Book Review: A Reunion for the Rancher by Brenda Minton

Posted December 2, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: A Reunion for the Rancher by Brenda Minton

I received this book for free from a friend in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Reunion for the Rancher by Brenda Minton
Genres: Inspirational Romance
Published by Love Inspired on September 15, 2015
Pages: 224
Source: a friend

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First in the Lone Star Cowboy League Christian romance series (each story in the series is by a different author) and revolving around the townsfolk of Little Horn, Texas. The couple focus is on Carson Thorn and Ruby Donovan.

My Take

The relationship conflict is one of not being good enough. On the one side, Ruby wasn’t good enough for the Thorns while on the other side, Ruby doesn’t see herself fitting in with her old love. And you’ll want to cry when Carson realizes how much better his life was when he was with Ruby.

Yep, love, acceptance, and real happiness can’t be bought, and being Christian doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a decent person — just look at Byron McKay or James or Jenna Thorn! — but this story finds most of the townsfolk decent whether they have money or not.

The trope is the misunderstanding and pride that gets in the way of asking for the truth with at least one character eating crow. Yeah, it’s a common trope, but the warmth of the town and their caring offsets this and left me feeling all warm, cozy, and content in spite of the few who pour on the bitter.

“Yes, I know what he thought he was doing. He was protecting his family by threatening to destroy mine.”

People are expected to be kind, to respect others, and that respect is handed right back…no matter what your age.

I adore Ben!! He’s got his values in the right place! And Derek is a sweetie as well who has learned a lot in the past few years…and I adore how caring he is of his new girlfriend.

You may want to have A Doctor for the Nanny, 2, on hand, as the action conflict is NOT resolved…and I wanna know!

The Story

As president of the Lone Star Cowboy League, rancher Carson Thorn is committed to serving his community of Little Horn. But when high school sweetheart Ruby Donovan returns, his steadfast pledge is tested. Ruby left town twelve years ago — taking money from his father and breaking Carson’s heart in her wake.

Now she’s asking for his trust — just as her brother becomes Carson’s prime suspect in the rash of recent ranch thefts.

Carson is torn. His town is depending on him for justice, but one look in Ruby’s eyes has him questioning everything he thought he knew — about truth, about love and about the wisdom of second chances…

The Characters

Ruby Jo Donovan is a supervisor for family services in Oklahoma. Derek Donovan is the younger brother who just got out of jail. Iva Donovan is Ruby and Derek’s grandmother and a very Christian woman, in the best of ways, and willing to see past the rigamarole. Slim is the ranch hand who lost his job. Peanut is the new horse; Dusty is Ruby’s horse. Earl Donovan is their late, unlamented bronco-bustin’ father. Chet is their blue heeler.

Carson Thorn is president of the League and inherited his father’s, his family’s ranch, and trains cutting horses. The mean, nasty Jenna is his ne’er-do-well sister with a five-year-old son, Brandon. Amy is a friend of Jenna’s. James Thorn had been the demanding father. Their mother, Lila, has been dead for 15 years. Larry and Gayla are a couple and Carson’s head trainers with Larry also the ranch foreman. Rick is a young hand. Bobbi Ann is the housekeeper.

Other ranchers in the Lone Star Cowboy League include…
…the husband-hunting Ingrid Edwards is the secretary. Iva Donovan. Byron McKay, vice-president of the League and an elder in the church, has the biggest spread and the meanest personality; Winston and Gareth, twins, are Byron’s much nicer kids. Ben Stillwater is one of Carson’s friends; Ben’s twin, Grady, is in Afghanistan. Mamie Stillwater is their grandmother. Eva Brooks is a Stillwater cousin and lives at the Stillwater ranch. Cody is the baby left on the doorstep. Lynette Fields was a CPA and is the League treasurer; Fred is her husband. The Hansens, Marleys, Jensens, Daniel Bunker has the Circle C, Dora Peterson, and Millicent Anders are affected ranches.

The deaf Alyssa Meadows comes from a wealthy ranching family new to the area. Mac McKay had been Byron’s cousin; his daughter, Betsy, was left on her own and she ran.

Lucy Benson is the sheriff. Tom Horton is one of her deputies. Maggie’s Coffee Shop is popular and where Sally Ann is the Saturday waitress. Doc Tyler Grainger had been born on the Grainger spread, but itchin’ for more. Pastor Mathers leads the church. Amelia Klondike is a wealthy do-gooder. Ella Lee Winters is a retired school teacher. Henry Jepps is one of Ruby’s neighbors. Linda is the postmistress; Vince is her husband. Janie and Howard Douglas need help. The Little Horn Flea Market reveals some secrets.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a soft background with a cloudy sky blending into the light roofs of ranch buildings in the dusty red of age. Carson is in worn jeans and a red-and-black flannel shirt over a white T, a coil of rope dangling from his shoulder, and wearing a light brown Stetson. There’s a tagline from the publisher and the publisher’s name at the top. The title with the author’s name below it is in white. Below that is a narrow dusty blue band and a Lone Star icon bursting from it with the series information revealing the fields behind it.

The title is quite right, for it is A Reunion for the Rancher, only…not one that either of them wants.

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