Sweet Talking Rancher (The Millers of Morgan Valley) – ARC review

Sweet Talking Rancher
by Kate Pearce
Release Date: July 27, 2021
Publisher:  Zebra
Book #5 in the Millers of Morgan Valley series
Number of pages:  336
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Net Galley
Contemporary Romance/Western M/F
Ages 16 and up
Read 7/11/21 to 7/12/21

Everyone in rancher Danny Miller’s life wants to know how he feels about his teenage flame returning to Morgan Valley. Danny wishes he knew. After the disastrous ending of their relationship, and Faith’s choice to leave town all those years ago, Danny’s rebuilt his life without her. But he’s about to have a very practical reason for needing her in it again–despite the very impractical desire she inspires once he lays eyes on her…

Faith McDonald hadn’t planned on returning home, but with her dad retiring, her help is needed at the family veterinary practice. She’s hoping that by now, folks have forgotten what happened between her and Danny–even if the two of them never can. With a mystery infection decimating the Miller cattle, she and Danny soon find themselves on the same side for the first time in forever. There was a lot of trouble in their past, but the good parts never really flamed out, including their intense attraction. And their shared determination to cure the cattle might just lead them to a healing of their own–and a whole new
all-grown-up future…

Every time I think I can’t despise the Miller patriarch any more, I read another story about one of his kids and learn more about his lifetime of deception. To be honest, he has done some atoning over the years. But he does his atoning in a roundabout way and never seems to apologize for the wrongs he has done along the way.

The depths to which their parents went to keep Faith and Danny apart when they were teens, and going through one of the most devastating times of their lives, is hard to fathom. Especially when it comes to Faith’s parents because they seem so loving and kind and thoughtful. Because of what happened to them all those years ago, and the half stories they’ve gotten about each other, they have a long road to travel. But what’s great about both of these characters is they try really hard to forgive and not judge. They both know people change a lot from the time their teenagers until they’re established adults.

More than Faith, Danny’s story just breaks my heart. While Faith got every opportunity to follow her dreams (outside of her romantic dreams) and build the life she wanted, Danny was held back at every turn until he was well into his 20s. And even then, there were many stipulations put on what he could do when since he was part of running his family’s ranch.

Obviously, from what I’ve said so far, there are a lot of serious issues for these two to work through. That doesn’t mean there isn’t fun and lightness to this story, too. The author strikes a wonderful balance between the joy and angst. There’s a bit of a side story that was great that I would have loved to see expanded. It doesn’t detract from this story that it’s not expanded, but I would have really loved for the particular couple to have gotten their own book.

As usual, Kate Pearce kept me fully engaged and turning the pages.

4 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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