One Night Rancher (The Carsons of Lone Rock) – ARC review

One Night Rancher
by Maisey Yates
Release Date: January 24, 2023
Publisher: HQN books
Book #3 in the Carsons of Lone Rock series
Number of Pages: 224
Source:  ARC from NetGalley and Harlequin
Contemporary Romance
Ages 15 and up
CW: grief
When best friends spend the night together, will a forbidden kiss change everything? Find out in the next The Carsons of Lone Rock novel by New York Times bestselling author Maisey Yates.

It started with one simple favor
Now one night together has the promise of more…

No one knows tough-as-nails bar owner Cara Thompson better than her best friend, rancher Jace Carson. And when Cara needs someone to stay with her at Lone Rock’s most historic, and possibly haunted, hotel to purchase it, Jace is the man for the job—even when the only furnished room has just one bed. One night shouldn’t be enough to change years of friendship, but a single kiss melts away years of restraint. As the sun rises, Cara might have secure5d her hotel, but has she ruined her friendship with Jace forever?

It seems all of the stories in this series are shorter than this author’s usual full-length books but longer than a typical novella. In most cases, I love her novellas and her novels. Something about this series is just not connecting with me the way her other stories have through the years.

Cara and Jace do a lot of ruminating. A LOT. The bulk of this story takes place over 3 or 4 days, most of which is spent with them in deep thought. There is dialogue between them, but not very much. And while they are sharing the page through much of this thinking, they are so internally focused it’s almost as if they are not in the same room at all. That leads me to feel like I’m being told they love each other and have feelings for each other instead of being shown these things. It’s a shame since Maisey Yates is usually a master of big emotions with her characters.

The premise of this book is great, but there are holes along the way. The continuity is off; is it Sunday or Thursday or some other day? Was Cara raised by her mom’s dad or her dad’s dad? Little things, but little things that can take you out of the story.

There were so many things that could have been great in this book. Cara’s refusal to back down and to make sure that Jace knew she could see behind his bull, Jace’s surprise at his strong reactions to Cara, and the hope and faith aspect that runs through, are all beautiful things. They just weren’t striking the right chord with how they were being laid out.

I love this author, and I’m not giving up. Not even on this series since I have an extreme FOMO that tells me if I decide to skip a book it’ll be the wonderful tale I keep expecting. This story is sweet and I did find myself wanting to read on to see how things would be resolved, but it fell flat.

2.5 stars

**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**

As most of you know, I have been holding reviews of books from HarperCollins and their imprints during the union strike. The executives finally met the union at the bargaining table and they have an agreement. Therefore, I’ll be releasing my reviews throughout this week and next week. As I’ve said before, this strike hurt the authors more than it hurt the publisher but it needed to be done. Be sure to show these authors your love if you’ve read and enjoyed their stories.

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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2 Responses to One Night Rancher (The Carsons of Lone Rock) – ARC review

  1. Louise H says:

    Continuity errors ruin a story for me. I hope future books by the author are more successful for you

    • Cheri says:

      Unfortunately, I always pick up on those things. Any time I’ve been in a book club I often picked up on errors when nobody else has. My brain gets caught up on it even if it’s insignificant.

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