Staking a Claim by Janice Maynard

Posted May 1, 2022 by Marsha in 2022 New Release Challenge, Connection or Spin-Off of Another Series, Contemporary Romance, Harlequin, Harlequin Desire, Owned, Romantic Suspense, Series, Series Connection, Series Multi-Author, Sexual Content, Small Town Romance / 0 Comments

It’s a Lone Star matchmaking twin swap!

As a favor to his identical twin, Joshua Banks agrees to pose as his brother. The switch is supposed to last for just one “date” with Layla Grandin, their childhood friend.

But dinner soon leads to much, much more.

Trust is everything to Layla—she’s been burned before and secrets are destroying her ranching family.

If Joshua stands any chance of staking a claim on relationship-wary Layla, the Texan has to confess so much more than his true identity. And risk losing more than he ever imagined…

Titles in the multi-author Texas Cattleman’s Club: Ranchers and Rivals series include — Staking a Claim by Janice MaynardBoyfriend Lessons by Sophia Singh SassonOn Opposite Sides by Cat SchieldRivalry at Play by Nadine Gonzalez

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

Title:  Staking a Claim
Series:  Texas Cattleman’s Club: Ranchers and Rivals #1
Author:  Janice Maynard
Genre:  Contemporary Romance / Modern Western Romance
Published:  April 26, 2022
Publisher:  Harlequin Desire
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Staking a Claim begins the Texas Cattleman’s Club: Ranchers and Rivals multi-author series with a story of trust (or the lack of it), and a family with secrets about to be discovered.

Layla’s beloved grandfather has died, and with his death comes expected changes to the ranch… and some unexpected ones as well.  She’s recently ended an engagement with a cheating jerk and has no interest in anything romantic any time soon.  But she’ll be embarrassed at the reception after the funeral by her father’s friend with the reminder of a childhood crush and an arranged date.  The last thing she wants is to go to this concert with Jordan.  Yes, she’d been friends all her life with the twins, and she’d crushed hard on Jordan but that was then not now.  Deciding to actually keep that date will set in motion events that will change her life… should she decide to take the risk of trusting a man again, and that possibility is up in the air.

Joshua has returned home after a divorce that proved the love his ex-wife claimed was for his money and family name… not for him.  It’s a hard truth to swallow but he’s making changes in his life leaving behind not only the ex-wife but his job in Dallas as well.  His return is just in time for his brother to pull another twin switch on him – only this time the end results will be far different than either of them expected.

I liked this couple, their reactions to events were believable (even if I cringed at Layla’s so wrong assumptions, I understood them).  Layla has grown up with Jordan and Joshua so it didn’t take her long to realize it was Josh on this date with her, although she kept that to herself for the moment.  I’m grateful that the twin switch wasn’t drawn out too long, and amused by Layla’s quick understanding of what was happening all the while going along with it… for now.  It was, at times, painful to see Layla’s mistrust of Josh’s feelings unfold.  Oh, I understood why she’d feel that way, simply as a romantic, I hoped she sees his heart in his actions sooner.

In the midst of this couple finding their way from friends with benefits to a lifetime love we’ll also discover what mystery will be the underlying thread throughout this series.  Seems oil rights are involved… and no one in Layla’s family believes the claim, for now at least.  That will be fascinating to see slowly resolve.

In all, I enjoyed Staking a Claim very much.  Layla’s and Josh’s romance filled with misunderstandings is fun, sexy, and full of sizzling chemistry.  Watching trust grow between them, even if it came late and at a cost was well worth the wait.  I’m interested in seeing how the oil rights with outsiders will be resolved, I’m sure it will involve more romances along the way.  I had fun here, and the next Texas Cattleman’s Club series is off to a great start.

I own a Kindle edition of this title.

Available in print or for your favorite e-reader

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