Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Second Chance Ranch by Liz Isaacson

From Goodreads:

A new Christian western romance from bestselling author, Elana Johnson, writing as Liz Isaacson for her contemporary adult romance debut.

After his deployment, injured and discharged Major Squire Ackerman returns to Three Rivers Ranch, anxious to prove himself capable of running the cattle operation so his parents can retire. Things would be easier if the ranch wasn’t missing 1.6 million dollars, which forces Squire to hire Kelly, the girl who rejected his high school prom invitation, as his accountant.

She’s back in town with her four-year-old son, living in her parent’s basement until she can get her life back together. With fresh ink on her divorce papers and open gashes on her heart, she’s not ready for much beyond her new job on the ranch.

Squire wants to forgive Kelly for ignoring him a decade ago. He’d like to provide the stable life she needs, but with old wounds opening and a ranch on the brink of financial collapse, it will take patience and faith to make their second chance possible.

For fans of inspirational western romance authors Kimberly Krey, Becky Wade, and Denise Hunter.

My Take:
This is a classic example of how a little misunderstanding can turn into years of heartache.

Squire Ackerman was just a teen boy, younger than Kelly, when he asks her to the prom with a room full of balloons. Too hurt by the fact she never answers, he carries the pain with him another ten years.

Kelly on the other hand has attempted love, marriage, and motherhood only to be disappointed in all of it other than her sweet son Finn. She blames herself for the failure of her marriage, and is determined to protect her son and her heart at all costs.

I loved the chemistry between these two childhood friends. They both have trouble separating the anger and frustration from the attraction. Little by little they open their hearts to find forgiveness and the second chance they both so desperately need.

This was a fun read with great tension between the characters. It was nice that the romance was there all the time, but it unfurled slowly as both Squire and Kelly dealt with choices and pain from their past. They questioned themselves and each other until they finally unraveled the truth.

The writing is clean, without excessive typos to throw you out of the story. It was easy to fall into life on the ranch and forget the laundry was piled up beside me. I give Second Chance Ranch a solid 4, and I've already picked up the next book in the series. :)

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure

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