There’s just something about a guy in a cowboy hat…
Book Title: Resisting the Rancher
Series: Three River Ranch #4
Author: Roxanne Snopek
Release Date: 4/14/14
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Country veterinarian Celia Gamble is in trouble. A misunderstanding from her past is rearing its ugly head and the only person she can turn to is Jonah Clarke—her family’s lawyer and, as it turns out, her brother Zach’s best friend and her childhood crush. She always wanted Jonah to see her as a bona fide woman, but as a woman who’s being wrongfully blackmailed for seducing a married man? Not on her life.
Jonah is happy to help little CeeCee Gamble, if only she’d come clean about why she’s being blackmailed. But with Zach’s wedding on the horizon and Zach’s fashionista fiancée Desiree giving CeeCee a makeover, the little duckling Jonah remembers is turning into a definite swan. And the unwritten law on sisters is clear—hands off. Jonah must resist Celia or lose the only true family he’s ever known.
Oh, this one was so much fun! I love older-brother’s-best-friend stories (why my parents only gave me a younger brother I will never understand), as well as childhood crushes all grown up and back with a vengeance, so this story was like catnip for me. Or would Beckynip be a better description? Either way, it was a guaranteed win.
Add to that Celia’s propensity towards wearing novelty work-related t-shirts (Veterinary Medicine: Because People are Gross) and the most brilliant t-shirt related proposal scene ever (the fact that it’s the only t-shirt related scene I know of is irrelevant), and you’ll understand why I’m typing this review while literally giving the book two thumbs up. It’s not easy, but totally worth the sacrifice.
The chemistry between Celia and Jonah absolutely sizzles in this book–so much fun to read! You could feel her frustration at wanting to be seen as a grown woman by the guy she worshiped as a kid as well as his shock at finding her all grown up–and the hands-off-she’s-Zach’s-sister vibe that came along right behind it. It all made for some delicious tension, especially since circumstances kept putting them together.
Circumstances, and some fabulous secondary characters.
Des, Celia’s almost-sister-in-law, played a part, giving our heroine a much-needed push into the girl zone after years of trying to blend in with the boys. Even if nothing sticks beyond the pretty underwear and girl-sized jeans, she will have accomplished much, as I’m sure Jonah can attest.
But my favorite secondary character here is Anne-Marie, Jonah’s paralegal. She alternately tries to mother and bully him into becoming the man she knows he can be, attempting to fix him up with dates when she’s not trying to guilt him into helping out at a local camp for at-risk children. Fully half of the passages I highlighted in this book had her in them, like this one:
She stood up abruptly, took a small step forward and slapped him on the face, not so hard as to leave a mark, but hard enough to give him a jolt.
“Wake up, Jonah! Love doesn’t come with the risk of pain. It carries a guarantee of pain. Of course, you’ll hurt each other. Then you’ll force each other to change and grow into better people. You’ll become stronger, and more vulnerable at the same time. She’ll have more power over you than anyone else in the world and she’ll also make you feel like the greatest man who ever lived.”
“She already does.” Instantly, the pressure in his chest eased. It felt like a dam had burst, a plug had been pulled, a wall breached.
Anne-Marie pulled him to his feet and hugged him, hard. “There. That only took a year off my life, but it’s done and now we can move forward.”
“If I hurt her—”
“Shut up or I’ll slap you again.” She shook him with her small hands. “Now, you’ve got a best-man’s tux to try on. You can love her all you want, but it’ll have to wait until after Des and Zach’s wedding. What does the best lawyer in Lutherton have to say about that?”
“I’m the only lawyer in Lutherton.”
“See?” She beamed at him. “Not so dumb after all, are you?”
I’ve got some lost time to make up for in this series–I read book one last summer, and now this one, but somehow none of the ones in between–because I really need to find out more about the family tragedy that’s still affecting both Cecelia and her family in this book. Clearly, my work is cut out of me. Oh, the sacrifices I have to make… 😉
Rating: 4 stars/ A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Roxanne Snopek has been writing professionally for more than two decades and her work has appeared in publications varying from The Vancouver Sun and Reader’s Digest to newsletters for Duke, Cornell and Tufts Universities. She’s done corporate copywriting on topics ranging from pet food for Iams/Eukanuba, to employee profiles for VersaCold to air-conditioner maintenance for Home Depot. (That’s right. Air conditioner maintenance.)
But she’s also had a bunch of other stuff published, including one mystery novel, a couple of literary short stories and a non-fiction series. One summer, she wrote video game dialogue and narrative forSilicon Sisters Interactive, a project that combined her two favourite genres – mystery and romance – with the world of casual gaming.
In 2012 she sold her first romance novel to Entangled Publishing. THREE RIVER RANCH made the Barnes & Noble Top Ten list, The Amazon Top 100 list and is now the foundation of a multi-book series. Recently, the first three books sold to France.