Winter 2022 Glamorous Blog Tour
Rancher’s Forgotten Rival
by Maisey Yates
Release Date: January 25, 2022
Publisher: HQN books
Book #1 in the Carsons of Lone Rock series
Number of Pages: 224
Source: ARC from NetGalley and Harlequin
Ages 16 and up
Will amnesia turn these enemies into lovers? It’s a hero in distress, with a more than capable damsel on hand to save to him. Find out more about the book in this book #1 miniseries, Carsons of Lone Rock, by New York Times bestselling author Maisey Yates. Welcome to Lone Rock, Oregon’s Wild West.
Chance Carson is the one man in Lone Rock who gets Juniper all riled up. His family is ranching royalty. He’s arrogant, insufferable and obnoxiously charming—she’ll keep her distance, thanks. But when Juniper finds Chance Carson on her property, injured and without his memory, she saves his life…and sort of lets him believe he’s her ranch hand. Making the entitled rancher work a little is one thing…but actually liking the man is another. Falling for him? No way. And yet the passion between them is as undeniable as it is unexpected. Will it survive the truth?
“You know, I take people to the hospital every day,” she said. “They don’t just go there to die. They go there to be healed. I understand that there can be bad traumatic memories connected to that. But… But the hospital can be a good thing.”
“Logically I know that. But…”
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry that the first memory you’re having is so sad.”
“I think it’s probably the strongest one I have. Because I think I felt that sadness inside of me before I ever saw her face. What a hell of a thing. That I almost died. Out there in the field. When…”
“When what?” she whispered.
“My parents have been through enough,” he said. “She must’ve been my sister.”
“Oh.” The word left her body in a gust.
He knew what it was like to lose someone. He was…human.
Just the same as she was.
Just the same as they all were.
The Carsons and Sohappys weren’t so different.
She was hoping he might see that during this time, but she hadn’t expected it would be her own lesson.
She…she had never heard anything about that and she didn’t know why he thought it. Or if it was true. And it still settled hard in her chest.
He was getting way too close to remembering things, and it was getting… Dicey. It was one thing to think that she wanted to endear herself to him this way, but him sharing something personal like this, something he never would’ve shared otherwise, it felt like a violation. And she had never thought that she would feel like she violated Chance Carson. But this was different. The situation with his sister.
No. He had a sister. And she was alive and well.
Callie Carson was much younger than him, and she had gone off and married a rodeo cowboy who lived in Gold Valley.
But the way he was talking about it, it sounded like he was younger.
She felt hungry for more, but at the same time she didn’t want to press him. For so many reasons, but maybe the biggest one was her heart felt so tender right now. For him.
That wasn’t supposed to happen.
“All right,” he said.
He stood up, and she stood at the same time, ready to take his bowl from him.
“I can take the dishes.”
“Oh no, that’s okay,” he said, and she put her hand on the bowl, and her fingertips brushed his, and their eyes locked.
And she felt a frisson of something magical go through her. Something hot and delicious and sticky like cayenne honey, flowing all the way through her veins.
And she could hardly breathe around it. She could hardly think. All she could do was stare. And feel the thundering rhythm of her heart, like a herd of wild mustangs, the kind that you could find out here in Eastern Oregon, and she was sure that he could hear it too.
I’m used to this author’s books being over 350 pages, with her novellas closer to 100 pages. This story was moving super-fast and I realized, although it’s not a novella, it’s not as long as I’m used to with her books. Not that this is a bad thing. I enjoyed that the story didn’t meander about too much. Juniper and Chance may be enemies, but maybe that’s why they get straight to the point with each other.
The premise of this story, Chance losing his memories and Juniper telling him he’s her ranch hand, is so much fun. I was afraid it would turn out being problematic, though. Not so! Maisey Yates does a spectacular job of straddling that line with Juniper trying to do the right thing and kind of falling into this opportunity. Then still, albeit weakly, trying to do the right thing. And seriously, there is a reference to the original Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russel version of Overboard and, for a bit, this book totally has that fun and quirky vibe.
I don’t know if it’s because the story is a bit more condensed, but there were some blatant timeline issues that I’m not used to from this author. While they gave me a blip when they came up, they weren’t really a big deal when it came to the story itself. Just my picky brain noticing and getting stuck. There’s also a bit of telling and not showing once the couple’s relationship picks up. Again, something I’m not used to with her books. It’s not a problem throughout, but does happen for a bit of time in the middle of the story.
Juniper and Chance have chemistry that is so obvious to everyone, even while they were hating on each other. It was the unspoken truth in both sets of siblings that they love to hate each other because they don’t want to admit they actually have sparks when they’re together. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s a bit of telling at one point. But overall, the chemistry is felt.
There is some beautiful heritage stories, especially with Juniper. With Chance being a cishet white male, there is a lot he really has been blind to when it comes to Juniper’s family. For his part, when Juniper starts opening up to Chance he is not only aghast over how she was treated, but also upset with himself for not seeing these things that were going on around him. If nothing else, this book has a very strong message that I wasn’t expecting. It’s done in an organic way so it flows right in with the story seamlessly.
There’s a lot to learn about the Carson family. I have a feeling their series will be a wild and fun ride.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**
About Maisey Yates:
Maisey Yates is a New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romance novels. Whether she’s writing strong, hard working cowboys, dissolute princes or multigenerational family stories, she loves getting lost in fictional worlds. An avid knitter with a dangerous yarn addiction and an aversion to housework, Maisey lives with her husband and three kids in rural Oregon. Check out her website, maiseyyates.com or find her on Facebook.
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