Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Ebook $2.99 (171 pages, ENTANGLED/BLISS)
Needing a fresh start from her two-timing fiancé, Aurora McAllister answers a realtor’s ad for a guesthouse on the beautiful, serene Three River Ranch. She shows up at Three River tired, heartbroken, and with no one but her trusty Labradoodle as a companion. Cowboy Carson Granger has enough trouble in his life without adding a woman and her dog to the mix. There’s the untamed mustang he’s prepping to release into the wild, not to mention his father’s crazy will, which stipulates that if Carson wants to fully inherit Three River, he’ll need to find a bride. Carson wants nothing to do with love and especially not a marriage of convenience. But he soon realizes Rory, and everything she represents, might just be exactly what he needs. Sometimes love arrives on your doorstep when you least expect it…
Author Site: roxannesnopek.ca
Not your mama's category romance! (4 stars)
Did you read the blurb? It's a pretty standard category romance trope, the marriage of convenience, and THREE RIVER RANCH's blurb describes it really well. But expect to be pleasantly surprised that this over-the-top concept can be executed with masterful brush strokes to make it feel less silly than it sounds.
Rory and Carson are far from an easy match from the outset. His family history and the stipulation in his father's will make him very distrustful of both romance and his own ability to be a husband or father. It's actually one of the best parts of the plot because it makes him a good man who tries everything he can to do what's right while trying to protect his mustangs. In contrast, Rory is just a little bit frustrating because she really doesn't belong at Three River. My only real issue with the story was that Rory went to the ranch at all. You'd think she'd have found a place closer to civilization considering her pregnancy—our state is geographically HUGE so everything is a long drive . That said she's a lovely determined woman who could have chosen not to have the baby and instead works hard to help Carson.
Worth noting, Snopek does a pretty good job of portraying Montana (I live a couple of hours from Chinook so I know what I'm talking about lol) without going with Hollywood cliches. The issues of wild mustangs is very real and here we face similar issues with wolves, so animal lovers be aware, this will tug your heart strings. I think I wanted Carson to be able to save the mustangs even more than I wanted he and Rory to live happily-ever-after. This isn't your typical cattle rancher cowboy Western romance and for that I have to applaud Snopek, I was really scared that the stereotypes that aren't realistic to my state would be thick and ruin the story.
If you love a hero (and heroine) who are passionate, determined, and a little gun-shy about their feelings I think you will love THREE RIVER RANCH. I especially loved that Carson never really balked at the idea of taking on another man's unwanted child. The message—intentional or not—that family can can in many forms sat well with me on a personal level.
If you're looking for a category romance that won't make you cringe at the cheesiness of the over-the-top trope and you love animals please look no further! If you're sick of heroines who get walked all over by heroes who are overly alpha you will find THREE RIVER RANCH a refreshing change of pace that will warm your heart.
(un)Conventional Book Reviews
Notes: Review copy received via publisher.