Ruth Logan Herne's Back in the Saddle sends the prodigal home . . . Colt Stafford finally returns from Wall Street to his father's ranch, recovering financially while his father recovers physically. Tension flares with his younger brother who stayed home on the ranch, and tension of an entirely different sort stirs with his father's housekeeper. Angelina is a heat-packing cook with her own set of secrets, and Colt isn't sure what to think of a bossy woman who can get away with telling his father what to do. As his stocks recover, will Colt return to the allure of Wall Street, or will he make his home back in the saddle?
I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction, but this was an enjoyable tale. A contemporary western featuring a ranch in Washington, the story takes place in a time of birth on the ranch and a time of second chances for the characters. Hope, reconciliation, and love all play a role in bringing a broken family back together.
There's enough humor to keep it from getting too heavy, but it's not a light piece of fluff, either. Nearly all the Stafford men have something to learn about loving their neighbor and letting go of bitterness, and it isn't easy; it takes practice, over and over.
Angelina is a rock. Not afraid to get in the face of any of those stubborn Stafford men, she holds her own, all the while being an example of Christ's love in action. I like that a tough cop can also be a mother, cook, and housekeeper - no stereotypical professional female who is a failure in the kitchen. And I like that the author emphasizes that to be a cook is of no less value than a cop, and vice versa.
I can see that the story isn't over for all the Stafford men; I look forward to the next in the series!
I received a free book from Blogging for Books for this review.
Double S Ranch
1. Back in the Saddle
2. Home on the Range
3. Peace in the Valley (Spring 2017)