by Jennifer Ryan
Release Date: November 12, 2019
Book #2 in the Wild Rose Ranch series
Number of Pages: 359
Ages 18 and up
CW: physical abuse, sexual abuse (off page and second hand)
Read 7/3/21 to 7/7/21
One minute down-on-his-luck rancher Austin Hubbard slept soundly, the next, a sassy spitfire dumped a pitcher of water on his head and woke him up—in more ways than one. Hired to help him rebuild his ranch, Sonya Tucker ends up helping him put the tattered pieces of his life back together. The capable, all-business accountant is on a mission to get the ranch up and running, but can he convince the temptingly beautiful woman to take a chance on him?
Sonya was dismayed that Austin had lost it all: money, family, respectability. Things she—who’d been raised by her mother at Nevada’s notorious brothel Wild Rose Ranch—only dreamed about. But working with the long, lean cowboy shows her that Austin is honorable to his core. Together they slowly grow to see what the love between them might bring.
But then Austin’s powder keg of a family feud explodes, exposing long-buried secrets, and threatening their new-found love…
Those that have read the first book in this series, Dirty Little Secret, already know all about the Wild Rose Ranch. The author didn’t have to delve as deeply into that part of the story this time around. Yet, if you haven’t read the first book, I feel she gave you enough information to enjoy this story without missing a beat.
Sonya is so no-nonsense, get things done, stay on schedule that even I felt I should be doing more than sitting and reading. She is a force to be reckoned with. And she’s exactly what Austin needs. Although Austin has realized he has to pull himself together and stop wallowing in self-pity, he’s not all the way there yet. Especially after a particularly heinous plot his dad tries to pull on him at the beginning of this story. I can’t blame the guy for floundering, his life has basically imploded over the last year.
There are instant sparks with Sonya and Austin, but both of them are smart enough to think they should explore their chemistry when they have so much to do. Austin is also respectful enough to realize Sonya’s help is a gift and he cannot take advantage of that. But sometimes chemistry trumps will-power. Truly, the relationship between these two is definite insta-love. I’m good with that, they both deserve the support and joy that comes from finding someone you can really count on to have your back.
I enjoyed seeing a different view of the Wild Rose Ranch. In the first book we saw Roxy grapple with an uncaring mother. Sonya’s mom is extremely kind and caring and loves Sonya more than anything. Her story will break your heart. The family that Sonya, Roxy, and their “sisters” who are yet to get their HEAs have made may be unconventional, but their bonds are stronger for the way they’ve come together.