A Rancher’s Pride
Author – Barbara White Daille
Reviewer – Stephanie
Rating – B; Great would want to read again/1 – Kissing or less
Reading Level – Adult
Genre – Category Romance
Pages – 217
Publisher – Harlequin American Romance
Release Date – 2011
Source – Author in exchange for a fair review
Sam Robertson’s life is about to be drastically altered and he hasn’t got a clue. As it turns out the ex-wife that he thought he’d never have to deal with again is the source of the problem. When he comes in off the ranch one afternoon he finds his mother in the kitchen and she’s clearly shaken. That’s when Sam finds out he’s had a daughter for the past four years and her mother, Sam’s ex-wife, has left her in his care with full custody. Sam is shocked beyond words and mad as hell to know such a wonderful secret has been kept from him for so long. He’s lost so much time with his little girl. Time he wants to make up.
As if his daughter Becky wasn’t enough of a surprise, Sam soon finds himself facing off Becky’s aunt. Kayla is the very same woman who helped his ex-wife Ronnie, flee the ranch five years ago. Ronnie took the secret of Becky with her and told Kayla all sorts of horrible stories. Kayla cannot leave her niece in the care of this monster. She fully intends to fight the custody arrangements with the judge. Kayla’s number one defense is simply that Sam can’t communicate with his daughter and Kayla can. Becky is deaf and while Kayla has had time and past experience to learn American Sign Language, Sam hasn’t. It’s the best defense she has and she’ll use it to her advantage. Both Sam and Kayla plan to be a part of Becky’s life. How that will work out remains to be seen.
Becky is a lucky little girl. She has two people fighting viciously to be the sole person responsible for her care. Kayla has had the past four years to love her niece and learn with her. She’s helped to take care of her when Kayla’s irresponsible sister Ronnie wouldn’t. According to the things Ronnie has told her, Becky can’t be left with Sam. Becky would be much better off in Chicago with her and her grandparents. People she knows and loves. Kayla seems like a pretty smart woman but she couldn’t see that Ronnie had fed her a line of bull. I can buy that Kayla wanted to believe her sister and had some proof of her stories. In the long run though I’d think that Kayla would begin to question their believability, especially coupled with the fact that Ronnie left her daughter with the man she’s vilified, sooner than she did.
Sam is a very proud man. At times it was almost too much. He was the strong and silent type who often didn’t feel the need to validate any of his actions. As the story progressed this changed. Daille opened up Sam a little more and we were able to see into his past and understand some of his actions. It was great to see him go from this closed up man who lived his life day to day to a man who was involved with his family and planned for the future. That pride that would keep him uptight eventually transferred to his daughter. It was a slow process though. Becky’s character was a great edition and I enjoyed her immensely!
The story flowed fairly well. A Rancher’s Pride grabs your attention from page one. I wondered how Sam would be able to handle a four year old with a disability. There were times when I wanted to shake him silly and others where my heart cracked a little. Daille even includes some American Sign Language as Kayla tries to teach Sam! The romance seemed to progress rather rapidly but with a category romance there is only so much page space and I felt that overall it was handled well. There was a wonderful small town feel to the book. Everybody knows everybody else’s business, good or bad. Can you imagine what kind of a ruckus a four year old dropped off overnight would make? The happily ever after was heart warming and it satisfied my need to know what happened with the characters.
A Rancher’s Pride is a small town read that will tug at your heartstrings. I’d recommend it for anyone who needs to pass a few hours enjoyably. Also, Becky plays a large role in the book so it’s great for people who enjoy a child to help the romance along.