Honorable Rancher by Barbara White Daille
#3 in the Flagman’s Folly series
Source: Received from author in exchange for an honest review
1. A Rancher’s Pride
2. The Rodeo Man’s Daughter
3. Honorable Rancher
Summary: The hero of Flagman’s Folly has been gone more than a year. But he still stands between Ben Sawyer and what he desires most—Dana Wright, the love of Ben’s life.
When soldier Paul Wright left for the last time, he made his best friend promise to look after his wife and kids. Ben—good, steady Ben—is honoring that promise. And it’s burning him up inside.
Because Dana is shutting Ben out. She wants him—so much—but she can’t afford to give in. If she does, she’ll spill her secret, and the betrayal will hurt everyone she cares about—her children, who loved their daddy; her town, which loves its hero; and Ben, who loved his friend. She’ll do anything to protect her secret—even give up her second chance at happiness. – via GoodReads
What I Liked: Flagman’s Folly is a great small town romance. It has that great feel of knowing everyone (and their business)! Ben and Dana’s relationship is a boy next door romance with a twist. Everyone in Flagman’s Folly knows that Ben and Paul were best friends their whole lives. What they don’t know is that Ben has always loved Dana and wished her for his own. When Paul died a war hero, Ben wants to make sure that Dana is happy and never has a need that goes unmet. She now has three small children to raise alone.
Dana is just now experiencing the freedom of standing on her own two feet. While Ben’s attempts to help are thoughtful and “just Ben”, Dana finds his constant interfering annoying. It also makes it difficult for her to bury her true feelings about Paul and Ben. In a small town like Flagman’s Folly, every one has their roles to fulfill and both Ben and Dana realize that people expect them to honor Paul. That includes never ever crossing the line of friendship. I grew up in a small town (pop. 3500) and this book and it’s conflicts may seem stretched for fiction but I can assure you they are not. Generally when someone behaves in a way that’s not expected; it causes quite a stir, even in the 2000′s.
What I Didn’t Like: The main problem that I had with this book is the same problem that most people may have with it. Barbara White Daille does such a good job boxing in Ben and Dana that, as a reader, I felt chafed by the confines of a small town. While that is a measure of a good writer developing her characters, I didn’t enjoy feeling the restraints of a small town again.
Recommend For: Readers looking for a small town romance that can be polished off quickly. Honorable Rancher by Barbara White Daille focuses on small town community, family and friends. It is in uplifting read.
Avoid If: Small town romances with lots of secondary characters (including several children) aren’t your cuppa.