Rancher to the Rescue by Jennifer Faye
Damsel in a wedding dress!
Jilted at the altar, celebrity chef Meghan Finnegan flees the scene—and the baying press—only to run straight into the muscled torso of Cash Sullivan.
The former rodeo champion knows what it’s like to have your life crumble in the spotlight, so he offers Meghan a place to lie low at his ranch.
Fresh air, no paparazzi and the brooding rancher’s lazy smile are making Meghan not want to leave her sanctuary. But she and her unborn baby can’t stay here forever…can they?
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us.” -Helen Keller
Rancher to the Rescue is a sweet, feel-good romance that will appeal to romance readers. The story is about second chances and finding happiness where you least expect.
Meghan Finnegan’s planned dreams of a happily-ever-after have fallen apart before they even have a chance to begin. Now, she faces an uncertain future as she struggles to find her own place in the world. When Meghan runs out of a guest-filled church, leaving behind a fiancé, a mother eager for the nuptials, and the ruthless paparazzi, she never expects her unwilling get- away driver will become the man of her dreams.
The recently retired rodeo circuit cowboy, Cash Sullivan, just happens to be in the wrong place at the right time when Meghan makes a beeline for his pickup truck. I found it ironic and amusing that the man with no belief in love and marriage turns out to be the one the woman in the poofy, lacy white dress turns to for help.
Cash is sitting in his truck, waiting, while his grandmother attends Meghan and Harold’s wedding ceremony, and he isn’t very sympathetic about Meghan’s predicament. When she demands his help to escape, he initially refuses to comply. Their first conversation isn’t what I expected:
“You didn’t kill anyone, did you?”
“Of course not,” she sighed. “Do you honestly think I’d be in this getup if I was going to murder someone?”
“I’m not into any Bonnie and Clyde scenario.”
With photographers prowling around, looking for Meghan, Cash drives away more to protect his reputation from further scandal than to save the pretty bride crouched down in the floorboard of his truck.
Cash is a “no-strings-attached” cowboy who immediately senses that Meghan is trouble. Because he enjoys his privacy and keeps women at a distance, he wants to get Meghan out of his life ASAP.
However, his grandmother throws a monkey wrench into his plans when she invites Meghan to stay at Cash’s ranch to recover from her ordeal. Besides her delicious cooking, Grandma seems to have a talent for matchmaking as well.
Cash tries to resist any attraction he may have to the pretty, green-eyed redhead and attempts to douse any interest Meghan may have about getting involved with him. He quickly lets her know how cynical he is toward the concept of marriage:
“Marriage is for dreamers and suckers. Eventually people figure out there’s no happily-ever-after, but by then it’s usually too late.”
His past has shattered any illusions he had about love.
Meghan is devastated after Harold refuses to marry her even though she is pregnant with their child.
As a local celebrity chef with her own TV show, Meghan doesn’t have the emotional strength to deal with the fallout over the cancelled wedding. She doesn’t want to face her mother’s disappointment or her show’s angry producers, especially now that she’s ruined the ideal life they’ve tried to create for her. Because her mother has always been cold and distant, Meghan has tried all of her life to please her, and marrying Harold seems to be one more way to gain her mother’s approval. Because of his prominent social status, Harold seems to be everything any woman would want. Even Meghan’s TV producers jump on the bandwagon and plan to tape the wedding to air on a future episode. They foresee a boost in the cooking show’s ratings and a possible nationally syndicated show when the hometown celebrity marries a man who’s made millions in the computer industry.
However, the image Howard projects to the rest of the world doesn’t match his true nature, and fortunately Meghan finally realizes this before she makes the biggest mistake of her life.
Her disastrous relationship with Harold now makes Meghan question her judgment about men. Still she needs the privacy Cash’s out-of-the-way ranch offers, and, because Cash understands how dogged the media can be, they form a tenuous relationship that gradually deepens over the course of the story.
Both Cash and Megan carry emotional wounds that must be healed before either of them can open their hearts to love again. I found it easy to care about Meghan and Cash since I get both of their POVs, which reveal their fears and insecurities. Chapters alternate between the dual perspectives and the transition from one point-of-view to the next is smooth and clear. The book’s plot is primarily character driven as we witness the inner turmoil both Meghan and Cash experience as they struggle to push beyond their comfort zones to find the happiness they deserve.
This is a clean romance filled with each character’s inner monologue revealing their thoughts and feelings about each other. While it was nice to have the inner monologue, there were places where it the thoughts were repetitious and a bit of an overkill. Although Meghan’s secrets and conflict are transparent to readers, Cash’s scandalous past is revealed in bits and pieces, which kept my interest, as I discovered why he thinks of himself as damaged goods. The story’s theme is a reinforcement of that old adage, when one door closes, another surely will open.
I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Note: Since I reviewed an ARC of the book, the quotes I used may have changed or been omitted from the published copy.
About the Author
In another life, Jennifer Faye was a statistician. She still has a love for numbers, formulas and spreadsheets, but when she was presented with the opportunity to follow her lifelong passion to spend her days writing and pursuing her dream of becoming a Harlequin author, she couldn’t pass it up. These days when she’s not writing, Jennifer enjoys reading, fine needlework, quilting, tweeting and cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins. She lives in Pennsylvania with her amazingly patient husband, two remarkably talented daughters and their two very spoiled furbabies otherwise known as cats, but shh…don’t tell them they’re not human. (from Goodreads profie)