In a Ranger’s Arms by Donna Michaels
Series: The Men of At Ease Ranch (# 1)
Release Date: November 28, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review
Former Army Ranger Stone Mitchum doesn’t have time for sex. Since starting a company with his brother and two buddies, he’s had more important things on his mind. Like transitioning veterans back into society. But when his curvy new tenant falls into his arms—literally—his libido snaps to attention.
Jovy Larson has four weeks to prove she’s worthy of taking over the family business. Her challenge? Sell gluten-free, vegan food—in the middle of cattle country, Texas. It’s a tough task, but not half as tough as fighting her attraction to her sexy, surly landlord.
Before she knows it, Jovy’s tangling sheets with the hot cowboy, stalked by a jealous cow, and strategizing ways to help Stone’s ranch. But by the time her lease runs out and the test is over, she’s faced with a new challenge…competing against Stone’s sense of duty to win his heart.
Review: Joyful, Texas has a small town feel but lots going on with vets living at the At Ease Ranch and working at Foxtrot Construction owned by Stone, Brick and two of their Army Ranger buddies. Love their names and they were alpha to boot! Stone and Brick also own some storefronts in town that are rented out and the newest renter is a handful and an eyeful and is only renting for a month! But oh what can happen in a few days time let alone a month. Jovy’s in Joyful to open a gluten-free, vegan cafe in the middle of cattle country to win a bet against her cousin to see who will take over as the head of the family business back in Philadelphia. When Stone and Jovy meet it’s not under the best of circumstances but once they get around that there is an off the chart attraction between them that burns up the sheets and everything else around them. They also complement each other and seem to make the other whole.
This was a quick paced read that had me saying, “just another chapter and then I’ll go to bed”. There are multifaceted characters – none are truly as they seem but with Jovy around things tend to get a little lighter until they don’t! She’s a caring and giving person that gives selflessly of her time, support and money. Stone is unselfish as well but thinks he has to take on everyone’s problems and not have a life. When confronted by his brother, Brick, and the others in a type of intervention there is some enlightening but he’s still too stubborn to do what’s best for him or is he?
There are a few twists and turns to the story with misfortune, sadness, tears, heartache, darkness, fear, anger, secrets, illness, regrouping, friends and family, veterans and Army buddies, good food, laughter, lots of loving and love. The camaraderie between the friends was touching but they were also welcoming to others. Cece and Blanche were a hoot and became good friends with Jovy. Lula Belle is a crazy lovesick cow who’s in love with Stone and unbelievably jealous of Jovy. The scrapes they both get into (Lula Belle and Jovy) were side splitting. There are wonderful descriptions of the land and the businesses that made me feel I was there. There was wonderful closure with an unexpected surprise and a happily ever after in the offing. I was glad to see that this is only the first book in the series and we’ll be returning to the ranch again and again.
Michaels is a new to me author and I will be adding more of her books to my TBR pile that never ever seems to get smaller.
Favorite Quote: Brick folded his arms over his broad chest and stared him down. “I’m aware you take care of the business side of things, for which I’m eternally grateful, but you know what they say: all business and no play makes stone a very dull rock.”