Honey Kisses (Romance on the Ranch Series #2)

Verna Clay
Honey Kisses (Romance on the Ranch Series #2)
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M.O.I. Publishing
Release Date
March 2012
Book 2 of Romance on the Ranch
Contemporary Romance, Western Romance

Second book in the Romance on the Ranch Series

Ann Hackstetter first met Jackson Martinez while vacationing at Lazy M Dude Ranch with her husband and teenage son. Part of the "dude" package was a night of fun at Boot Bustin' Barn. Ann suspects that Sage Tanner, owner of Lazy M, bribed Jackson to dance with her as a way of making her inattentive husband jealous. Little did she realize the dance would awaken emotions long suppressed. Of course, she has no outlet for those emotions. Now, five years later, she's a widow--a destitute widow. Over the years, her son's friendship with Sage's daughter has blossomed, and now they're getting married. Wedding responsibilities have temporarily taken Ann's mind off her desperate situation. At the reception, Jackson asks her to dance--reawakening those emotions. He makes her feel twenty-one, instead of forty-one.

Jackson Martinez has an easy way with the women and never gets too serious. However, to his surprise, he is attracted to timid Annie. She's older than he is, has a grown son, and probably has an aversion to men after being married to a guy who paid more attention to his cell phone than to her. When Sage reveals Annie's sad state of economic affairs, and says she's looking for a job, Jackson offers her a position at his cattle ranch running his household. Of course, he's just trying to help her get back on her feet, or so he almost convinces himself. Little does he know that Annie has a secret.

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Aug 07, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
100 people found the following review helpful
The first time they danced together was magical, but she was married and off limits. Now she's widowed and alone, and he's dead set upon being a part of her life.

Long before she turned forty-one, homemaker Ann Hackstetter had stopped believing in happily ever after. Her workaholic husband Jerry had had little time for his wife and son. Then, Jerry's unexpected death only brought more sorrows. The gambling addiction her husband had hidden so well cost Ann her home, financial security, any remaining illusions she had about second chances at love.

With no job experience and only a couple thousand dollars to her name, Ann was faced with finding work and a new place to live. Being a burden to her newly married son or living on charity from friends was unacceptable. But, friends help friends, and a post as housekeeper at Jackson Martinez' Triple T Ranch was a lifeline that would allow Ann to salvage her life. So, salvaging what little remained was what she'd do, even if accepting the position meant she'd have to try harder than ever to fight the attraction to Jackson, the younger man she'd once shared a magical dance with and who would now be her new boss.

Five years was a long time to fight an attraction to an older married woman, but the failure of his parents' marriage meant Jackson didn't do love and, thus, faced no danger to his heart from Ann. He'd avoided love for thirty-one years and he was convinced that allowing the now widowed Ann Hackstetter to oversee the running of his ranch home wouldn't change things.

Despite his best efforts to keep things platonic, his Annie's warmth and shyness tugged at his guts, tinkered with his libido, and made his lonely house seem like a home. But, suddenly, Annie began acting strangely withdrawn like a woman with secrets to hide, and Jackson found he was more than willing to do anything for the sake of Annie's happiness, except offer her the elusive love she so desperately needed.

Once again, the talented Verna Clay whisks her readers into small town Colorado life amongst good friends and great romance. Honorable and upstanding Jackson Martinez and Ann Hackstetter have long been each other's secret crush but have refused to act on their respective desires. Both are good people of character, but Ann soon finds her values challenged by yet one more of her deceased husband's secrets, and this one is dangerous. Further, innocent pastimes in which Ann engaged in the past come back to hauntingly embroil her in a predicament that jeopardizes her newly found security with Jackson and, ultimately, the heart she so negligently guarded.

Fans of Ms. Clay's warm and wonderful Romance on the Ranch series will again thrill to wrap themselves up in the friendships and foibles of the residents of Paxtonville. With a lot of warmth, gentle humor, and just the right amount of sizzle, Ms. Clay is sure to leave fans filled with contentment and looking forward to her next writing project. Don't miss this second installment in a great series.
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