Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Series: Trinity River #1
Title: Back in the Rancher’s Arms
Author: Elsie Davis
Publisher: Entangled Bliss, Entangled Publishing
Published: April 9th, 2018
This is the first book in a new series and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed escaping to Trinity River, getting to know some of the characters in this community – especially Dylan Hunter, the hero for this story.
Dylan has been left to bring up his younger brother and run the family ranch. He’s a caring man but struggling to cope with all the pressures. As a teen he loved the girl next door, Kayla Anderson, so much that he encouraged her to follow her dreams of studying to be a vet, hoping she’d soon return home and to him again. However, she has stayed away and is only coming back to be the maid of honour at her cousin’s wedding. He’s hoping they can reconnect as he’s to be the best man but they both have secrets – will their revelations help heal the past and enable them to move on to a future together or drive them apart?
The community is the real strength in this story and I look forward to reading more about them all in future stories in this series. There are great characters who it is easy to relate to as they are brought to life within the pages of the story. However a key feature of this story are the plethora of secrets, lies and liars, all told with good motives but they are still lies told both in the past and in the present. Dylan is a real hero, a hard working cowboy striving to create a future for himself and those he loves. I was shocked at some of the secrets being kept, especially by Kayla’s parents, though in some regards they were understandable. If you love second chance romances, I recommend grabbing yourself a copy of this book. I’ll certainly be looking out for more in the series in future.
I requested and was lucky enough to be given a copy of this novel, via NetGalley, with no obligation. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
Dylan Hunter has always loved the girl next door. Part of loving her meant making sure she left their small town to study to become a veterinarian. He just never expected it to take this long for her to come home. His hands are full raising his younger brother and bringing his ranch through the drought, but one look at Kayla and his feelings are back full force.
Kayla Anderson’s not prepared to see the guy who broke her heart in high school again, but she can’t get out of returning home to be maid of honor at her cousin’s wedding. She’s determined to have fun and celebrate the special day, despite the fact Dylan is her family’s closest neighbor and the best man, and get the heck back out of Dodge.
But Dylan already lost the woman he loved once. This time, he’s determined to win her back…
“And now if we could get the maid of honor, the best man, and the rest of the wedding party to join the bride and groom on the dance floor, we’ll kick off this shindig.”
Dylan crossed the room to her side. “May I have this dance?” He held out his arm.
“Yes.” She laid her hand gently across his forearm.
Dylan led her to the far side of the dance floor. “I’m sorry about earlier.” He pulled her tightly against his chest, one arm looped around her back, the other holding her hand out to lead her in a waltz.
“I don’t want to discuss it,” she said, trying to hold her body stiff against his.
“What do you want to talk about?”
“Let’s not talk.”
“Darling, we’ve done enough of that for five years. Don’t you think it’s time for a change? Besides, I don’t think you’re as immune to me as you claim to be.”
Weddings were hell on a person’s emotions, and being in Dylan’s arms made it worse, but him calling her darling, well, that was over the top. His hand dropped to her waist, the contact burning through the thin layers of material that separated his hand from her skin.
“I don’t know. Things are good the way they are. Why change it now?”
Kayla scanned the room as Dylan spun her around the dance floor. Anything other than looking up at Dylan and getting lost in the temptation his chocolate eyes offered.
“Are you happy in the city?” His question caught her off-guard.
“Wow. Where did that come from?” She tried to dodge the bullet.
“Answer the question. Are you happy?” he persisted.
How could she answer if she didn’t know herself? Before she’d come to visit, the answer would have been easy. Time and being back home had changed her perspective about a lot of things. A lot of things except Dylan. He’d gotten older and possibly more charming, but nothing could change the past.
“Yes.” It was the safest answer.
The city offered her the fun and excitement she’d originally longed for, but once the newness had worn off, she’d realized a lot of the people there were going through the motions of living, hopping from one party to the next, one event to the next, one dinner out to the next. There was always something going on, and people never stopped to get off the carousel and look around. To breathe.
She’d already considered moving home, but there was simply too much history in Riverbend, which is why she’d accepted the partnership offer.
“Have you ever thought of coming home?” he asked. It was like he could read her mind.
“Houston is my home now. I like it there.”
He pulled her in closer. “And I like you here.”
His words caused her to stumble. Here in Riverbend or here in his arms? Either way, his statement confused her.
She ignored his last words. “Why do you think Sophia and Ethan did this to us?” she asked bluntly. It wasn’t a big secret she didn’t want anything to do with Dylan.
“What makes you think it was planned?” he asked.
“They both know how things stand between us.”
“Maybe they’re trying to rewrite the ending.” He pulled back to smile down at her.
“You think they’re playing matchmaker? That’s crazy.”
“Is it?” He pulled her back in close, keeping her emotionally off-balance.
“Things. Like if you stick around a while, you might be surprised what you learn.” He spoke the words like a lover imparting a secret.
At the age of twelve Elsie Davis discovered Barbara Cartland, the Queen of Romance, and has been hooked ever since. While three daughters, four grandchildren and her own hero husband keep her busy, she still manages to write full-time from her mountain-top log home.
Elsie loves cruising, birding, kayaking, camping, fishing, wildlife, disc golf and nature walks; basically, being outdoors EXCEPT in the cold weather.
Indoors, she enjoys a warm fire, a glass of red wine, a romantic comedy movie or a great romance, as long as they are a guaranteed Happily Ever After.
She is an award-winning author and an active member of RWA and KOD.
Author Website: elsiedavishea.com
Author Twitter: @elsiedavishea
Many thanks to Entangled Publishing for organising and providing materials for this tour. The review is my own, honest opinion after choosing to read this book.