Friday, April 8, 2016

Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the LitFuse Publications book blogger campaign. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

About the Book: 

Back in the Saddle (Multnomah, March 2016)
The prodigal is coming home.
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.
He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.
Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

About the Author: 

Ruth Logan Herne has more than half a million books in print, including fifteen Love Inspired contemporary novels. Back in the Saddle is the first book in her new western romance series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

Dynamic Uno here:  
It's no surprise that I enjoy stories with cowboys and a touch of romance, so it should also be no surprise that I enjoyed reading this first book (Back in the Saddle) in the Double S Ranch series by Ruth Logan Herne.

The characters were down-to-earth, realistic people who could be your next door neighbors (if you lived in Gray's Glen, Washington). Despite the fact that the patriarch, Sam, had a bad reputation throughout the town due to prior life decisions, I was glad when he stepped up to the plate and tried to show people, especially his sons, how he had changed since accepting God into his life.

I enjoyed reading the back stories on some of the characters because it made me realize that all families have tragedy, messiness, and heartbreak, and that we are never alone in these situations.  Angelina's back story about the death of her father, and Noah's father choosing to walk away from them broke my heart.  But, the way Angelina carried herself and worked even harder for her family, showed me that even in the roughest times, we can still be a beacon of light and hope.

Colt's story of the prodigal returning home from his own worldly mess showed me that despite how badly I may mess things up, I can still be accepted by my family--even if it's somewhat grudgingly, like his brother's jealousy.

Overall, I liked how life was messy for the characters, and not smelling like roses all the time, because I think, as readers, we are able to relate more to those situations because we have those sticky situations in our own lives. Nevertheless, this story ended on a high and happy note (which is my favorite kind of ending) and I can't wait to see what happens with the other brothers and some of the other characters in this series.

If you enjoy light-hearted romance with some (seriously handsome--have you seen the cover??) cowboys in the mix, then this story and series is for you!

Let me know what you think and happy reading!

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