Rancher’s Wild Secret
by Maisey Yates
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Book #1 in the Gold Valley Vineyards series
Number of Pages: 224
Source: Amazon purchase
Contemporary Romance M/F
Emerson Maxfield is the perfect pawn for rancher Holden McCall’s purposes. She’s engaged to a man solely to win her father’s approval, and the sheltered beauty never steps out of line. Until one encounter changes everything. Now this good girl must marry Holden to protect her family—or their desire could spell downfall for them all…
This is the first book in a new series by one of my favorite authors, Maisey Yates. The series is a spin-off of the Gold Valley series (which is a spin-off of the Copper Ridge series). As usual when it comes to this author’s writing, this story sucked me in and held on tight all the way through.
Emerson and Holden are both so deeply flawed but, of course, look at these flaws as strengths. It’s not until their relationship holds a mirror up to each of them that they start to see everything they hold true isn’t so black and white.
Holden has so much anger and resentment toward the world, but most especially toward Emerson’s father. Which I honestly don’t blame him for, her father is not a good man. Emerson has blinders to who her father truly is. In fact, she has blinders to how her father treats her…like a pawn in building his empire. She thinks all he does is because he loves her and wants the best for her. While I won’t deny her father loves her, I don’t believe he understands unconditional love and letting your children do what makes them happy instead of what makes you happy. It’s quite a shock to Emerson when that curtain falls and the sees her family dynamics are not what she thought.
Although the relationship between Emerson and Holden starts in a very unconventional way, with no promises of love, they help each other deal with the fallout of all they learn about family and themselves. The problem I have is that I don’t feel the chemistry between them as I would have hoped to feel. I find the couple perfect for each other in many ways, but I’m not feeling the spark. BUT, and it’s a big but, I still got warm-fuzzies. Odd, I know. While I didn’t feel a constant chemistry with the two, I did feel a connection. And certain scenes still caused the butterflies to take flight in my belly.
With the new characters introduced in the Gold Valley/Copper Ridge universe with this new series I am excited to see what is to come, especially with Emerson’s sisters and possibly her mom. There’s definitely some history with the Maxfield family and their rivals and I’m looking forward to learning more.