The Rancher by Hildie McQueen

The Rancher
By: Hildie McQueen
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Published: July 15, 2014
Genre: Historical, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F
Length: Novella
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: September 28, 2014


Grant Gentry and his brother are attacked on their way back from a cattle drive. Left for dead, he manages to get to the road and is picked up by a traveling salesman. He wakes up a few miles from home being cared for by two elderly sisters and a young woman they've taken in. His goal becomes to get better and find his brother; this is not the time to find love.

Julia Cutler's life has been anything but easy. After a disastrous marriage to a ruthless man, she settles into a comfortable life helping out the Sullivan sisters in exchange for room and board. When sparks fly between her and the man she's grown to care for, she allows nature to take it's course not planning for anything past the moment.

When the man that attacked Grant turns out to be Julia's husband, who's come to claim her things are about to get complicated.

Grant Gentry is a rancher who wakes up, beaten and bruised, in the home of the Sullivan sisters and their "niece", Julia. They have been caring for him since he and his men were attacked and robbed returning home from a cattle drive. His men were all killed, his younger brother is missing and he was left for dead. He can't remember what happened or the faces of the men who attacked them, but in his dreams he relives the horror of that night as well as the dinstinct, raspy voice of one of their attackers.

Julia is a woman on the run from an abusive relationship. She finds safety in the home of the Sullivan sisters and is helping to care for Grant until he recovers enough to return to his ranch. She is constantly on the lookout for the man she ran away from and is ready to flee at a moment's notice. Grant finds himself wanting to court Julia but she is reluctant to become involved with him. He pursues her relentlessly until she agrees to allow him to court her but still will not agree to marriage.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this story is that Julia and Grant did not hold back the passion they had for each other. Sometimes, with historical pieces, the lead characters cannot give in to their passion because the woman would be considered "spoiled" and lose her place in society. That wasn't the case with Grant and Julia. Neither was worried about what people would say, although they were careful not to flaunt their affair in front of others. I also really liked that Grant quickly realized that Julia was hiding something and he didn't allow her to push him away. The more she resisted, the more he was determined to find out what she was hiding. He didn't try to convince her she needed a man to solve her problems. If anything, he admired her more for her strength.

This was a quick read but there was depth to the story. It also set up a future installment for Emerson, the oldest brother and sheriff. It also left me wondering what happened to Linc, the youngest brother. I would definitely read more about the Gentry's of Montana.

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