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Restless Rancher

by Jennifer Ryan

Series: Wild Rose Ranch (2)

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202916,404 (3)None
"One minute down-on-his-luck rancher Austin Hubbard slept soundly, the next, a sassy spitfire dumped a pitcher of water on his head and woke him up--in more ways than one. Hired to help him rebuild his ranch, Sonya Tucker ends up helping him put the tattered pieces of his life back together. The capable, all-business accountant is on a mission to get the ranch up and running, but can he convince the temptingly beautiful woman to take a chance on him? Sonya was dismayed that Austin had lost it all: money, family, respectability. Things she--who'd been raised by her mother at Nevada's notorious brothel Wild Rose Ranch--only dreamed about. But working with the long, lean cowboy shows her that Austin is honorable to his core. Together they slowly grow to see what the love between them might bring. But then Austin's powder keg of a family feud explodes, exposing long-buried secrets, and threatening their new-found love..." -- Amazon.… (more)
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1.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Yes, he’d been humbled, going from living large with money overflowing his bank account to scraping by.

Second in the Wild Rose Ranch series, the troubled Austin is trying to get his life together. I haven't read the first book and I think that really hurt my enjoyment of this. I had no idea who these people were and our heroine, Sonya, with her sisters and family dynamics, seem to be play a big part in the underlining theme and emotion in the series. I think background knowledge on Sonya's family and Austin as a character would have helped my attachment to these characters. This starts with Austin trying to reform his party boy ways because his rich father has cut him off and his girlfriend has dumped him. Austin inherited a ranch from his grandfather but it is dilapidated and needs a lot of money and repair. Sonya comes into the picture because her sister (heroine from book one) is bankrolling Austin's ranch and she is there to manage and run the books for the ranch.

Numbers made sense to her. Everything lined up. People, the things they did, their capacity to hurt others and inflict such cruelties, boggled her mind.

This was a honestly a mess of storylines for me, the beginning focuses for a while on how Austin's grandfather was a hoarder and lingers on the emotional whys of it, Austin's father badly wants the ranch and now his ex-girlfriend is engaged to his father and his father wants the ex to trick Austin into impregnate her, and Austin working on trying to get his act together. Sonya has her own issues with her family, a mother who lived a harsh life, a job that passed her over for promotion, and dealing with her sisters and childhood. There was a scene where Sonya gets angered and in one paragraph spouts a plethora of trigger warning issues that happened to her mother and it felt like heaping awful traumas on a character just for shock or forced emotional value because of the lack of emotional foundation.

She’d stand by whoever she loved. She’d be a true partner. Adversity challenged her, it didn’t back her down.

The romance between the two is fairly instant and not something I completely believed in because of the lack of solid relationship groundwork. They have some good back and forth moments, made better because of the don't back down attitude of Sonya but the constant fluttering between story threads/plots didn't leave enough time for them to develop. The main plot of Austin's dad wanting his ranch so bad could have worked but Austin's forced mishandling of the situation, he didn't seem too curious as to why his dad would want the ranch in the beginning, and him never checking deeds or information about something inherited and carried so much about.

If you read the first, you'd probably enjoy this more then me but I felt disconnected from the characters, there were too many messy storythreads, and the romance moved too quickly without a strong enough foundation. I've other Ryan works before and enjoyed them, I'm going to just count this one as a one-off. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Mar 17, 2020 |
Restless Rancher is book two in our Wild Rose Ranch series by Jennifer Ryan. After loving book one, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second book and boy I should have read this sooner because this book was simply fantastic for sure. Now, this didn’t have quite the emotional intensity that I have normally felt in her previous books, but it definitely had plenty of feels just works the reader differently than you would normally expect and I found it refreshing actually that she switched things up a bit.

In Restless Rancher, our story begins with our hero Austin Hubbard, who is having a rough patch in his life. His grandfather has passed away and Austin is trying to do everything her can to keep the land from getting into his father’s greedy hands, and his ex-girlfriend ran to her father’s arms and our story starts with her trying to seduce him so she can have his baby under his father’s insistence. But Austin is determined to stand up to his father. With the help of Roxy, he is sent help to refurbish his grandfather’s home and get the place back in working order. Roxy sends him her sister “Sonya” to assist him and she is badass in getting him back into working and not drowning in self-pity and the bottle. As they start working together, there are sparks of chemistry that builds between them. And even though they aren’t sure where their relationship is headed, they both feel how ‘real’ it is for both of them. But there is something more going on with the reasons why his father wants his land so badly and the closer they get to the truth, the more dangerous it becomes…

This was a fantastic book and I truly loved every part of this book. It was so good in so many ways here and I couldn’t get enough of it. It was quite different. But first I want to talk COVER. Now I love this cover, but my only complaint is how different it is from the cover of book one. They so don’t match and I would have wish Avon had done a more focused job on making sure they matched better. Am I the only one that was bothered by this?

Now to continue on with the actual story. This was quite a mystery actually. At first, you don’t connect the dots to the actual mystery of it all. But the further you get into the story the more the cards start to fall into place and you realize it. In the first half of the story, the focus is the romance between Sonya and Austin which is a mix of sass and sweet. They are refurbishing and doing lots of construction on his grandfather’s home. What I appreciated about this aspect is seeing the emotional effect it has on Austin. Seeing someone he deeply loved and having to go through his things. But as the romance builds between these two is when things get even more interesting. His father is one mean piece of work that is for sure and we see how greedy he is. We see Austin and Sonya learn to figure out what they want in their relationship and find out what is really going on with the land.

Now for Sonya, her story is more side lined because of what Austin is going through. Now don’t get me wrong, in most romances we see the heroine being the focus point so it was truly refreshing to see it be the hero at the focus point. But we see what her mother has gone through which is vastly different from what we see with Roxy’s mother. We see the effects of abuse and trauma and it really broke my heart to see what Sonya and her mother go through. I was literally SOBBING at the end with the HEA her mother found, so beautiful and heartfelt.

Overall I found Restless Rancher to be a sexy yet heartwrenching read that tugs at those emotions in such a vibrant real way that is undeniable and true. ( )
  addictofromance | Nov 14, 2019 |
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"One minute down-on-his-luck rancher Austin Hubbard slept soundly, the next, a sassy spitfire dumped a pitcher of water on his head and woke him up--in more ways than one. Hired to help him rebuild his ranch, Sonya Tucker ends up helping him put the tattered pieces of his life back together. The capable, all-business accountant is on a mission to get the ranch up and running, but can he convince the temptingly beautiful woman to take a chance on him? Sonya was dismayed that Austin had lost it all: money, family, respectability. Things she--who'd been raised by her mother at Nevada's notorious brothel Wild Rose Ranch--only dreamed about. But working with the long, lean cowboy shows her that Austin is honorable to his core. Together they slowly grow to see what the love between them might bring. But then Austin's powder keg of a family feud explodes, exposing long-buried secrets, and threatening their new-found love..." -- Amazon.

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