THE RELUCTANT RANCHER
PATRICIA BAKER AND JOANN MASON
Moonlit Romance Publishing
Mary Carter is starting a home health care business in the small town of Fiddler’s Creek. She is confident in her skills as a nurse, but less confident about herself as a woman. She is very attractive, but self-conscious because she is not model thin and fears rejection. A childhood spent as an army brat and its lack of stability just added to her inferiority complex.
Luke is the richest man in town — perhaps in the state. A very brief and painful marriage has led him to believe that the only reason for a woman to pay attention to him is his bank balance. When Mary comes to him for a loan for her business, he figures that she is just like all the rest, but wishes that she were not.
Mary is forced to ask the richest man in town for a loan to tide over her business until the insurance companies of her patients start making payments. He agrees, if she will take over the care of his elderly grandfather. The two, though attracted to each other, have to overcome massive insecurities before they can even begin to have a relationship.
Mary and Luke are very well developed characters. Mary is very self sufficient and protective of herself, having been rejected many times over the years. Luke’s marriage to a cruel gold digger severely damaged his self image and made him reluctant to trust again. The characters of his grandfather and Mary’s best friend are both likeable and real, adding much to the story. Luke’s friend Mark and the ranch hands add more depth. This is a very enjoyable story that I will read again.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
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