Title: The Reluctant Cowboy by Kate Pearce
Morgan Ranch Series Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
After a turbulent childhood, the Morgan brothers went their separate ways, leaving the family cattle ranch and their cowboy days far behind. But now, one by one, they’re being called back home to California. Have they been summoned to save the land—or to start a new legacy?
Chase Morgan high-tailed it away from ranching life as soon as possible. But running a successful technology company can’t erase the memories, or secrets, of his youth. Coming home to help his Grandma Ruth may finally put some ghosts to rest—if he can just get a certain smart, beautiful houseguest out of his business. But getting her out of his head is proving even more difficult…
Determined to save the Morgan ranch, historian January Mitchell has pinned her hopes on the surprisingly rugged, surprisingly likable, and exasperatingly stubborn Chase. Surely his love of this breathtaking, mysterious land runs deep enough that he’ll once again embrace his inner cowboy. Or maybe, despite both of their skittish hearts, she’ll have to find a way to get him back in the saddle…any which way she can.
The first installment in Kate Pearce’s Morgan Ranch series, The Reluctant Cowboy is a sweet yet deliciously steamy novel that takes place on a California ranch that has been in the Morgan family for several generations.
With a host of unpleasant memories stemming from long ago events that tore their family apart, Chase Morgan avoids coming back to the ranch for visits. However, when his beloved Grandma Ruth needs his assistance in getting to the bottom of a puzzling financial problem, he reluctantly returns to help out. Chase is already experiencing a great deal of stress from work disagreements with his business partners who just happen to be his best friends. Unfortunately, his pessimistic attitude and need for control come into play when dealing with the situation with Ruth and they are soon on opposite sides while trying to decide the future of the ranch. Rediscovering his roots has an unexpected positive effect on him but when forced to confront the events that led to his estrangement from his brothers, will Chase continue to let the past define him and his family?
January Mitchell is dedicated to preserving history and she is rather flummoxed at Chase’s disinterest in keeping the Morgan ranch in the family. She refuses to back down despite his strenuous objections, but she also knows not to push him too hard as she tries to convince him to help Ruth stay in her home. Gaining his cooperation in showing her parts of the ranch that only family members know about, January unexpectedly rekindles his love of the land. With an uncanny ability to see through a problem to the heart of the matter, her insight into the various issues Chase is grappling with is invaluable.
January and Chase are attracted to one another despite their differences and at first, it seems a romance between them would never work. Chase is very pragmatic and with a businesslike approach to romance, he completely discounts love when it comes to his relationships. January is searching for an emotional connection and she is beyond shocked at his viewpoint. When Chase proposes a friends with benefit arrangement for the duration of his time at the ranch, she refuses to even consider agreeing to his plan. However, January soon reconsiders her decision and they are soon heating up the sheets as often as they can. With mutual affection and genuine respect for each other along with a sizzling hot attraction, will January and Chase be able to keep their no strings fling from evolving into a real relationship?
Reluctant Cowboy is a captivating romance between two flawed but immensely appealing characters. The romance between them unfolds at a leisurely, but believable, pace. The storyline is engaging and the complicated family history provides depth and substance to the plot. This first installment in Kate Pearce’s Morgan Ranch series is a beautifully written love story that will leave readers impatiently awaiting the release of the next book in the series.