Title: When the Rancher Came to TownAuthor: Emma Cane
Publisher: Avon Impulse (HarperCollins)Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Emma Cane returns to the amazing and romantic town for the latest installment in her sparkling series. When and ex-Rodeo star falls in love with the agoraphobic B&B owner, he must pull out all the stops to get her out of her shell.
Welcome to Valentine Valley!
The Silver Creek Rodeo is in full swing and everyone’s talking about the rancher who came to town…
Bed & Breakfast owner Amanda Cramer wants nothing more than a quiet, private life. Well, she wants guests too, but after her share of unwanted notoriety she’s gotten comfortable hiding out in her inn…perhaps a little too comfortable. When her newest guest arrives, tall, dark and breathtaking…Amanda begins to question her self-imposed exile.
Ex-rodeo star Mason Lopez knows all about the limelight. He’d avoid it if he could, but since one last ride could mean saving his family’s ranch, he’ll go all in. When he gets to Valentine Valley for the Silver Creek Rodeo, Mason checks into Connections B&B and finds himself immediately drawn to the beautiful, reserved woman who owns it.
Mason only has three days in town…can he convince Amanda to open her heart to him and welcome the world back in?
My review:Emma Cane adds another story to her Valentine Valley series with this novella. Mason, a rodeo star, and Amanda, a former-lawyer-turned-B&B-owner, are an unlikely couple who finds solace in each other's arms. Amanda is trying to heal herself from her agoraphobia (anxiety disorder) and Mason is trying to be in the limelight one final time to save his family's ranching business.
As this is a novella, there wasn't much room for character development. Cane paints a beautiful picture of Valentine Valley, and the welcoming feel of the town that's woven throughout the series is very much present here. It's hard for me to believe two people can fall in love in only three days, but I was willing to suspend my belief because I did enjoy other books in the series.
This read was an easy one - a single sitting and it was through (I call these a lunchtime read - I can finish it in a lunch hour). While I do wish she'd spent a little less time on Amanda's background and a little more time on the romance, there's only so many pages available. That's just the way novellas tend to go; just as you're getting into it, it ends! The writing was, as it usually is with Cane, descriptive and emotive. I felt the B&B (named Connections), loved the history she poured into it, and could see the gardens in my mind. Cane's settings are always lovely and are almost a character of the story itself - she's a master at creating rich, dimensional places where you'd want to live.
Although I didn't love When the Rancher Came to Town as much as the other Valentine Valley novels, I wasn't disappointed with this read despite it's lack of character development and conflict. In fact, it left me wondering how they'll make it as a couple. I hope Cane revisits Amanda and Mason in a future Valentine Valley novel; a glimpse into their forever happiness would provide me with that happy sigh I'm always seeking.
Three and a half stars.
(Disclaimer: I was provided a digital Advanced Reader Copy (e-ARC) from the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.)
About the Author
Emma Cane grew up reading and soon discovered that she liked to write passionate stories of teenagers in space. Her love of “passionate stories” has never gone away, although today she concentrates on the heartwarming characters of Valentine, her fictional small town in the Colorado Rockies.
Now that her three children are grown, Emma loves spending time crocheting and singing (although not necessarily at the same time), and hiking and snowshoeing alongside her husband Jim and two rambunctious dogs Apollo and Uma.
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