Kelsey’s party girl experience makes her the perfect choice to plan the big grand re-opening party for the Twisted Rivers Ranch. She’s up for the challenge, but she might need some help to navigate the local Rocky Ridge scene.
Tanner’s background as a rodeo star does not in any way make him even a mediocre choice to help Kelsey pull the party details together. But as the new ranch manager of Twisted Rivers Ranch, he can’t very well tell his boss’s sister to figure it out on her own.
As the two starts to work together, sparks fly. Kelsey has grand ideas that might work in Hollywood, but Montana folks don’t go in for the glitz and glamor. And Tanner won’t tolerate her flighty approach to planning.
As Kelsey develops feelings for Tanner, she questions everything she’s come to believe. And to make everything even worse, she’s fallen in love with his nephew, who he now has full custody of.
Tanner feels the attraction, but Kelsey is a risk he can’t take. He’s changed everything in his life to be a father to his nephew. He’ll do anything to protect his nephew from more turmoil… even breaking Kelsey’s heart.
This is a romance that includes no swearing, no violence, and no sexual content (beyond a few light kisses).
Title: Two Cowboy Promises
Series: Returning to Rocky Ridge #2
Author: April Murdock
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: March 2, 2023
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Two Cowboy Promises continues the Returning to Rocky Ridge series with Kelsey’s story. As one of the triplets, Kelsey has always been the attention-getter, the slightly flaky, overly concerned with appearances, Hollywood influencer to her core type… or so the world thought. Behind that projected image is a far different Kelsey, one that I was fascinated to discover as she and Tanner lock horns and opinions constantly in their story.
And, frankly, I have to admit that I didn’t like Paige in this one – while I loved her story in One Last Chance, here she’s so quick to put her sister in her crosshairs, look down her nose at others, and just be not the Paige that I’d loved… now I can put that down to pre-wedding nerves to some degree, but this appearance took off some of the gold that I’d seen on her before.
Yes, Kelsey does some cringe-worthy antics, especially where Tanner is concerned, yet as we get to know Kelsey beneath the surface, the scared, vulnerable girl she hid so well, my heart breaks for her in many ways. She certainly has some growing up to do, but she is doing that slowly throughout her story, but the people she cares about just aren’t seeing it, and for me, that was just sad.
Tanner suddenly became a father when he took on the guardianship of his nephew after his brother’s death. It was a life-changing event, I get that. Still, his willingness to listen to gossip, to make snap judgments, and to stubbornly stick to those attitudes even when he was proven wrong perhaps explains the long time it took for me to care if he ever got his happy-ever-after ending. That sounds harsh, but so were his words and his actions toward not only Kelsey but all the triplets. And a very small percentage of those opinions of his were correct.
Now, all of that sounds like I didn’t like this one, and you’d be wrong about that. I enjoyed Two Cowboy Promises very much, but perhaps for different reasons than most reviews would highlight. While I didn’t always like a character’s actions, they were extremely realistic. There are layers to both Kelsey and Tanner that neither was willing to admit even existed. They each judged the other based on the surface actions they could see, could react to without looking any deeper for the reasons why. Watching their very rocky road romance was emotional, satisfying eventually, and so real for so many people. We often judge the book by the cover — that is exactly what Tanner and Kelsey did toward each other.
If you love a romance that is not only well-written but reaches in and grabs your emotions (good and bad), if watching a couple fall in love in spite of their differences is why you read romance, or if you simply love to see opposites attract to find a forever kind of love worth the risks then you’ll be a perfect fit for this one. I got angry, I cried, I laughed… how can I ask more of a romance than to engage all the emotions so well?
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the author or author’s team via Booksprout. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*
Available for the Kindle as this title and series are currently in KU