Title: Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne
Double S Ranch Series Book One
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Genre: Contemporary, Christian, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Blogging for Books
The Prodigal Is Coming Home
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?
Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne is an uplifting story about reconciliation, forgiveness and faith. This first installment in the delightful Double S Ranch series also has an understated yet endearing romance that is guaranteed to melt readers’ hearts.
Colt Stafford never imagined he would return to his family’s ranch but after losing his lucrative job on Wall Street, he has few options open to him. Estranged from his father Sam and with his relationship with brother Nick strained by his long absence, he is uncertain what reception awaits him. His unexpected arrival a day early takes housekeeper Angelina Morales by surprise and their introduction is unorthodox yet understandable given the circumstances. Colt is rather smitten by Angelina, but he also quickly realizes there is much more to her than meets the eye and he is very curious about the secrets she is keeping. While Colt easily steps back into the day to day operations on the Double S, will he be able to repair his fractured relationships with his family?
The death of Colt’s mom when he was four years old set the stage for the complicated family dynamics. His heartbroken father quickly remarried and when the marriage ended in divorce, Sam became even more distant from Colt, Nick and eventually, their adopted brother Trey. When Colt and Trey wanted more for their lives than ranching, Sam issued ultimatums to both of them that resulted in longstanding estrangements between him and his sons. Now in ill health, Sam is ready to make amends, but is it too late to mend their broken relationships?
Colt never quite recovered from the loss of his kind-hearted and gentle mother. He could not wait to get away from the ranch and his small hometown but with his career in tatters and his assets frozen, he has little choice but to return to the Double S. Planning only a temporary stay on the ranch, he maintains an emotional distance from his father and rebuffs his attempts to make up for past mistakes. His relationship with his brother is equally uneasy but this does not stop Colt from trying to help Nick move past his heartache over his broken marriage. At the same time, Colt’s feelings for Angelina begin to deepen but with both of them looking to the past, will they sacrifice their chance at happiness?
An incredibly poignant and realistic depiction of working through the pain of past mistakes, Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne is a healing journey of redemption and renewed faith. The novel is well-written with a storyline that is a meaningful and thought-provoking. The romance between Colt and Angelina is slow growing and very sweet. The cast of characters is beautifully developed with true life flaws and imperfections that make them sympathetic and easy to like. This first installment in the Double S Ranch series is a heartfelt and engrossing story with a gentle undercurrent of spirituality that is sure to resonate with readers of Christian fiction.