Rescued by the Rancher by Barb Han

Posted May 25, 2023 by Marsha in 2023 New Release Challenge, Harlequin, Harlequin Intrigue, Modern Western Romance, Owned, Romantic Suspense, Series, Small Town Romance / 0 Comments

He’s on guard

…with a woman and her protective canine

When rancher Callum Hayes learns that Payton Reinert has returned to Cider Creek, Texas, to hide out from a killer, he opens his family home to her and her rescue dog.

Though reluctant to offer his heart—broken by betrayal—he can’t ignore his electrifying attraction to the vulnerable beauty and his desire to protect her.

Even if stopping the monstrous killer means risking his life…

Titles in The Cowboys of Cider Creek series include —  Rescued by the Rancher —♥— Riding Shotgun —♥— Trapped in Texas —♥— Texas Scandal —♥— Trouble in Texas —♥— Murder in Texas —♥—

This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.

Trigger Warning: discussion of rape

Title:  Rescued by the Rancher
Series:  The Cowboys of Cider Creek #1
Author:  Barb Han
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Published:  March 28, 2023
Publisher:  Harlequin Intrigue
My Rating:  4.5

Rescued by the Rancher begins The Cowboys of Cider Creek series with a gripping romance with just the right touches of underlying, building danger, family obligations, and finding trust again after circumstances (and people) have shattered it almost beyond repair.

Payton used to trust, oh, she’d listen to her instincts, those gut feelings that no one should ignore… mostly.  But this time she made a mistake in not listening to those instincts screaming at her to say no to the offer of help, to not trust someone so charming or so deadly.  She barely escaped an attack that would have resulted in not only rape but murder by a man who had done both before.  And now she’s in hiding because that serial killer is still out there… and he’s searching for her.  With her rescue dog, Atlas, a stubborn pup who usually hates men, Payton will return to the home she inherited, determined to lay low and stay alive.  Her property is rather run down, and she really isn’t as safe there as she’d hoped she’d be.  The kindness of a stranger, a man whose family owns the famous ranch across the street will change her life in so many ways.  As well as offer a future she’d never imagined… but first, they both have to survive.

Callum has returned to the family ranch at his mother’s request.  In fact, she’s asked all of her children to come home immediately.  His grandfather, who he argued with constantly and was the reason Callum left Cider Creek to make his life and fortune elsewhere, has died leaving only Callum’s mother and grandmother (and ranch hands) at the ranch.  There’s more that she’s not telling him, but he has no intention of leaving the business he’s started in Houston for longer than a few weeks to figure out what’s going on at home.  His visit to the new neighbor across the way will change his life as he helps to keep her safe from a serial killer.  Helping Payton wasn’t a chore at all; the attraction sparking between them is obvious even in the face of danger.  But he’s given his trust before and been burned badly for that decision.  Trust isn’t something he easily gives, but with Payton (and her protective, stubborn dog) he might be on the way to learning a few new tricks of his own.

Rescued by the Rancher caught my attention and imagination from the first chapter and never let go until the final page.  Theirs is a believable slow-burn style of romance as they face the danger that Payton is in together, begin to unravel the additional danger to Callum’s family ranch, and track down a killer who has no intention of allowing the victim who survived to get away from him.  I will mention that attempted rape is a subject in this story.  Not graphic by any means, but if this might be a trigger situation for you… simply be aware.

I had such a good time in this world with a story that is gripping, humorous at times, and intensely dangerous at others.  There is a bit of world-building in the background since this is the first story in a new series, but what is there is smoothly delivered as narrative or dialogue.  This is the type of story that draws me back to a series, with believable characters, enough of a mystery to grab my imagination, and a well-written story that invites me to learn more about what is happening to the Hayes family.  If that’s your type of story as well, then I’m betting you’re going to love The Cowboys of Cider Creek.  I know I already do.

I own a Kindle edition of this title.

Available in print or for your favorite e-reader

 

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