The Montana Sheriff
by Paula Altenburg
Release Date: February 22, 2022
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in the Grand, Montana series
Number of pages: 192
Source: ARC from publisher
Ages 15 and up
CW: domestic abuse, gunfire
Down-to-earth sheriff Dan McKillop has always been more than a badge and a pretty face, but it turns out the ladies of Grand, Montana, find him far more appealing as the new co-owner of the Endeavour Ranch than they ever did as the town’s friendly, neighborhood playboy. Dan’s done with commitment-shy women only out for a good time. When a fiery beauty rides into his life on a sweet Harley-Davidson low rider, however, Dan fears he’s found trouble again.
Professional firefighter Jasmine O’Reilly is stationed to lead the airbase on the Endeavour Ranch for the summer. Having a safe and successful wildfire season could mean a promotion, and after raising herself out of poverty, Jazz has big dreams. She knows better than to put her future in a man’s hands no matter how charming, wealthy, or full of promises he is.
Good-intentioned but overprotective Dan soon realizes he has a type. Meanwhile Jazz, who thought she was long beyond even the slightest brush with the law, finds the sheriff too tempting to resist.
This story had me all over the map. There were times that I fully bought into the relationship and chemistry between Jazz and Dan. Then the author would do something abrupt and throw the balance off. By halfway through the book I was no longer feeling the connection these two started off with.
The concept of how Dan and his two best friends came into owning a huge ranch is interesting, yet I felt there could have been more backstory of the trio so we could feel their friendship more than just being told about their friendship. It made some things a bit confusing, especially when it came to a particular character. It was so hard to get a read on him and really just added confusion to the story.
I found the intimate scenes to be awkward. They would start off with a lot of flirting and fire and I had high hopes, but then once the clothes came off the story would lose its way. Very disappointing. I would have rather had those scenes behind closed doors, maybe the story would have kept a better flow that way. Instead of those scenes propelling the story and deepening connections, they fell flat.
Not to pile on, but this is the second book this year I felt really did a poor job of portraying domestic abuse. In this case, the main characters were neither the abusers or the abused. Dan is a sheriff so has to deal with a domestic abuse situation. The language used when he’s speaking and thinking of this married couple made my blood boil, so I strongly suggest you skip this one if abuse is triggering for you. I can’t imagine how the scene would affect a survivor.
All of that being said, I doubt I would pick up the next book in this series. The author just didn’t do a good enough job of grabbing my attention. There was a lot I liked, but too much confusion and plenty that I didn’t enjoy.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**