Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Rancher and the Vet - Julie Benson (HAR #1448 - Apr 2013)

Cowboy, Come Home

Leaving his Colorado hometown was the second hardest thing Reed Montgomery ever did-the first was breaking up with Avery McAlister, his high school sweetheart. Now his western roots are calling the citified CEO back to his family ranch to be surrogate dad to his niece, Jess. Of course, he can't help being pulled back into Avery's world.

Keeping her financially strapped animal shelter open is Avery's first priority-her second turns out to be helping Reed with his parenting skills. They may be bonding, but her former flame still has some serious explaining to do about the secret that drove him away.

The ghosts of the past and a rekindled desire bring Reed and Avery ever closer together. But will Reed embrace his future...as a cowboy, a father and as the man for Avery? 

Excellent book with some very emotional issues being dealt with.  Reed gets called back to Estes Park when his brother has to deploy so that he can take care of his teenage niece.  Now he has to figure out how to care for her, run his business long distance, deal with his unpleasant memories of home and try not to get involved with Avery again.

I really liked both Reed and Avery.  Avery had been very much in love with Reed and when he left town to go to college and then cut off all contact with her she was devastated.  She put her life back together and became a vet, just as she'd planned.  Now she also runs an animal shelter that is going to lose its home if they can't raise a bunch of money very quickly.  She hasn't seen Reed since then though she knows he occasionally visits.  When she sees him again she realizes that she has never really gotten over him.  In her efforts to protect her heart she is pretty snarky with him.  There are a couple great scenes with them.  One is when she assigns him and Jess to dog washing and he ends up getting banned, and another is when they are all having dinner with her mom, who calls them on their bad behavior.  I really liked the way her attitude started to soften toward Reed as she saw how much he cared about Jess.  She also started to see that there was more to his breakup with her than she had known about at the time.  I loved her support of him at the end and how she was able to relieve his fears.

Reed had left his hometown in the dust years ago except for very short visits to his brother and niece.  He had mostly bad memories because of the physical abuse he suffered at the hands of his father.  He had been in love with Avery and they had started making plans for their future when something happened that made him afraid that he was turning out to be like his father.  So he broke things off with her and has been in emotional hiding ever since, channeling everything into his business.  When his brother calls and tells him he's needed in Colorado, he's not happy but he will do it.  Seeing Avery again brings those emotions and memories back to the surface.  It was interesting seeing how focused he was on business at first and how he slowly started getting more balance in his life.  I also really enjoyed his confidence that he would have no problems dealing with Jess and then seeing him have to eat his words.  He really wanted to do the right things but he was totally clueless.  I did like the way that Avery was the one he called when he needed help.  I also liked seeing him face his memories of home and the town as an adult and start to heal.  It still took until the very end for him to admit his feelings to himself and then to Avery.  I loved his solution at the very end, though I did see it coming earlier in the book thanks to one of the other townspeople.

No comments:

Post a Comment