My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding...and why.
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?
I've always enjoyed the stories of Ruth Logan Herne. She has a certain way of writing her characters that make me feel like it's easy to get to know them. I absolutely loved the setting of the ranch amid the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It gave a great foundation of peace and beauty for the conflicts and hard work Colt and Angelina endure.The family relationships are shifting throughout the novel as the family transitions and adjusts to changing circumstances. Angelina plays a role in the family that goes much deeper than housekeeper and cook, which makes her hesitate to return to her former life. The older cowboys that work on the ranch also help Colt find his footing in the new dynamics of the ranch and provide stability. I liked the theme of redemption as Colt's father Sam tries to run his ranch and interact with the community is a way that reflects the values of his new faith.
(Thank you to Waterbrook Multnomah and Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)