Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Review: The Rancher Next Door

I chose The Rancher Next Door by Susan Mallery, who is my favorite author!!  This is the first book in the Lone Star Canyon Series.  I fell in love with the town, the characters, and the storyline as I did for Fool's Gold.  I absolutely love the book cover.  It is so colorful and the colors just pop!  

But to young Katie Fitzgerald, the sun rose and set on rugged Jack Darby. Jack was her childhood hero, her secret teen beau. But he hadn't loved her enough to leave their feuding families behind, and blinding heartbreak had led her into another man's arms—and 11 years of loneliness.
When Katie returned to the ranch next door, emotions tore through Jack like a Texas twister. Anguish over her youthful betrayal, tenderness for her shy son—and a hunger so deep it hollowed him out. But hadn't 11 lonely years taught him he was a fool to love a Fitzgerald?

What would you do if you moved back to your hometown and would be around your high school sweatheart?  Plus there is a rule that being around the Fitzgerald's is not allowed.  Your father can not stand that family, but you think this family is fine.  Let's see:  You are an adult, who can make your own decisions.  Right?  If this was me, I would not allow my father to tell me, who I can be friends with especially if that friendship was important to me. 
Love how the book begins by telling us how Katie met Jack.  I do not like how Katie's father treats her.  Just because she was small and got sick a lot, does not mean she should not do everything that her siblings do like Ride a Bike!!  As a mother to a special needs child, if my daughter wanted to try to do something, I would encourage her to do so.  I would not say you can not do that.
Why is it that when one gets divorced or breaks up, they are gun-shy?  Both Katie and Jack are attracted to each other, but they don't want to take a chance.  Would you risk what could be for what could not be?
I feel so badly for Shane, who does not like his grandfather, Aaron.  
Shane wrinkled his nose.  "He's too loud and he never listens.  I'm not like him.  I'm not like anyone else." (Kindle 18%)  Shane opens up and does a few things out of his comfort zone.  I love how Shane interacts with Jack.  
I think one of my favorite scenes in the book was when Katie stood up to her father.
"Stop it," Katie demanded as she stepped between the two of them.  She took Shane in her arms and glared at her father.  "Just stop it right now.  Look at what you're doing to him.  What's wrong with you?" (Kindle 39%)  This is not good for Shane to be in this kind of environment.  I felt bad for him, but also his grandfather will not change.  He has done it to his own children.  Katie did the right thing.  Read the book to find out.  I can not stand that her father kept saying "Don't tell me what to do in my house." (Kindle 40%)  Katie is the mother.  Her father is not Shane's dad.  Thank God for that.  Katie's dad, Aaron, made me realize how lucky I am to have my dad.  Who has Aaron treated with respect?
I highly recommend this book.  I could not put it down.  There are a few quotes at the end of the book that I love, but I do not want to give away anything about what happens!!  So, what are you waiting for?  Go grab this book!!
Keep on Reading
P.S. Discussion Questions for you
1. How did Katie and Jack meet? 
2. How do you feel about Aaron?
3. How old is Shane and where is his dad?
4. Have you gone back to your hometown?
5.  What did Jack bring for Shane?
6. What does Katie do for a living?
7. Who is Katie helping? Why?
8.  Where did Katie and Jack meet when they were teenagers?

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