Today I’ve got a sexy cowboy and an absolutely adorable (and heartbreaking) heroine that I can’t wait to introduce you to!
Montana Men # 3
by Jennifer Ryan
Releasing August 25, 2015
Champion rodeo rider Dane Bowden is eight seconds from winning under the Vegas lights, one last hurrah before reluctantly returning to his family’s Montana ranch. But his bull has other plans. When Dane wakes up, he’s sure he’s died and gone to heaven . . . because the doctor who comes to his aid is the same girl who saved his life and disappeared years ago.
Bell would do anything for Dane. He’s the fantasy that always kept her going. A child genius hidden away by her family, Bell was the secret no one talked about, the girl no one wanted. Despite finding success as a young surgeon, she’s still the awkward girl who’s never had a boyfriend. So why does Dane, a notorious playboy and sizzling-hot cowboy, insist on taking her on a real date?
Bell is the only woman in Dane’s heart. When a rodeo rivalry turns deadly, it’s his turn to save Bell’s life—because he sure as hell won’t lose his guardian angel again.
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/129156-montana-men
Bowden Ranch, Montana
Eleven years ago
Dane was flying.
One moment he was riding his horse across the far reaches of his family’s land, the next his horse reared up and kicked his massive hooves in the air, spooked by some unseen threat. Dane let loose the reins and fell sideways, hoping the horse didn’t trample him. Dane’s left foot hit the ground first, his ankle twisting painfully as his body slammed into the packed dirt and weeds. His shoulder hit next, breaking most of his upper body’s fall, but his head smashed into a jagged rock. Pain exploded through his head.
Hombre galloped away. Alone now, Dane rolled and lay flat on his back, staring up at the canopy of tree branches overhead. The sound of the rushing river next to him added to the thrashing heartbeat in his ears. He rubbed his hands over his eyes, hoping that cleared his spotty double vision. His left hand came away wet and sticky with blood from the gash swelling on his head.
He closed his eyes tight, his hands falling limp on his stomach. When he opened them moments later, he stared into a pair of dazzling blue eyes. The young girl’s dark hair hung down, covering most of her pale face as she stared at him. The most beautiful girl he’d ever seen.
“Are you okay?”
Such a soft, sweet voice. Where had she come from? No one lived out here. He liked the peace and quiet. The solitude.
“I must be dead. You’re an angel.”
Those ethereal eyes went wide with surprise. “Trust me, I’m no angel.” She filled those soft words with as much shock and disbelief as showed on her pretty face.
Calling her a liar probably wouldn’t make her like him.
She crouched, opened her hand, and set a long blue feather on his chest before touching her fingers to his aching head. The sting made him hiss in pain. Definitely not dead. Which meant she was real. Despite his prone body and inability to think clearly, one thing came through loud and clear. He wanted to know this girl.
“I need to stop this bleeding.”
He must have torn his T-shirt when he hit the ground. She ripped a piece free, walked to the edge of the river, and dipped it in the icy water. His vision blurred. He closed his eyes and moaned when she pressed the cold cloth to his head.
“There now. You’ll be okay.”
At fifteen, the last thing he wanted to do was ask for help, but his head swam and his ankle throbbed in time to his heart and the headache pounding in his head. No way he’d get home on his own. “My ankle hurts. Please, you have to get my dad. Find one of my brothers.”
Her soft hand settled on his chest over his heart. “You’ll be okay.” She snatched it back, like touching him burned her. He missed the sweet contact.
She reached for his foot and carefully pulled off his boot. He tried to bite back the groan, but it burst from his tight lips when the pain shot up his leg. Not cool to look like a wuss in front of a pretty girl, but with his head busted open, he was in bad shape.
She ripped his shirt again and used the long strip to bind his ankle. It actually felt better.
She sat beside him, her hands clenched in her lap. “I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t have touched you. I’m sorry.”
He didn’t understand her distress. He tried to sit up and comfort her, but he fell back to the ground, his eyes closing as blackness swamped his dizzy mind.
(This is my first Montana Men books that I’ve read (surprise!) but I really enjoyed it. I missed out a little by not reading the stories about Dane’s brothers but I don’t think it was enough to make a big difference. I’m curious now but I didn’t really feel like I was lost at any point by not having that history.)
I absolutely LOVED these two. Dane is a good modern day rake – enjoying himself as he moves fast through life (and women), until he meets that special someone. Once he sees Bell though he’s a new man. He’s already going to have to change his life and his accident just makes it even more real, but the change didn’t feel quite as right until he found a woman to settle down with. He’s going to have to show a lot of patience and understanding though to win this one over … good thing that he’s a strong, upstanding man under all that fast living.
Bell had an unusual upbringing to say the least. Her family was ashamed of her and hid her from everyone, so much so that no one knew she lived with her grandmother. Add being beyond brilliant to the mix, enough that she graduated college at an age most kids are graduating high school, and she’s got a lot of catching up to do socially. Meeting gorgeous and socially hyperactive playboy Dane, just makes her feel all the more unsure of herself and has her resisting his advances.
Bell’s awkwardness makes Dane have to fight for her but it does ensure that he has plenty of time to make sure that she’s what he wants. The ups and downs that these two experience will help make them have a solid future … as long as they make it out the other side. Because Ryan also throws a little danger into the mix, which just amps things up a bit and keeps you biting your nails (both from terror and emotional overload).
With her fantastic writing style, addictive characters and awesome pacing, I found myself speeding through the pages. I kept telling myself I’d just read a little more, which turned into a little more and then a little more, because each time I promised myself I’d quit at the next good stopping point I’d just find myself even more engrossed.
If the rest of the Montana Men stories are anything like this then I’m moving them to the top of my TBR pile because this one packed about as much punch as that big ol’ bull that Dane goes round and round with.
Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.
a Print Bundle of AT WOLF RANCH and WHEN IT’S RIGHT (Books 1 and 2 in the Montana Men series)
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