moment they graduated. His bitterness in the aftermath of her death even alienated his closest link to her–Lizzie Taylor, her best friend. But when Adam comes across Lizzie in a dire situation, he’s compelled to help–and finds himself with an unusual opportunity to make amends . . .

A struggling single mom, Lizzie’s extremely wealthy ex ran out on her when she got pregnant. But now he and his family have decided to fight for custody of her young son. When Adam shocks her by offering to pose as her partner, awkward as it may feel, it’s Lizzie’s best chance to hold onto her child. And as they strive to present a united front, their old friendship rekindles, sparking an unexpected attraction–along with past hurts and secrets. Soon they realize they’ll have to find a way to forgive if they want to move forward–especially with
each other.

I said in my review of the first book in this series that I was looking forward to Adam’s story.  Hoo, boy! It’s a doozy!  Not only does his story bring out all the feels, but so does Lizzie’s.  Just so much emotion jangling around in this story.

Lizzie is an awesome female lead.  Strong, independent, caring, kind…the whole package.  As a friend, lover, and mom. Adam and his wife were her two best friends and she lost them both within days of each other.  One to cancer, the other to his guilt and stubbornness.  Yet she soldiers on, creating a wonderful life for herself and, years later, her son.  No matter how the family of her son treat her or that she’s never found true love, she doesn’t let any of that get her down.

On the other hand, Adam closes himself off after his wife dies and lives a very mundane and boring existence.  He has a big and loving family, but doesn’t even realize how lucky he is or really participate in more than the work of taking care of his family ranch and doing what he can for his siblings.  Nobody else is allowed into his bubble which means he’s not really living.

Adam has been avoiding Lizzie for over a decade, but a chance encounter throws them back into orbit with one another.  Once that happens, they pull is undeniable and the chemistry jumps off the pages.  And for a man who is so closed off to others, he is a natural with Lizzie’s young son, Roman.

There is a lot these two need to unload, especially Adam.  While Lizzie is having issues with her son’s family, she knows her mind and has a healthy mental life.  Adam not only hasn’t dealt with his wife’s death, he also hasn’t dealt with his mom taking off on the family when he was a young teen.  Now his mom’s back in town and he’s talking to Lizze again so all those carefully constructed walls of his are starting to crumble down around him.

As much as I love this story, I hate Adam’s dad’s view on forgiving his mom.  In fact, I’m not crazy about her either.  Even after all the explanations I cannot understand how anyone can feel the mom only did the right thing by walking away.  As a mother I don’t understand giving up at any point, especially once the kids were adults.  I feel this part of the storyline may continue to trickle through the other books in the series. We’ve already seen how her leaving has impacted Daisy and Adam, it’s bound to have affected the others.

4.5 stars

** 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. **

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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