His Reluctant Rancher

Roxanne Snopek
His Reluctant Rancher
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Entangled Publishing
Release Date
February 2013
Book 2 of Three River Ranch
Contemporary Romance, Western Romance

The last place city girl Desiree Burke expected to find herself was living at and working on a ranch, much less butting heads with the ranch's sexy cowboy owner, Zach Gamble. But that's exactly where she ends up after an incident at work leads her to her best friend Rory's doorstep. Desiree is a gifted physical therapist, and Rory knows exactly where her brand of tough love is needed the most.

Zach's been through hell and back. A devastating car crash left his brother gone, his father paralyzed, and him with mental scars a mile wide. His survivor guilt alone makes him sure he doesn't deserve to find love. But as Des works her way into his ranch, his family, and his life, suddenly the last person who belonged there is the only one he believes belongs…with him.

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Jul 01, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
143 people found the following review helpful
Two people whose lives are falling apart have a chance to restore their faith in themselves and build a future together if they can put aside self doubts and recriminations and allow themselves to take a chance on love.

After self-reliant, city-raised physiotherapist Desiree Burke has a formal complaint filed against her by a patient and faces a professional review by a supervisor she doesn't see eye-to-eye with, she takes leave from her job to contemplate her future, while she waits to hear if she'll even have a job to go back to. At such a low point in her life, and long ago orphaned and with no family to offer her moral support, Desiree heads to Twinridge Ranch to offer her therapy services to the family patriarch Joe Gamble, a man who may never walk again. It's Joe's adopted son Zach who makes Desiree's own spine tingle, but Zach's no longer the ladies man Des remembers since he's had to almost single-handedly keep Twinridge afloat since the devastating accident that killed his brother and left his father an empty shell of a man.

The only life and livelihood Zach Gamble has ever known is in jeopardy. He was driving the truck when the deer ran in his path and caused him to lose control in icy weather. His brother died in the accident and his father Joe can no longer walk and his speech may be permanently impaired. The medical insurance has run out, money is tight, and the nearest place his father can receive the therapy he desperately needs is hours away from Twinridge. His mother Marnie spends too much time alone weeping, and they can't afford tuition for his sister Celia to resume her college studies to become a veterinarian. If the food company they partner with can't float them a loan to tide them over, the Gambles will lose the ranch they call home.

Bearing the burden of imminent failure has Zach working more, sleeping little, and feeling guilt-ridden over the accident that killed his beloved younger brother and Joe and Marnie's natural-born son. There remains only a few weeks for sexy city-girl Des to try out her therapy skills on Joe before the Gamble's all important meeting to request a loan from their business partners, but Des is a fish out of water on a working ranch and a distraction that a near-defeated man like Zach just doesn't need.

Succumbing to the passion that burns between them is pointless, as Zach knows a woman like Des won't adapt to life at Twinridge, and denial of the needs she inspires is the best way to keep her from shattering his already well-battered heart. But the hard-headed, sassy Desiree just won't let Zach wallow in self-pity, because an orphan like her recognizes that family is a treasure worth fighting for, and she'll prove it if the stubborn rancher doesn't drive her away.

This second novel in the Three River Ranch series is a heart-wrenching but amazing feel-good read that's hard to put down. Zach and Desiree are both reeling from personal struggles and fighting an attraction first born when they met in Ms. Snopek's connected novel titled Three River Ranch. Despite life obstacles that seem insurmountable, Des and Zach must learn to work together to keep the ranch functioning, but Des must also help Zach to overcome his terrible sense of blame and make the effort to help the adoptee reconnect with the family he has emotionally shut out since the tragedy that altered their lives so dramatically.

During her struggle to assist this broken family, Desiree's relentless pursuit to restore Joe's life to some sense of normalcy reignites her faith in her own abilities as a physiotherapist, but exposes the guarded heart she's so fiercely fought against sharing with others. Ms. Snopek is sure to garner many faithful readers with this endearing series, and I'm hoping she'll be adding another title to it very soon.

(Warning: A box of tissues may be needed for the reading of chapter sixteen.)
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