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The Reluctant Cowboy
     

The Reluctant Cowboy

4.4 16
by Kate Pearce
 

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After a turbulent childhood, the Morgan brothers went their separate ways, leaving the family cattle ranch and their cowboy days far behind. But now, one by one, they’re being called back home to California. Have they been summoned to save the land—or to start a new legacy?  
 
Chase Morgan high-tailed it away from

Overview

After a turbulent childhood, the Morgan brothers went their separate ways, leaving the family cattle ranch and their cowboy days far behind. But now, one by one, they’re being called back home to California. Have they been summoned to save the land—or to start a new legacy?  
 
Chase Morgan high-tailed it away from ranching life as soon as possible. But running a successful technology company can’t erase the memories, or secrets, of his youth. Coming home to help his Grandma Ruth may finally put some ghosts to rest—if he can just get a certain smart, beautiful houseguest out of his business. But getting her out of his head is proving even more difficult…
 
Determined to save the Morgan ranch, historian January Mitchell has pinned her hopes on the surprisingly rugged, surprisingly likable, and exasperatingly stubborn Chase. Surely his love of this breathtaking, mysterious land runs deep enough that he’ll once again embrace his inner cowboy. Or maybe, despite both of their skittish hearts, she’ll have to find a way to get him back in the saddle…any which way she can.      
 
“If you love cowboys—and who doesn’t—you’ll love the Morgans!” —Cora Seton, New York Times bestselling author

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/10/2016
Toxic masculinity oozes from the first book in Pearce’s Morgan Ranch series to such an extent that it’s not clear whether Pearce has set it up as a plot obstacle or is simply swimming in it herself. At the request of his grandmother, Chase Morgan returns to his family cattle ranch in Northern California, a place he resents because it makes him feel uncomfortable emotions, which he sees as weakness. He decides the best way to stop feeling things will be to convince his grandmother to sell the ranch. Unsurprisingly, she resists, as does historian January Mitchell, who is studying the ranch’s history. She wants to make Chase relive his unhappy experiences and work through his feelings rather than running from them. When he offends her, she understandably gets angry, but then she feels bad about it and tries to pacify him. The romantic thread is overwhelmed by Chase’s desire to manage everything and everyone, and the offense he feels when he’s called out on it. And January’s willingness to make excuses for him and forgive him, especially given that she’s recently escaped her manipulative ex-husband, will frustrate readers who think she could do so much better than another overbearing, controlling man. (Dec.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781420140002
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
11/29/2016
Series:
Morgan Ranch Series , #1
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
231,169
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Reluctant Cowboy


By Kate Pearce

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2016 Kate Pearce
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4201-4000-2


CHAPTER 1

Northern California.


"You have arrived at your destination."

"I damn well have not," Chase Morgan muttered as he checked his GPS again and frowned as the narrow blue line he'd been following just blinked on a whole lot of nothing.

Pulling over onto the side of what barely passed as a road, he got out of his rental car and surveyed the landscape. Scorched golden hills, scurries of dust, the occasional thirst-defying plant, and beyond that the brooding black presence of the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range still topped with snow in March. It was a torturous, slow journey from the Bay Area and one that he chose not to make too often.

He cleaned his sunglasses on the hem of his white polo shirt and peered ahead. Had it always been this bleak? Somewhere around here was a gate that marked the driveway of Morgan Ranch. As a kid he'd known exactly where it was, so what had changed? Maybe he should've gotten a truck. The drive would've been easier and the vantage point higher.

There wasn't a lot else on the road, just the abandoned ghost town of Morgansville, which was on ranch property but still attracted those curious and stupid enough to try to get through the electric fence. Chase turned in a slow circle. He was so used to the noise of Silicon Valley that the silence hurt his head. Hearing his heart beating was downright unnerving....

A turkey vulture flew overhead squawking a warning, and he instinctively ducked. He was such a city boy now. His younger self who'd practically grown up on the ranch would have been disgusted by his wussiness. He got back in the car, relishing the cold blast of the AC, and moved forward at a snail's pace.

There.

His faint smile faded. The overhead sign had fallen down, leaving just the gate, which appeared to have been propped open. Despite the relatively short distance from the Bay Area, he hadn't been to the ranch for a couple of years, preferring to meet his grandmother in the city. Reaching inside his pocket he extracted the handwritten letter he'd received two weeks ago. She hated talking on the phone.


Darling boy, your grandma Ruth needs you. Come at once. P.S. No, I'm not dying, but come anyway.


Short and sweet, just like his grandma. Well, maybe sweet was stretching it a bit. For a little bitty woman she sure packed a punch. He remembered how she used to wade in and separate him and his three brothers when the fighting got out of hand. She said she'd gotten strong wrangling calves and that small boys were much easier to deal with.

His grandma was a pill. It had taken him the whole two weeks to get organized enough to leave work. He had a feeling her problems wouldn't go away, and a few days wouldn't make much difference. He pushed the gate open wide enough to let his car through and closed it behind him.

Was Ruth even running any cattle? Surely not, if she'd risked leaving the gate ajar. He winced as the rental car bounced over and dove straight into another huge pothole in the road. He should've gotten a four-wheel drive. Real men, real cowboys always drove trucks. And he should've been paying more attention to what was going on with his grandma.

He concentrated on weaving through the potholes until the drive widened out into a large circle. To his left was one of the old barns and to his right the ranch house with its wraparound porch and dainty Victorian railings. The roof was slate, imported at great cost after the original house with its shingles had gone up in flames.

Chase got out of the car and paused to stretch the kinks out of his tall frame. The door of the ranch house opened, and several dogs came out barking and yowling. He tensed as they all barreled toward him.

"Is that you, TC?" His grandma hollered over the barking dogs.

"Afternoon, Ruth." He grinned as she came toward him, smacking a few of the noisier dogs on the head as they crowded around her. "One grandson as ordered."

She reached up to cup his chin, her blue eyes in her wrinkled face as clear as the California sky. "Chase, darling. You look more and more like your daddy."

He grimaced. "Don't say that. He's a bad man."

"He certainly was a fool to throw away a fine family like this one." She patted Chase's cheek. "Come on in."

He followed her up the three steps to the porch, noticing that the house needed painting and that several of the planks on the deck were rotted right through. The screen door banged shut behind them as they entered the cool darkness of the kitchen. Inside, everything was fifty years out of date and as neat as a pin, which somehow gladdened Chase's heart. Ruth might be getting old, but she certainly wasn't losing her faculties.

Ruth took a glass pitcher out of the ancient green refrigerator, which gave a convulsive death shudder as she slammed the door shut.

"Iced tea?"

"That would be great." He was three-quarters of the way down the glass when the sugar rush hit him, and he practically tasted the fizz of enamel being stripped off his teeth. He put the glass back on the scrubbed pine table only for his grandma to instantly refill it.

She took the seat opposite and pushed a plate of cookies over to him. "Chocolate pecan. Your favorite."

He took one despite himself and raised an eyebrow. "You're scaring me now."

"By baking your favorite cookies?"

"You're trying to bribe me. It's how you used to get me to do my homework, remember?"

"You always did your homework. You were the responsible one. It was your rapscallion brothers who needed persuading."

He held her gaze and sighed. "I'm sorry I haven't been out here more often. I have a million excuses, but none of them are very good."

"It's okay. This place has bad memories for you all," Ruth said. "I had a letter forwarded from my bank a few weeks ago, and I couldn't make head nor tail of it. Do you think you could take a look at it for me?"

"Sure." Chase held out his hand, and she slapped it away.

"You don't have to do it right now. When did you get so impatient? Finish your cookie and your tea — unless you have to leave tonight?"

"No, I'm here for as long as you need me." He immediately qualified that. "Well, at least for a week or two."

He hadn't taken a proper vacation for almost two years. His two business partners had been making pointed comments about "burnout" and "exhaustion," and, sure, that was easy for them to say when he knew in his soul that if he wasn't there nothing got done the way he liked it....

Control freak? Him?

And then there was all the other stuff — the stuff that was threatening to tear their friendship and their company apart.

"Good. I'm glad you can stay awhile." Ruth pushed the cookie plate right under his nose until all he could smell was chocolaty goodness. "Eat. You're too thin."

He snorted at that. "What's for dinner?"

"Pot roast made with Morgan Ranch beef."

Chase pushed the cookies away. "You are trying to bribe me. You know how much I love your cooking."

His grandmother's smile was smug. "I bet you don't get many home-cooked meals in San Francisco."

"I do okay." He thought about the stack of takeout menus beside his refrigerator and the fact that since Jane had left him most of the delivery guys greeted him by name.

"Hmmph."

The boards on the porch creaked a warning, and Ruth looked up as a clear voice called out.

"Mrs. Morgan? Ruth? Are you there?"

"Yes, dear, come on in."

The dogs headed out to investigate. Chase studied the unknown woman at the kitchen door who seemed to bring the afternoon sun in with her. She wore jeans, a pink T-shirt, and sturdy brown boots. Her blond hair was tied back in a ponytail and topped with a San Francisco Giants cap that clashed with her top.

He instinctively rose to his feet as she came closer and looked down at her from his superior height. Her eyes were the dark gray of granite, and she wasn't wearing any makeup. She looked downright wholesome.

"January Mitchell, meet my oldest grandson, TC, or Chase as he prefers to be called these days."

The woman stuck out her hand, her warm expression immediately cooling. "It's nice to finally meet you. Ruth mentions you a lot."

"Good to meet you, too." Her handshake was firm. He glanced over at Ruth. "You didn't tell me you had visitors."

"January's not a visitor. She lives here."

Chase sat down and picked up his iced tea, his thumb rubbing away the gathering condensation on the side of the glass. "Seems an odd place to choose to live. The commute into any decent-sized town must be a killer."

"I don't commute."

He swung his gaze back to January, who had taken the seat next to Ruth and was already nibbling one of his cookies.

"You work as a ranch hand?"

She shrugged. "I can do that when necessary, but that's not my primary purpose here."

"Which would be what exactly?"

"I'm employed by the county to work with local landowners to preserve the history of the area." She sat forward, her eyes shining, her hands clasped together on the table. "This area is fascinating. There's the ghost town, the pioneer trail, the abandoned silver mine, and —"

"Which is all on privately owned land. Morgan land."

"Land that Mrs. Morgan has given me access to."

Chase raised an eyebrow and looked over at his grandmother. "Is that right?"

"Sure it is. I'm as interested in finding out about the history of this place as you are." Ruth turned to January. "When he was a kid there was nothing Chase liked more than to go out on the land and look for clues."

"That was a long time ago, Ruth. Now I'm more interested in making sure this ranch is a secure and safe place for you to live on."

"I'm not quite sure how my presence would lessen Ruth's security, Mr. Morgan."

There was a question in January's tone, which made Chase want to smile. "This is a cattle ranch. The last thing my grandma needs is herds of people wandering around admiring the historical sights. The cows don't like it."

"I'm not suggesting that should happen, and I'm hardly a herd," January said quietly. "My primary task is to make a record of these artifacts for the county and for posterity."

He leaned back in his chair until it creaked in protest and then stretched out his legs. "Does anyone care about what happened in the back of beyond a hundred years or so ago?"

"We should care." She held his gaze. "The speed at which California moves means it's easy to forget our past and destroy things we might later regret losing. It's my job to provide information about where these historical events happened so that later generations — those not so caught up in rushing into the next digital millennium — can rediscover and appreciate their past."

Chase wondered if Ruth had told January where he worked. He lived his life in a blur of intense decision making, working long hours that often stretched overnight and in an environment where his opinion might destroy a company or bring it unimaginable financial success.

"There's nothing wrong with making money and being ahead in technology."

"I didn't say there was." January fiddled with her ponytail. "My job is mainly funded by nonprofit organizations and charity foundations, and I'm grateful for that."

"I still don't see why —"

Ruth patted Chase's hand. "I've made up the bed in your old room. Why don't you take your bags upstairs and get comfortable while I visit with January?"

"You're trying to get rid of me already?" He smiled as he stood up, his gaze moving between the two women. He was glad his grandma had some company, but he wasn't sure what to make of her guest. Instinct and hard-won experience had taught him never to take anyone at face value, and Ms. January Mitchell seemed a little too good to be true.

"Get along with you." Ruth waved him on. "And change out of those clothes before you come and help me with the chores."

He paused and looked over his shoulder. "I'm back on the roster?"

She winked at him. "I never took you off. You owe me fifteen years of hard labor, darling, so you'd better get started."


* * *

January stared after Chase Morgan as he went outside to get his bags. When Ruth had said he worked in Silicon Valley, January had imagined a pale, skinny nerd, or a fast-talking snake charmer like her ex. Chase was neither of those things. For one, he was tall, broad, and, two, he had a lazy grace to him that made her think he had all the time in the world to ...

"So what do you think?"

"Of your grandson?" January sipped at the glass of iced tea Ruth had put in front of her. "He seemed nice."

Ruth chuckled. "You don't sound very sure."

"He's not quite how I pictured him." The back door slammed, and she heard Chase whistling as he went up the stairs. "He's ... tall."

"His daddy was a big man." Ruth sighed. "Not a good man like Chase is, though."

January took another cookie. "Are you okay with my staying here in the house while your grandson is visiting? I know he doesn't get out here much. I could move down to one of the bunkhouses and give you some privacy."

"Bed down with the ranch hands? I bet they'd love that, but I don't think you'd be having much fun with all that snoring, scratching, and farting. Stay here. I like the company."

"If you're sure."

January wasn't certain how she felt about sharing a house with a big man like Chase Morgan. She'd finally gotten used to having her own space again, and she had a sense he was going to be hard to ignore.

Eventually Ruth got up to check the pot roast cooking in the oven, and January went to change out of her good jeans into something suitable for doing the chores. Even if Chase was willing to help, there was still a lot to do. She'd thought her life in the city was busy until she'd moved to the California Gold Country. Here the work never seemed to stop year round. At least she fell into her bed exhausted every night and slept without dreaming.

Deep in thought she opened the bathroom door and was confronted by the sight of a large, half-naked man bending over the sink. She started to back up and tripped over the bath mat.

"Oh God, I'm sorry; I forgot ..."

He turned to face her, the water dripping off his long eyelashes, and smiled. She couldn't help but notice the way water continued down his chest and over his nice tight abs.

"I guess I forgot to lock the door."

"There's no lock."

"That's right. Ruth disabled it after the twins flooded the bath twice in one week. I should have realized we were sharing when I had to fight my way through your underwear."

Her face heated as he gestured at her best bra-and-panties set, which was hanging over the shower rail.

"Pretty," he said approvingly.

She reached around his broad shoulder and grabbed the flimsy pink set. "They are handwash and air-dry, and —"

"Not a problem for me." He paused. "Unless I'd come in here at night and thought those dangling bits meant I was being attacked by a spider. I hate spiders."

She clutched her undies to her chest and stared up at him. "You ... do?"

"Yeah. It's embarrassing. I'm hoping that, as we're sharing, you'll deal with all the spiders that get in here."

"And what will you do in return?"

He grabbed a towel and slowly mopped his face as he considered her. "Promise to put the seat down?"

She wanted to smile back at him, to respond to that lazy charm, but just managed to stop herself. "I'll consider it."

"I'll be finished in a minute."

"Okay." She backed away more carefully this time and only hit the door frame with her elbow on her way out. "Take your time."

She managed to find her way into the right bedroom and threw the undies onto her bed. God, she really did need to pee. If he were anything like her ex, he'd be in there for hours. There was another smaller bathroom beside the mudroom downstairs, so she might as well go and use that. Grabbing a towel from the back of a chair she went out into the hallway. Chase was still whistling and splashing around like some kind of chirpy bird, so she made her way down the stairs. The old pipes whined and groaned as the water flowed through them.

After peeing, she surveyed the small shower and realized she had no shampoo or shower gel. Stomping back up the stairs, she noticed the noises had ceased. On the landing, she found Chase, still without his shirt, at the bathroom door surveying her.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Reluctant Cowboy by Kate Pearce. Copyright © 2016 Kate Pearce. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kate Pearce was born in England in the middle of a large family of girls and quickly found that her imagination was far more interesting than real life. After acquiring a degree in history and barely escaping from the British Civil Service alive, she moved to California and then to Hawaii with her kids and her husband and set about reinventing herself as a romance writer.
 
She writes for Kensington, Penguin Random House UK Rouge Romance, Carina and Cleis Press and is known for both her unconventional heroes and her joy at subverting romance cliches. In her spare time she self publishes science fiction erotic romance, historical romance and whatever else she can imagine.

You can find Kate at her website at www.katepearce.com, on Facebook as Kate Pearce, and on Twitter @Kate4queen.

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The Reluctant Cowboy 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Highly recommended The book concerns a family who suffered a tragic incident 15-years prior when the eldest boy was only 12. The story is written very well and it's also different from the usual path cowboy stories follow.
Lashea677 26 days ago
To new beginnings. The Reluctant Cowboy is the start of what looks to be a promising journey of healing for three brothers. The road to being united may be long and paved with painful secrets and hurt feelings but the reward at the end is worth the price. Chase has an easygoing charm that fools the outside world but he still grapples with the heartaches of a painful youth. January is a woman with a lot of ambition but a tender heart and Chase along with his family are in need of some her tender loving care. Can she win over their trust? Am looking forward to more with this complicated bunch.
DebDiem 6 months ago
The Reluctant Cowboy by Kate Pearce is an enjoyable read. Ms Pearce has delivered a well written book, a nice smooth read. The cast of characters are engaging and lovable and the best part of the book for me. Chase and January's story is loaded with drama, humor and sexy bits. I liked reading The Reluctant Cowboy and look forward to reading more from Kate Pearce in the future. The Reluctant Cowboy is book 1 of the Morgan Rance Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
jbebout1295 6 months ago
This is my first time reading this author, and I have to say I was quite impressed. The characters were real, honest, and sincere and the chemistry between Chase and January was nothing short of explosive. All of the characters just had a way of drawing you right into the story and making you feel like a part of this legendary Morgan family. I was hooked right from the beginning, and I remained riveted all the way to the last page. I really felt all of the angst and pain and guilt and happiness and forgiveness and lust and even love that this book so amply provided. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet and sexy read, and I look forward to the next book in the series. * I was given an ARC of this book via NetGalley and voluntarily chose to review. All opinions are my own.
gigiluvsbooks 6 months ago
After a turbulent childhood, the Morgan brothers went their separate ways, leaving the family cattle ranch and their cowboy days far behind. But now, one by one, they’re being called back home to California. Have they been summoned to save the land—or to start a new legacy? Chase Morgan high-tailed it away from ranching life as soon as possible. But running a successful technology company can’t erase the memories, or secrets, of his youth. Coming home to help his Grandma Ruth may finally put some ghosts to rest—if he can just get a certain smart, beautiful house guest out of his business. But getting her out of his head is proving even more difficult… Determined to save the Morgan ranch, historian January Mitchell has pinned her hopes on the surprisingly rugged, surprisingly likable, and exasperatingly stubborn Chase. Surely his love of this breathtaking, mysterious land runs deep enough that he’ll once again embrace his inner cowboy. Or maybe, despite both of their skittish hearts, she’ll have to find a way to get him back in the saddle…any which way she can. Review: Love Kate's historical romance, but she shows in this first book in this contemporary romance how adept she is at writing all time periods. I just have to ask this...What happened to Chase's mother and sister???? Back to Chase and January. That both came from childhoods that were difficult it was interesting how they turned out differently. Chase is controlling and closed off. January is optimistic and open. January brings out the best in Chase, though it takes a long time to do it. Their chemistry is good and the intimate scenes are very steamy, but we know that Kate can write a good sexy scene. I January is probably my favorite, Chase pissed me off numerous times during the story that I wanted to shake him. There was lot of good tension between Chase and January and Blue and Ruth and Kevin and the mysterious life insurance policy to keep the story intriguing. The story being set on the homestead that has lots of historical significance made the backdrop interesting and can lead to many plot twists. I would assume that Blue will be the next in the series as he is now at the ranch, but hey, you never know...there are two other brothers out there. 4Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
Anonymous 7 months ago
The Morgans have lived and worked on Morgan Ranch since mining towns were thriving. Fact is there's an old mine, a ghost town and even a hot springs on their property! Ruth is running the place now though she's trying to get her 4 grandsons interested in the family home, again. Chase is the first to return home at grandma's summons. He's been living in the city, occasionally bringing Grandma Ruth in for visits. He hasn't returned to the ranch because of unpleasant memories. He finds January on the ranch; living with Ruth and working to preserve the areas past. Chase worries if that's all she's really after. He rediscovers good memories when he opens his eyes, mind and heart... Absorbing, entertaining western romance! Characters are likeable and can't help rooting for Chase and January. Ruth is a force to be reckoned with! Introduced to Blue, Chase's brother, waiting to read his story. Loved this introduction to the series. Book free for honest review.
ButtonsMom2003 7 months ago
A great start to a new series! I haven’t read any books by Kate Pearce in a while (too many books to read and too little time) but I sure am glad that I picked this one up when I saw it offered on NetGalley for review. Chase Morgan has reluctantly come back to the ranch where he was raised to help his grandmother. The ranch holds bad memories for him but he loves his grandmother. There is also a mystery surrounding family members and a lot of secrets left untold. January Mitchell is helping to document the history of the area and she’s staying at Morgan Ranch with Chase’s grandmother. January also has secrets and an ex-husband that tries to cause problems between her and Chase. The heat level between Chase and January was smoldering. Chase doesn’t want any commitments but he wants January. January doesn’t do casual sex but she also wants Chase so agrees to a “friends with benefits” relationship. This story kept me captivated from the get-go; it has some real meat to it and I enjoyed reading it a lot. I loved the writing – it just flowed; I didn’t have to struggle to read any of it. There are four “Morgan boys” and we meet two in this book. While the storyline for the main characters of Chase and January is resolved with an HEA there are other things left unresolved but I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in this series. Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
TammyS32 7 months ago
Great start to a new series. Chase has been away from the ranch for a long time, but after his Grandma requests his help he is back. Needless to say there are a lot of questions to answer about Chase’s past and hopefully as the series progresses we learn more and more. January is at the ranch to preserve its history. Chase and January and great chemistry and frankly I want to know more about Chase and his family, I am looking forward to reading more in this series.
gdsnv 7 months ago
What a great start to what I hope will be a new series. The Reluctant Cowboy is about Chase Morgan coming home, back to Morgan Ranch. There are so many touching, warm, and truly funny scenes in this story and I loved “Grandma Ruth” and her machinations. She is the current owner of Morgan Ranch and she calls Chase back home, the first one of the Morgan sons to return, to help with a mystery. She is also hosting January Mitchell, a historian trying to save the Morgan ranch and hopefully, the town. Both Chase and January have issues to work through and they both need to learn that together, they are stronger. It was so touching to read about their separate journeys and how they got to their HEA. January was raised to be a free spirit and Chase has grown to be a tightly wound successful business man. Grandma Ruth helps to force Chase to confront the terrible things that happened in his childhood to make him so controlling (in a self-directed way) and to once again speak to his brothers. And January must deal with her past and an untrustworthy ex. Reading about the developing relationship will warm your heart. It was a good read and you can’t help but want to know what happens with brother #2…and 3 and 4! Ms. Pearce did a great job creating a world I want to revisit.
DebraMenard155 7 months ago
I voluntarily reviewed this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I really enjoyed reading this book.Ms.Pearce is a new author to me.I really liked the characters Chase Morgan and his grandmother.I usually don't read this genre,but I fell in love with this cover and decided to give it a shot,and I'm glad I did.
MusicInPrint 7 months ago
Chase Morgan is a man on the edge. He is successful, great looking and returning home to a ranch he left in the past. January Mitchell is set on a goal to preserve the history of Morgan Range. Past issues of personal drama for both Chase and Mitchell still lead them to explore some romance. Pearce explores the trail of healing and discovery of past secrets to save the Morgan Family. Grandma Ruth is determined to set matters right no matter how many times she has to re-write her will. Family separated by time and space reappear on their centennial home. This is the start of a Morgan series and so some questions are not resolved by the last page. Sorry but being afraid of spiders is just not believable for a cowboy who grew up on a ranch. Received a free copy from Kennsington Books and author via Netgalley.
FaeScot 7 months ago
I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. I was delighted as I really enjoy Kate's books. Chase is having a hard time. He loves his Grandma but the historic family ranch where she lives and he grew up has ghosts. The past haunts him when he goes home but his beloved Grandma Ruth has asked for his help and he has to see what he can do. He gets there and Ruth has a house guest, January Mitchell who is helping out while she's doing research for her thesis on history preservation of California's gold/silver country. The ranch is the site of an old ghost town, silver mine, hot springs and a pioneer trail as well as a working cattle ranch. Chase goes into this wanting the homestead to be sold so he and his brothers can turn their backs on their past. Ruth is determined to live there until she dies and the "boys" will have to all agree what to do with it then. Chase is now a very successful city boy geek. He's turned his back on his cowboy roots. He and his brothers are estranged. The story weaves a mystery of who took out a loan 25 years ago against the ranch and Chase finding himself once again. He's become a work-a-holic and his partners sent him on vacation to get his head together. Ruth keeps throwing January and Chase together and January keeps asking questions about the ranch and history. Chase remembers the good things in his past and find the value of the history that lies within the ranch's borders. This is such a wonderful weaving and progression of finding yourself. I loved how Kate wove the threads together as we learned the past in Chase's family, the legacy of the family name and January facing her own insecurities. There is such growth within these characters. I can't wait to see the rest of the brothers mature through each of their hurts. Thank you Kate for another awesome story.
emabubby 7 months ago
Chase Morgan, the oldest of the Morgan brothers is the head of a very successful Silicon Valley tech company. Unfortunately, anxiety and the burden of running his company has sent him to the hospital. When Chase's grandmother Ruth, begs him to help with a financial problem he reluctantly agrees to return to the ranch. Chase and his brother's however, do not have fond memories of the ranch they all escaped from as it was possible to leave. So as you could well image Chase is not too happy to return to the ranch that is until he meets up with January Mitchell January historian working on her thesis of the old west. She is determined to save ailing Morgan range and see it survive. When Chase and January first meet you can tell there is a definite chemistry between the two of them. Can she convince him that he needs to help save the ranch? Can January's love of the ranch change Chase's attitude towards the old homestead? Hidden in this story there is also an unsolved mystery dying to revealed and quite a few questions that need to be answered. This is a great book that I really enjoyed reading. I can honestly recommend it.
Bette313 7 months ago
This was an awesome read and I am looking forward to reading the other stories from the Morgan Ranch. This was a new to me author and I must say I really enjoyed her writing style and the way she laid out the story and characters. It has a sexy cowboy, a nice touch of angst and family drama, and a sweet slow build romance between Chase and January. Overall an excellent book. Chase Morgan left the Morgan Ranch and the craziness of his family behind him. Now he's being called back by his Grandma Ruth to help save the ranch. Chase has built a successful life and started a technology firm that is doing well. So yeah, he might be a bit controlling but his partners will get over it. Right?? This break might do them all some good. Going back to the ranch will be hard though. There are definitely some ghosts lingering around that need to be dealt with as well as the financial issues Grandma Ruth is facing. Arriving at the ranch and meeting January is quite a surprise and the fact that she is showing him that maybe the ranch isn't as bad as he remembers it being is also a huge surprise. Definitely a book I recommend!
ytcruz 7 months ago
This book is the first book of Ms Pearce’s series, Morgan Ranch about the Morgan brothers. All with good and bad memories of the ranch, and all have avoided the ranch where they spent their childhood and where their grandmother currently lives. It is also the first book I have read by Ms Pearce, but she has hooked me and I can’t wait for book 2 of the series. The Reluctant Cowboy is about the oldest brother, Chase Morgan. A very successful Silicon Valley tech company. But the stress and responsibilities have sent him to the ER and when his grandmother asks him to help with a financial issue, he goes back to the ranch. Here he meets January, a young woman working on her thesis about the ranch and the old west. I have to say, that the author’s description of the Wild West, ghost town, and the history of a single family through generations, where wonderful and insightful. There is mystery, family conflicts, secrets kept, misunderstandings and the pressures parents sometimes put on children without concern of the child’s own fears. Will the brothers get back to being brothers, are their parents still alive, and will the ranch survive ? Some questions will be answered while others will make us wonder. And will the relationship between Chase and January have a HEA? Pick up the book, I promise you good entertainment with a little of everything you like in a good book I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. The opinions expresses are solely my own.
CathyGeha 7 months ago
Kate Pearce creates stories I love to read. This book, the first in a new series, drew me in, made me feel and created a desire to read more about the Morgan family. With at least four Morgan brothers (and perhaps a missing sister to find) there is plenty of fodder for future books in this series. The Morgan Ranch has existed and been owned by a Morgan for over 150 years. It is rich with history but not necessarily thriving financially. The current Morgan in charge of the ranch is Ruth, the grandmother of Chase and his siblings. She sends a message to Chase that drags him away from his high-powered business in Silicon Valley. Her hope is to lure him home for good. That is not Chase’s intention when he arrives. He is more than done with ranching, being a cowboy and the memories that being on the ranch bring back. His goal is to work the numbers, convince Ruth to sell the ranch and get back to his business. January, writing her thesis with Morgan Ranch as her main site for reference material, is staying with Ruth while she does research. January has ideas for increasing ranch revenue while retaining and improving the historical draw of the location. Her goals are in direct conflict with Chase’s idea to sell the ranch so one point of conflict is set from their first meeting. Chase and January are attracted to one another from the beginning and this book is their story to tell. I enjoyed the interaction between the two of them and felt they were a good match. I enjoyed getting to know them, watching them grow and spending time with them. I am looking forward to reading Blue’s story next and also look forward to having some of the mysteries mentioned in this book solved in future books. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC. This is my honest review.