I had my doubts about this first in entry in a trilogy about the Conway brothers of Wyoming. The author took so much time setting up the family that I began to wonder if there was going to be a romance. But slowly, ever so slowly, I came to like the Conway brothers, as well as their father and grandfather.
Quinn Conway and his two brothers grew up on one of the most valuable ranches in Wyoming. But despite their wealth, they weren’t protected from sadness. The boys and their father have never recovered completely from the disappearance of their mother when they were children. Raised by their father and grandfather, the three boys developed a deep love of the ranch, but also went on to develop interesting, independent careers.
In the early stages of the book the Conway brothers and their family are shocked when their father, still a vital rancher, has a heart attack. Eventually, as his father improves, Quinn is able to get back to the career he loves.
Quinn turned a childhood fascination with wolves into a profession. His articles about the wolf cub he began following in graduate school resulted in Quinn being considered one of the top naturalists in the country. The wolf cub is now the alpha male of a pack Quinn follows throughout the year. When the wolf is shot and killed in front of him, Quinn heads off to find the shooter and is surprised to see a woman holding the rifle. Quinn doesn’t immediately accept her explanation for the shooting.
Cheyenne O’Brien had a good reason for killing the wolf and doesn’t trust Quinn’s intentions. When a blizzard strands Quinn at Cheyenne’s nearby ranch the two get to know each other better. A series of suspicious accidents soon put Cheyenne’s ranch, and her life, in danger. Soon, Cheyenne is involved with the entire Conway family.
In the early stages we learn much more about Quinn and his family than Cheyenne. I found the three Conway brothers interesting and liked that they’re not just ranchers. Quinn’s youngest brother just graduated from veterinary school while the other is involved with search and rescue missions.
Initially I felt that Cheyenne was prickly and rather uninteresting. But as the story went on I began to understand her actions and to like her. Cheyenne suffered major losses in recent years with the unexpected deaths of her father and brother. She’s a tough, capable rancher, but despite some loyal employees, she’s very lonely and alone.
My main problems with the book come with the suspense plot. The villain was apparent to me early on, although I didn’t guess all of his motivations nor the direction the suspense plot would take. After the slow development of characters, the turns in the suspense plot left me feeling as if I was reading a different book.
Despite some problems with the suspense plot, I definitely liked this so much that I’ve pre-ordered the second in the series. While in some ways all of the Conway men are bigger than life, they all have their foibles. I look forward to getting to know more about the family in the next installments.