The Rancher and the Redhead
I read a review somewhere of Allison Leigh’s first Silhouette Stay… and it was quite favorable. I didn’t read that book but decided to try this new one. Am I glad I did! Leigh has crafted an intense romance between two likable people.
Jaimie Greene is filling in for her pregnant sister-in-law Maggie, who is the housekeeper on the Double-C ranch. Matthew Clay, one of the owners of the ranch, is Jaimie’s boss. Matt thinks Jaimie doesn’t belong on the ranch because she’s a city girl. Oh yeah – and because she has had a few accidents along the way.
The attraction between Matt and Jaime is evident from the beginning. That’s one of the reasons this book earned a hot sensuality rating from me. While the love scenes may not be as explicit as some, they are sensual and Leigh builds the tension so well that even looks between Jaimie and Matt made me anticipate what was coming.
Matt has some issues from his past that he has to overcome before he can admit his feelings for Jaimie. Two women – his mother and his ex-girlfriend BethAnn – died on the ranch (BethAnn was not actually on Matt’s ranch, but it was close enough for him). Matt still needs to come to terms with their loss. He also thinks he’s too old for Jaimie (she’s 27 and he’s 39). As for Jaimie, she doesn’t have an issue to confront until close to the end of the book, and when it comes, it involves her brother. Part of her reaction to the issue was kind of silly considering how much she loves Matt. I won’t give away any more than that.
There were some small things that did detract, albeit slightly, from my enjoying the book even more than I did. Matt’s loss issues didn’t really ring true to me, and they weren’t revealed until about half-way through the book – at least that’s when I noticed them. Two women died, so all women are not cut out to be on a ranch. Does that sound reasonable? It’s also a bit of a cliche in ranch/farm romances. And Jaimie’s action at the end – well, I already said that it simply didn’t seem realistic knowing what we know about her. Finally, the author over-used certain adjectives enough so that I found it a little grating.
Other than those nitpicky little things, this was a beautifully written, emotionally intense love story between two real people. Ms Leigh makes you feel like you’re there and makes you feel the feelings Matt and Jaimie have for each other. The snowstorms, the character descriptions, the ranch – well, it was a nice vacation for me (especially because there’s only about one season here in College Station, Texas). An interesting cast of secondary characters, some of whom will become main characters in future books, round out this story nicely.
I think you will enjoy spending some time with these people. The best part is that there are more books coming about the men of the Double-C, and Jaimie’s sister-in-law is the heroine of the next one so we’ll hopefully see more of Jaimie and Matt. Now I’m going to go find Stay…