As a young boy, Quinn Conway was shattered by his mother’s mysterious disappearance. Today, as the oldest of the Conway brothers, his only concern is protecting his family and their ranch. One look at beautiful, strong-willed Cheyenne O’Brien tells him she’s also no stranger to tragedy. A series of increasingly dangerous “accidents” are plaguing her and her land, and Quinn can’t stand idly by while a woman is in danger.
Fiercely independent, Cheyenne isn’t one to lean on others, yet she can’t deny her attraction to the rugged rancher offering help. Soon, the passion building between them proves as wild and untamed as the land she loves-and just as impossible to resist. But a relentless enemy is about to make one final devastating move. To survive, Quinn and Cheyenne must put their cherished freedom-and their hearts-at risk.
This contemporary Western romance embraces the experiences of a man who is deeply in love with his home, his ranching lifestyle, and the forces of nature that impact it. He has become a nationally known expert on the life and activity of the American Wolf and all this grows out of an early life encounter with a mother wolf and her pups, a family that was summarily killed by a neighboring rancher, just on principle alone. The deep grief he felt–probably hooked up with the ever-present grief and questioning growing out of his mother’s unexplained and unsolved disappearance–set Quinn on a different life path, one that now takes him into the personal space of Cheyenne O’Brien, a woman now alone and trying as she best can to keep her ranch–her inheritance–up and running and profitable. Getting involved with Cheyenne on any level has now dragged Quinn into a deeper and more mysterious situation, one that threatens not only her lifestyle and ranch, but ultimately her life.
It is an entertaining and engaging and well-written novel that was a delight to read. The descriptive language was sufficient to keep the panorama of the West as a backdrop but it didn’t take over the novel. Quinn and Cheyenne were written as strong and independent, yet both had experienced the close intimacy of family and both were grieving personal losses, some very recent. It is a romance that is spiced up and made even more compelling by the addition of a mystery, one that begins to draw Quinn more deeply into Cheyenne’s personal life and the well-being of her ranch. Their relationship begins with a friendship that is built on mutual concern and caring and then on to a romance. In the midst of all of this is an individual who seems to always be present and whose presence is not always welcomed by others in Cheyenne’s life. Underlying the story is the continuing question about Quinn’s mother. I had to wonder if somewhere down the line the author was planning to resolve that question. I sure hope so.
I really enjoyed this book. I like cowboy romance anyway, and am coming to enjoy contemporary stories as much as I have enjoyed American historicals in the past. I’ve not read much from this author but I was impressed with the quality of the writing, the correct use of English pertaining to tenses and such (I’ll probably have a rant about that one of these days), and a sense that the author’s development of the story evidenced an overview that never let the story get out of hand. It was well balanced and the supporting characters created their own interest. The repartee within the family gave depth and deeper meaning in helping the reader understand Quinn. The values that supported his life work, his attitudes and his understanding of human relationships obviously grew out of the support he received throughout his life from strong people in his family circle–his dad and granddad as well as the two older women who impacted his emotional and psychological development. One of those women, Ela, an Arapaho woman who had been present in Quinn’s life as long as he can remember, was a connection for him with Cheyenne whose mother was also an Arapaho and known to Ela.
This is a story that will be a delight to those who enjoy a contemporary Western romance and who especially like a story that is well-written and edited. This is one that shouldn’t be missed.
I give it a rating of 4 out of 5
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.