Danger and desire collide when New York Times bestselling author Carla Cassidy takes us back to Holiday Ranch…
When a baby is abandoned on his doorstep, cowboy Tony Nakni is blindsided. He never wanted to be a father, but his ex-girlfriend is on the run and tells Tony he's the only person she trusts to keep little Joey safe. Struggling with the infant, Tony turns to caring Mary Redwing for help.
Lovely Mary agrees to help care for the child, but a shared desire simmering between her and Tony soon intensifies the arrangement. As the search for Joey's mom brings grave danger to their doorstep, his protective instincts emerge, unearthing the depth of his feelings. But can the rugged rancher save the family he's falling for…before it's too late?
Be still my beating heart, I love the cover of the book, and in the story, Tony was just as hot as in the picture of the cover.
There were so many different elements in the story going on simultaneously. There are the ranch and the fifteen-year-old murders that have been unsolved through the series, there's Tony's childhood drama that still comes to his nightmares, there the brief relationship he had with Amy that brought Joye to his doorsteps, Mary and her grandmother and Mary's past, and the drug lord trying to get Joye back, thinking Joye is his child - each of these different factors gave more to the tale, and I was hooked.
I have enjoyed the series from the start, the brotherhood at the ranch, the romances, and danger well mixed together have been truly entertaining.
Joye steals everyone's hearts in the story, and to see Tony fall for him just melted my heart. What Tony went through in his own childhood in the unofficial foster family was heartbreaking. As much as we wish there wasn't any racism anymore in the world, it still raises its ugly head in our society. I am thankful that the author brought up this serious and concerning subject matter, and dealt with it respectfully. There should be more light shined upon this, so there wouldn't be any dark corners to hide in.
Tony and Mary had had a previous connection via Amy, Joye's mom. I am not a fan of love triangles, but here was made very clear, several times, that what feelings Tony had for Amy were long gone, and just a concern for her wellbeing was left in his mind. I loved how their shared inheritance brought them closer together, how the attraction grew into more, deeper feelings, and how they took their time to get to know each other, shared their secrets and helped each other heal from the wounds of the past.
As the danger, that was lurking around them, came increasingly more abrasive, and their survival came to question, everything in life had to be evaluated again, and priorities set in new order.
This story with its many layers and interesting character development mixed with danger and fear got me so absorbed into the tale, I lost the track of time. This series has, in a brilliant way, mixed important social issues, like foster care, single parenthood, and racism, with romance and jeopardy, making the stories so much more, giving them some spice of life, making the readers think and evaluate their own values, if so inclined.
There's a lot going on in the story, murder, mayhem, trouble, and drama. Yet all the stress leaves some space for a tender romance, learning about cultural inheritance, and falling in love with one smiling baby boy.
~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me