Once a Rancher by Linda Lael Miller
Also by this author: The Marriage Pact
Series: The Carsons of Mustang Creek #1
Also in this series: Always a Cowboy
Published by HQN
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Add to: Goodreads
The Carsons of Mustang Creek: three men who embody the West and define what it means to be a rancher, a cowboy and a hero in this brand-new series from the queen of Western romance.
SLATER CARSON might be a filmmaker by trade, but he's still a cowboy at heart—and he knows the value of a hard day's work under the hot Wyoming sun. So when he sees troubled teen Ryder heading down a dangerous path, he offers the boy a job on the ranch he shares with his two younger brothers. And since Ryder's guardian is the gorgeous new Mustang Creek resort manager, Grace Emery, Slater figures it can't hurt to keep a closer eye on her, as well…
GRACE EMERY doesn't have time for romance. Between settling into her new job and caring for her ex-husband's rebellious son, her attraction to larger-than-life Slater is a distraction she can't afford. But when an unexpected threat emerges, she'll discover just how far Slater will go to protect what matters most—and that love is always worth fighting for. - via GoodReads
I was in the mood for something light and a bit carefree. I picked up Once a Rancher by Linda Lael Miller because her books are always a fun excursion into the modern day western life.
Grace is just starting over and raising her ex-husband’s son. She has a big heart and a fiery temper. It makes her a fun match for Slater Carson who is stubborn and has an equally big heart. This is the kind of book where the male protagonist has to try to win over his woman and that woman is independent and resistant to entering anything too serious. People who aren’t fans of insta-love are going to struggle with Once a Rancher. Truly it was my biggest struggle. Everything just moved too fast.
I really enjoyed the setting and the secondary characters. A small-town romance typically romanticizes life in a real small town. I should know, my hometown has a population of 3,300. I really enjoy reading romances that present the best of small-town life. Miller has never failed me here. In Once a Rancher, community plays a big role. There are characters from Miller’s previous Mustang Creek trilogy who make appearances in this book. The close-knit family and community really brought that small-town romance feeling home.
If the romance had moved just a little slower, I think that this book easily would have been four or five stars but every time Grace and Slater’s relationship was mentioned, I felt like I just wanted to get through those parts to get back to the meat of the story. There were laughs and I may have had that warm gooey romance feeling so Once a Rancher was still a good way to pass the time.