Rancher’s Christmas Storm
by Maisey Yates
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Book #4 in the Gold Valley Vineyards series
Number of Pages: 224
Source: Amazon Pre-Order
Contemporary Romance/Holidays M/F
Ages 16 and up
CW: death of parent/dying (off page in the past)
Trapped together by a holiday blizzard, a rancher and his rival give in to the heat…in this Gold Valley Vineyards novel by New York Times bestselling author Maisey Yates.
All he wants for Christmas is the one woman he can’t touch…
Rancher Jericho Smith has known Honey Cooper since they were kids—and she’s always been under his skin in ways he doesn’t want to acknowledge. She’s his best friends’ sister…and there’s the not-so-small matter of the inheritance he bought out from under her. Keeping his hands to himself is the smart thing to do.
But then a snowstorm traps them in a rustic mountain retreat with nothing but a fire and each other to keep warm. Now the storm inside has only just begun!
Boy, I love a snowed-in story. The crackle of electricity between Honey and Jericho has been an underlying thing in other books in this series, so I love it even more that they are the snowed-in couple. This story can also be considered either a friends-to-lovers or enemies-to-lovers book, too. Oh! Plus it’s a brother’s best friend and slight age gap. This story has all the best tropes!
Honey has always had a crush on Jericho. Or course (thankfully), she wasn’t on his radar until she was a bit older. Because of the nature of Jericho’s relationship to Honey’s family, he has been trying to stay out of Honey’s way for the last few years. The Cooper family took Jericho in as a teenager when his mother died and he looks at her brothers as his own brothers. The Coopers lost their own mother shortly after and this ragtag group of mourning young people put their heads down and worked hard to make a success of their family business. Honey has always tried to reign in her emotions because she felt they made her father’s grieving harder. Being surrounded by stoic males, she aimed to keep them all comfortable without really realizing what that was doing to her own well-being. As much as it annoyed me that her brothers and dad couldn’t see the real Honey, I also know that she didn’t want them to see her because it felt to her as if she would be a burden if they know how deeply she felt everything.
There are a few events that lead Jericho and Honey to be at the same place, at the same time, trapped in a snow storm. The author brings us through that quickly but with all of the pertinent information needed to fall head over heels for this couple.
That electricity that was felt between these two in the other books is now given freedom and turns into a crackling fire. Honey and Jericho open up to one another in the quiet, isolated cabin in the woods. As Honey pondered at one point, it was “like a snow globe, its own separate world with a beautiful glass dome that kept the bad parts away.” That sense of safety and illusion of being in a different realm helped them to let down their guard and really talk about what they wanted and how the past had ultimately brought them to this moment together.
I was glad to see Honey start to display and verbalize her true emotions. Not only with Jericho, but also with her family. The growth she went through in this story was very satisfying to see.