Book two in the Three Rivers Ranch Romance series by bestselling author, Liz Isaacson.
First Lieutenant Peter Marshall has never felt as safe and whole as he does at Three Rivers Ranch. With massive scars covering most of his upper body, he's self-conscious and searching for his life's purpose. He thinks he's found it in Courage Reins, an equine therapy program for veterans he's starting out at the ranch. He didn't plan on the beautiful Chelsea Ackerman looking at his deformities with admiration.
After her second failed engagement, Chelsea vows she'll never wear another diamond ring. But as she and Pete work together to train the horses and launch Courage Reins, she heals faster than she thought possible. Pete has a truckload of debt and no way to provide for a family, but Chelsea helps him see past all the obstacles, all the scars. With so many unknowns, Pete and Chelsea will have to develop the love, acceptance, and faith needed to find their happily ever after.
We met Pete in the previous book SECOND CHANCE RANCH, but only glimpsed Chelsea over a few phone conversations with her brother Squire. Now we get to know both of them even better.
Three Rivers Ranch has worked wonders on Pete. He's feeling better about himself, at peace with his life, and he's found a new purpose. Chelsea on the other hand doesn't want to be on the ranch. The problem is she doesn't want to be anywhere. Traumatized by a previous relationship and the death of her fiancé, she's carrying more guilt than she can bear.
Pete recognizes the signs as soon as he meets Chelsea and enlists her help with the horses, knowing they can help her.
Once again, Isaacson does a great job letting the emotions feel real and progress naturally. They do happen fast, but it all makes sense. Even the choices Pete makes regarding his business and the growing relationship makes sense. Sort of. Okay, it does. I can totally see a guy make this decision thinking it's the only way to accomplish both his goals--one at a time. Come on, women multitask all the time. :) LOL
All in all, I give Third Time's the Charm a solid 4.
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
Anyway, fun, clean, sweet, and I like the way Isaacson talks about the hidden scars we often carry around with us. Trauma comes in many forms and we all need to learn how to forgive ourselves and others so we can be whole again.