Rosie’s Diner is at the center of the small town of Saddle Creek, Wyoming, in the shadows of the Grand Teton Mountain range. When horse rancher Chase Montgomery first lays eyes on a waitress’s bruised and swollen face, and beautiful green eyes, his first instinct is to kiss the bruises away.
Lauren McCray flees Michigan and heads west to escape another beating from her ex-boyfriend, Clint Jackson. When she sees him looking inside her car outside the diner where she works, she runs again. This time, jumping into the bed of a nearby pickup truck hauling a horse trailer.
Chase’s life is enriched when he pulls back the tarp in the bed of his pick up and finds the green-eyed beauty. Lauren is running and needs protection from something or someone, and he agrees to protect her with his life, but will it be in time?
Available at: http://www.bookstrand.com/rustlers-and-romance
RATING: 4.5 Stars
‘Rustlers and Romance’ is a comfortable, enjoyable, and just plain fun romance, involving a Michigan woman, Lauren McCray, on the run to escape her abusive husband, and Chase Montgomery, a Wyoming horse rancher. They meet at Rosie’s Diner, in Saddle Creek, Wyoming. Lauren has taken a waitress position, and Chase is on the way home from a horse sale, tired and wanting a quick meal. But Clint, Lauren’s husband, is still looking for her, and she spots him outside the diner, examining her car. Desperate to stay ahead of him, she hides in Chase’s vehicle, and ends up at Jack of Aces, his ranch, which becomes her refuge.
This is only the start of their relationship because now they’re both facing a variety of threats: Lauren’s angry husband, still searching for her, and a valuable item she brought with her; Chase’s housekeeper, an angry young neighbor who wants Chase for herself, and can be pretty nasty about it; rustlers who have been stealing horses from the ranch, and are willing to kill along the way; and the possibility that someone is also trying to force Chase off his ranch.
The story is well planned, with interesting friendly relationships as well as the growing romance, skillfully balanced with mystery and danger. Lauren and Chase feel like your personal friends, and you really want them to come together. This is, after all, the goal of a romance novel, but the dangers the characters face are compelling, and very believable. Along the way, there are questions about just who all the villains are, and why they are doing these despicable things. This was all put together in a very interesting fashion.
There were a few segments that could have used more space and detail, but overall the book was well worth reading, so I give it 4.5 points. I will be recommending it to certain friends of mine who also like well-planned suspense as part of a good romance story. If you like the pairing of romance and mystery, ‘Rustlers and Romance’ should definitely be on your list.
I am very grateful for the reviewer’s copy I was sent.
Reviewed by: Roberta