Title: The Rancher's Secret Wife
Author: Brenda Minton
Publication Date: July 24, 2012
Source: Harlequin via Net Galley
Summary (from Goodreads):
After knowing the woman for all of three hours, soldier Reese Cooper married waitress Cheyenne Jones. She was pregnant and scared, alone in Las Vegas—and he was about to ship out on a dangerous tour of duty. But months later, Reese comes home to Dawson, Oklahoma, no longer the strong cowboy who vowed to help Cheyenne. Shrapnel and a guarded heart changed everything. But with a wife and baby counting on him, Reese is about to learn what real courage is all about.
I'm a huge fan of Harlequin, mainly their Blaze line, but I loved the cover for The Rancher's Secret Wife and the (short) summary sounded good.
It was a sweet story, and I loved the plot line, but I was a little disappointed. It felt like the story just came together too nicely,. There was no conflict like there would be in a real life situation like this (although the situation was a little far-fetched) or real emotions from the characters. Everything was just too perfect. Also, as someone who has no beliefs, the constant mention of God and praying made the book seem a little religious. But that's just me. I'm sure others wouldn't be bothered by it.
We're told how Cheyenne and Reese meet, but I would have loved to have seen it. A memory from Cheyenne or Reese of them meeting as a flashback would have been awesome. A little question or suspicion from Reese's family about why this woman was suddenly showing up on their doorstep would have gone a long way also. But they just accepted her with open arms and no worries. It just didn't seem real how fast everyone welcomed her. And that bugs me.
But like I said, as much as it seemed just too perfect for my taste, the story was sweet. You have two people who meet, do something crazy because they only see the situation as A and B and never consider there would be a possible C. And suddenly they're thrust into scenario C and aren't sure how to deal with it. I love that the author didn't cure Reese. It was sad what happened to him, yes, but to me the result of his accident while at war was the only real thing about him. It was painful to picture this strong man learn how to do things all over again, yet it was what made you root for him.
I can't say that I loved the book, but I do think the romance lovers of Harlequin will enjoy it.