Everything's bigger in Big Sky country, including the hearts of the Montana Men
After years on the rodeo circuit, Gabe Bowden wants nothing more than land of his own and a woman who will claim his heart for more than one night. When he has the chance to buy the enormous Wolf Ranch spread, he snaps up the incredible deal. Everything is set, until Gabe rescues a woman on the deserted, snowy road leading to the property, and the half-frozen beauty changes everything.
Ella Wolf rushes to her family's abandoned Montana ranch after her twin sister is murdered. She knows she's next…unless she can uncover a secret hidden somewhere at Wolf Ranch. The last thing Ella expects is to be rescued by a rugged rancher with his own agenda. A man who almost makes her forget how dangerous love can be…
As an unlikely partnership sparks into something so much more, and a killer closes in, can Ella and Gabe learn to trust one another before it's too late?
Ryan's Montana Men series launch, a follow-up to the Hunted series, precisely balances romance and suspense. Heiress Ella Wolf overhears the murder of her twin sister, Lela, by their uncle, Phillip. She escapes to the family ranch in Montana, hoping to find whatever Lela had that was worth killing for. After she's stranded in a snowstorm on the country roads, rancher Gabe Bowden rescues her. Gabe had planned his future around buying Wolf Ranch from Phillip, but he's shocked to learn about the murder, and he admires Ella's grit and determination to take Phillip down in the midst of her grief. As the city girl and the country boy get closer, they explore both their growing feelings and Ella's past, searching for a way to rescue both of their lives from Phillip's machinations. However, the realistic dangers of a Montana winter and the intensity of Ella's quest are let down by unnecessary, manufactured romantic tension and an absurdly cartoonish villain.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Cowboys and suspense
Hold on tight here. Just fall in love with the strength of the characters, add suspense and you never know what is happening until close to the end. Trust and happily ever after exist in this first of the series of books.
The author has done it again. Family story and how they love and live. I can't wait to read book2
Thrilling mystery, action, and chemistry
Ella Wolf is on the run. After the murder of her twin sister at the hand of the uncle they both trusted, Ella knows she's next — she just doesn't know why. Desperate to find the evidence that will save her life and put her uncle away, Ella retraces her sisters last few days, finding herself headed for the family ranch in Montana. But an ill-timed snow storm and an ill-mannered truck driver leave her nearly frozen on a deserted country road — until she's picked up by a local rancher.
The Verdict: Wow. Absolutely loved this book!
Twins Ella and Lela lost both their parents when they were just kids, and since then they've been raised by their emotionally distant uncle. But just shy of their 25th birthday, they're about to inherit the company they've been working and studying for their whole lives. Until a phone call changes everything.
Lela's last phone call leads Ella to witness her murder and sends Ella running for her life from her traitorous uncle and the crooked cops he has in his pocket. She heads back to the family ranch, one of the last places her sister visited before her death, determined follow the vague clues Lela left behind and make sure justice is served. When she's stranded and nearly frozen on a deserted road, it looks like it's all over, but then she's spotted in the headlights of a passing truck.
Gabe's not sure what Lela's doing back or why she's out in a deadly storm or what's different about her eyes, but he knows the woman is injured and needs his help. He gets her warm and checked out by doctor and then takes her back to his small ranch to wait for the storm to clear. Only she's not Lela; she's Ella. And according to the news, she's wanted back in New York for questioning in her sister's murder.
Ella's portrayed by the media as a partying socialite, but really she's the practical one who can be comfortable just about anywhere. She's absolutely devastated by the loss of her sister, but for now she's running scared, desperate to find the evidence to prove her uncle is guilty, and afraid to trust anyone. But it soon becomes clear that Gabe is a victim, too, scammed out of his life savings and a huge loan when her uncle forged papers to sell him Wolf Ranch.
Gabe's definitely troubled by the loss of all his money and the ranch he thought he'd bought, but his immediate concern is the safety of the woman he's hiding. The more time they spend together, the closer they become, and the more they uncover about her uncle, the more they realize just deep their trouble is. Despite Ella's wealth and privilege, she's easy to understand and relate to; she's simply a woman who loves her sister and wants to be safe again. And Gabe… Well, he might just be every woman's dream. He's drawn to Ella, even though he's certain she's not cut out for life on a ranch instead of in the glow of the big city she's used to, but no matter how hard he tries to distance himself, he can't let her go.
At Wolf Ranch is a thrilling read, filled with mystery, action, and incredible chemistry between Ella and Gabe. The romance and suspense are perfectly balanced to appeal to readers of both genres, and while the evil uncle may be a bit over-the-top, he certainly personified criminal delusion. If you like your cowboys hot and your mysteries complex, give this one a read.
***FicCentral received this book from Harper Collins (via Edelweiss) for free in exchange for an honest review.