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The Rancher's Second Chance (Tall Pines Ranch, #1)

“I’d risk it all for you. I’d go to hell and back for a day, a night, a lifetime with you if you’ll have me. You make me want to believe in forever again. I want to grow old with you, sweetheart. I know how to feel and I’m a man who’s not afraid to love. And if you’ll let me, I’ll spend the rest of our lives loving you.” – Cole Forrester

Well, this one certainly had me thinking a lot about the rating and such… But I’m rushing and stepping out of my usual order here, so I’d better get back to it.

First, the main plot!

Melanie Simms always had a soft spot for her friend’s brother, Cole Forrester. Now that she is forced to work with him in order to prepare his sister’s wedding, she doesn’t know if she should feel sorry for herself – or blessed. Meanwhile, Cole has issues of his own. He still hasn’t moved on from his wife’s death, no matter what everyone tells him. But being close to Melanie wreaks havoc to his senses, it makes him feel alive again – and he’s not sure he’s ready for that yet.

Don’t we all love those stories that say that, no matter how many years pass, you CAN get the guy you fell in love with in a young age? (ok, not all of us, obviously – I’m not a particular fan of that idea, but the majority of readers find it satisfying)
Don’t we all want to have a second chance in love? Whether it’s with the guy we never had the guts to go after, or another woman after the one we thought was our soul mate has passed away?

The Rancher’s Second Chance was an enjoyable, quick read, with lots of sweet romance and characters that made you like them at first sight. It also had some suspense to spice things up – not some great mystery or anything, just a family drama, but Mrs. James played her cards just right to not let it get boring or out of the place.

Considering all that, I finished reading in almost one go. It’s amazing what a decent plot idea can do, huh? But that didn’t mean it came without some issues for me – personal issues, if you will.

For starters, it was way too abrupt in some points. Now, in certain parts of the story, I didn’t really care much, becaue I was absorbed in what was going on and wanted to know the rest of the scene, so I just ignored it. But ignoring something doesn’t make it go away, and there might be other readers who will not be as forgiving on the matter.

Next, we have some of the characters’ reactions in certain, quite important parts of the story. At times they would overdo it – like Cole’s way too irrational anger at every little thing Melanie did at first, even if it was due to his own personal judgement of her… “type” -, and at times they would act like the biggest bomb exploding was not a big deal – the whole “revealing certain secrets” thing was accepted way too easily and calmly.

Finally, there is this one pet peeve of mine – building up tension and leaving me unsatisfied. I don’t care if Melanie got her all-wanted sexual climax in the story, since I didn’t read about it, I’m not counting it as one. In other words, I had to endure all that sexual tension for nothing. Even if the main heroine got her sexy dose, I got none – I honestly hate when this happens, it reminds me of my mother’s old romance novels where sex was always done behind closed doors. If you ask me, if the reader doesn’t enjoy some sexy action, then the heroes don’t deserve to experience any, too. But that’s only a personal problem, so feel free to ignore it.

All in all, Melanie and Cole’s story was fun, and easy to read through. But it’s not one I’d re-read, mainly because this type of book is suited to be read only once. The glamour and intrigue is lost after that…



***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***