MONTANA HEARTS: HER WEEKEND WRANGLER by Darlene Panzera (on-sale 10/6, Avon Impulse)
Darlene Panzera returns with a sweet new Western series perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber's heartwarming romances
Bree Collins has finally come home to Fox Creek, Montana, to manage her family's guest ranch. She knows she can handle any challenges that come her way, but when the infuriating Ryan Tanner reappears in her life, Bree suddenly has doubts about her ability to stay professional—and away from the handsome cowboy.
Ryan Tanner is in a bind. He needs to train a young foal for the upcoming show but its mother would rather bite his hand off. Just his luck the cute cowgirl from his past arrives back in town. Bree just so happens to have a reputation for taming animals of this nature. Ryan is willing to make a deal with her, but he has no intention of being swayed by her sweet smile or the tenderness she shows his young son.
Yet when fate brings them together, falling for one another becomes the easiest thing in the world. Ryan might just want to wrangle this cowgirl's heart…but will Bree give him the chance?
Her Weekend Wrangler is a sweet story about two people who lost out on their chance in high school and take a chance on love the second time around. There is a large cast of characters, her family and siblings, his family and siblings, his ex-wifes family, and a few friends. There is a suspenseful aspect to the story as people are sabotaging both Ryan and Bree's farms, and a number of twists and turns, and even a supposed conclusion until the real culprit is revealed.
The biggest challenge I had with this book is that I felt like I was just skimming the surface of the story. The book was heavy in dialogue and there wasn't much internal narrative for the reader to get to know the characters better. At times there were be a few sentences thrown in here or there, but in all, I just wasn't able to absorb myself into this story. There were also times that I felt a sentence or two was thrown in just to create a scenario that wasn't relative to the real story at hand. In general, I felt a lot of the circumstances the characters were experiencing were contrived - the heroine hasn't been on a horse in ten years because her favorite mare died in childbirth - and she blamed her father and a boy from high school. The fact that Bree was constantly easily manipulated by the "fake" CEOs (which I could see coming a mile away) and other situations like that just made many aspects of the story seem implausible.
I did like the ranch and farming aspects of the story. I liked how they showed Bree calming and training a new filly, and even Ryan's role in that storyline. I was looking forward to more about the mini roundup that just didn't really come to fruition, etc. In general, its a sweet read, but just didn't dig deep enough into the emotional aspects of the main characters to draw me into the story. I felt like lots of times the author was "telling me" things that she could have "shown me" through her words to draw me in, but she didn't.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
She walked over and tugged on Puzzles and Games, a newer book wedged tightly between the thick, dusty jackets of The Secret History of Yellowstone Country, and Ranching Ain't What It Used To Be. And the entire book case leaned toward her.
Catching the frame of the shelves with her hands, she spun around, and used her body weight to shove the burdensome book beast back into position. But every time she stepped away, the case threatened to fall. Somehow the bottom had become unbalanced. She glanced at the clerk behind the counter and opened her mouth to call for help. Then Ryan Tanner walked toward her and she involuntarily jumped in place.
They'd grown up together, riding the same school bus and sharing the same classes day after day right up through the twelfth grade. But after high school she'd relocated to New York to attend college. Then she put her business degree and love of fashion together to snatch the assistant managerial position at the Manhattan branch of Silvain's, a national fashion retail conglomerate which specialized in hip clothing and accessories. Over the years she'd run into Ryan only briefly during her occasional visits home.
And she had no desire to see him now.
Ryan was the kind of guy a girl dreamed about but could never have. At least not exclusively. He was a charmer who took the opportunity to flirt with every female he met. And he'd tried to charm her the night of their high school senior prom, the night her horse died, in an attempt to delay her from getting home too soon...and saying goodbye.
Of course, they were adults now, both almost twenty-seven, she with her glowing resume and he with a seven-year-old son. She thought she'd forgiven him and let bygones be bygones.
She was wrong.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Darlene is now a resident of the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and three children. When not writing she enjoys spending time with her family and her two horses, and loves camping, hiking, photography, and lazy days at the lake.
Join her on Facebook or at www.darlenepanzera.com
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