Title: His Reluctant Rancher
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Description/Synopsis: 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.
WARNING - SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT - REVIEW BELOW
I picked up this novel on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and let me tell you; I had no idea what I was in for. I'm a big fan of what I call "Sure-Read"s... That is, formulaic, well-written romance. Why? Because I know what I'm going to get when I go into it. I don't care if the plot is cliche because that sense of romance I get from the book is familiar and cozy. So understand that when I picked up this book, I thought I was going to get a familiar, cozy, but predictable read out of it.
I was wrong.
This book was very well written. At first, I didn't like the main female lead, Desi. Like some of the characters in the book, I felt her fake-Latina persona was phony and not endearing. That may be because I live in a heavily Latin-influenced area. (I live in El Paso on the border of Texas/new Mexico/Mexico). However, as the story wore on and that fake side of her personality started to melt away, I learned to like her more and more. It added a depth to the story that I wasn't expecting. As the other characters in the story grew close to Desi, so did I. It was a unique experience, and though I'm not sure it was planned, I really enjoyed the outcome.
This story was full of characters with unique personalities and complicated emotions. I really enjoyed Joe, Desi, Zach, and Rory just to name a few. They were funny, witty, endearing.. I could go on and on. And though at first the plot seemed to be like every other sure-read I've come across in the past, it quickly turned into a very unique and personal tale of these character's lives that were basically torn apart by tragedy... and how they worked to overcome it. There were a lot of endearing, heart-warming moments, but I'd like to share one of my favorites:
"Maybe this will change your mind." Rory took a small cardboard box from next to the door.
"Zach just dropped it off."
Her heart started to thump wildly. She untucked the top flaps. A little gray head popped out. Attached to his neck was a loose bit of twine, with a note attached.
You forgot your cat.
I mean seriously, how can you read that and not go "awwwwwww"? He gave her a freaking kitten. Okay maybe it doesn't have the same impact when it's not in context, but it certainly had me smiling.
There was a definite feeling of attraction and passion between the main couple, Desi and Zach. I'll admit sometimes I wanted to shake my fist at them because they both seemed so clueless, and a lot of times they made obvious bad decisions, but I have to say, the end to this book was absolutely PERFECT.
I don't cry when I read books. I've read so many romances that I'm completely immune to their effect for the most part. I teared up with this one. Even just thinking about it makes my throat grow tight. I cannot put into words how epic and endearing this love story was. If you're going to pick up a romance anytime in the near future, pick up this one. You won't regret it.