Army brat Kaydee Wagner gets twitchy if she stays in one place for too long. But when her grandfather needs someone to stay with him for a bit and his home needs a lot of repairs, she steps up to the plate.
Lucky for her, help arrives from their neighbor's gorgeous grandson, former Army Ranger Leo Reed.
Leo's desperate to rise above his dark past and enjoy life again. He's already made a lot of progress, so when the woman he can't stop thinking about needs a handyman, he volunteers. But after a very...wet incident involving deadly dance moves and a wayward sink hose, their clothes hit the floor faster than a stack of tile.
He doesn't want forever-that would mean revealing his past, which he's not ready to do. She only wants right now, because any other option would require sticking around.
And then Kaydee discovers she's pregnant.
Read an Excerpt
Restlessness was a bitch.
Until recently, Leo Reed had been perfectly content to spend his free time on At-Ease, the ranch his Army Ranger buddies opened to help veterans transition back into society. He was one of those vets. Hell, he was the reason behind the ranch, thanks to relentless pain, too much booze, and too damn many memories in his head that led to poor judgment and two hospitalizations he wasn't proud of.
All of that was in his past. The carnage-heavy memories that used to taunt him with images of those he failed to save no longer ate at him day in, day out. He could start to move on — live again — but not if he clung to the ranch. Lately, he itched to do more. See more. Be more.
But more what?
Leo finished his shower, got dressed, then sat on his bed and shoved his feet into his boots.
Although he could relate to some of the sullen veterans staying in several of the bunkhouses and who had just sat in the group therapy session that finished downstairs, the suffocating dark cloud that used to follow and surround him no longer existed. Seeking help, both here at the ranch and at the rec center near his grandmother, plus the support of family and friends had motivated him to crawl out of the pit and back into society.
Trouble was he wasn't sure what to do. Or with whom. All his buddies were in relationships. He lived with two of them and their significant others.
Grabbing his packed duffel bag, he headed downstairs in the main house they all shared.
"Hey, Leo." Stone came out of the kitchen carrying tortilla chips and salsa. "You're just in time for movie night. Vince is making popcorn, and Jovy and Emma are in the rec room grabbing the drinks."
Jovy was Stone's wife, and Emma was Vince's fiancÃ©e. Over the past fifteen months, all four of Leo's Ranger buddies had fallen in love. Two were married, and the other two were engaged. He was the lone bachelor of the Ranger Rifle Unit.
Stone frowned. "Do you remember whose turn it is to pick the movie?"
"It's the girls' turn," Vince replied, exiting the kitchen with two big bowls of popcorn that filled the room with a buttery aroma that made Leo's mouth water.
Hah. Any chance the guys had of watching car chases and gunfights just went out the window. Leo had shared enough Friday night movie nights to know the women usually chose a romantic comedy.
Stone motioned with his head to the duffel bag in Leo's hand. "Where are you off to?"
"I'm heading to my grandmother's for the weekend." He slung the strap over his shoulder, never more grateful to have a legitimate reason to leave. Watching a chick flick while the couples snuggled on the couch was getting old. Not that he wasn't happy for his friends. He was, but it was damned awkward, and a reminder of all that he lacked. Like a clean past worthy of getting involved with someone. Courting a girl was out of the question.
Helping his mom out, however, was a different story. She was in Galveston, assisting his sister who just had twins, and he knew it would ease her mind if he checked in on his grandmother a little more often while she was away.
It would also ease his mind. Ava Pendleton was a senior citizen who acted like a feisty thirty-year-old. Without his mom around to keep his gram out of trouble, he decided to stay on the weekends and check in on her once throughout the week, too.
"That's too bad," Stone said. "The girls will be disappointed, because they picked the movie just for you."
He lifted his brows. "They did? Which one?"
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier." Vince grinned.
Leo grimaced. Christ, if he had a nickel for every time someone told him he looked like the actor who played the Winter Soldier, he'd have enough money to finance a damn movie.
Stone chuckled. "I thought you'd approve."
Leo flipped him off.
The asshole chuckled louder, and Vince joined in. Now they were both on his shit list. He would've told them, too, but they glanced at the girls in the other room and got sappy looks on their faces.
That strange restlessness whispered through Leo again. It occurred more and more whenever he was around the couples. Witnessing devotion soften their expressions made him feel an emotion he'd never felt before. Envy.
Time to go.
He adjusted the strap on his shoulder and cleared his throat. "Enjoy your movie."
"You need to get yourself a woman and bring her here for movie night," Stone told him.
An image of a pretty brunette drifted through Leo's mind with perfect clarity, thanks to his photographic memory.
Kaydee. His grandmother's neighbor. With a ready smile, infectious laughter, and a warm brown gaze that mesmerized and drew him in, she was half the reason he was eager to spend the weekend up there.
More than half. Although he'd never tell her.
He couldn't head down that road. In order to achieve the kind of a relationship his buddies had with their women, he'd have to open up and share his past and all the damn shame and guilt that came with it. No woman deserved that.
No woman deserved the mess that was him.
Better to leave things alone and settle for the enjoyment he got from living on the ranch and working at Foxtrot, the construction company his buddies owned.
"You could always bring her here for a nice picnic. I can whip up something simple for you to eat," Vince said. "And you know Emma would be happy to bake you a pie."
And he'd be happy to leave the damn conversation. "Thanks, but it's not necessary. Have a great weekend."
Without waiting for their reply, he pivoted on his heel and walked out the door. Taking it upon himself to spend more time with his grandmother wasn't just a great reason to leave the ranch, it was also a great reason to possibly bump into Kaydee. She lived across the street and a few houses down from his grandmother. He should know — he'd helped her move in to one side of the duplex and her grandfather move in to the other last September.
He got in his truck and started the hour's drive north toward Dallas with the woman on his mind. Being around her always brought a sense of calm. She looked at him through these gorgeous brown eyes that conveyed a warmth he felt right down to his boots. And her upbeat, sunny disposition — which he normally shied away from — always made him feel alive. It was almost addicting. Hell, it was addicting, and lately, he found himself going through withdrawal.
Not long after she moved in, he started to run into her at the rec center, mostly on senior citizen night when he was there to pick his grandmother up from bingo. Not that his spirited grandmother wasn't capable of driving. No. She could drive, just not without a license. Too many speeding tickets saw to that. Yeah, his gram had a bit of a lead foot. But he was grateful for it, because he sometimes got to meet Kaydee at the center when she was there to get her grandfather.
You need to get yourself a woman.
Stone's words echoed through Leo's mind. If he were to follow that advice, then Kaydee was the one he'd pursue. His pulse kicked up a notch at the thought, then slowed to a crawl. The point was moot. A woman as bright and shiny as Kaydee deserved better than him and his dark past.
By the time he pulled into Gram's driveway and cut the engine, he'd put those foolish thoughts aside. No sense in entertaining something so far out of reach. He wasn't the type to live with his head in the clouds. More like stuck in the dirt.
With a snicker rumbling up his throat, he knocked twice before entering. It was his normal ritual, and he enjoyed hearing his grandmother huff that he should just walk in without knocking. Today, she didn't pay him any mind.
No. She was too damn busy sitting on the couch necking with the neighbor.
What the hell?
Leo made the mistake of sucking in a breath while still snickering. Now he coughed and sputtered, which broke the couple apart.
His grandmother arched a brow. "What? I'm eighty-one. Not dead."
And he was never going to get that damn image out of his head.
"You're late. We ate without you." Her voice was stern, but her gaze twinkled. "I saved you a plate. It's on the kitchen counter."
"Thanks." He transferred his gaze to the man she just checked for tonsils. "Nate."
With the same twinkle in his eyes and I'm not sorry expression as his grandmother, the guy smiled. "Good to see you, Leo."
Gram waved toward the kitchen. "Go on. Eat your supper while I continue to have my dessert."
His stomach rolled. Twice. Fuck. Eating wasn't an option now. But standing there was even worse. Christ, he didn't need more images of his gram going at it hot and heavy in his head. Fighting his gag reflex, he scrambled from the room, booked it through the dining room and straight into the kitchen ... and stopped dead.
Kaydee stood by the sink with her back to him while she washed dishes. Except she wasn't exactly standing. She had a set of white earbuds in her ears and was either dancing or doing some kind of ritual for the dishwashing gods.
Intrigued, Leo dropped his duffel in the corner and leaned against the wall to watch the show. A smile twitched his lips. Her moves were uncoordinated, but her enthusiasm was stellar. The woman gave everything her all. Dancing ... badly. Caring for her grandfather by giving up her own place to move next to him. Her garden, which bordered both sides of her house in a mixture of flowers and vegetables — because she'd gotten the seeds mixed up.
Kaydee's ability to embrace her mistakes and turn them into something positive left him in awe.
So did the way her jeans hugged her sweet ass. They conformed to her rounded curves like a second skin, and the more she moved the more his zipper bit into his thickening erection. Not good. Guilt propelled him forward to put an end to his viewing pleasure.
As he neared, he cleared his throat a few times, but she didn't hear him, just continued to dance and test both his integrity and that of his zipper. Damn thing wasn't the only object ready to burst. His whole groin was hard and throbbing now. A reaction he'd grown accustomed to around her.
"Kaydee," he said as she wiggled while spraying a pot with water.
Bubbles formed and overflowed, much like the awareness rushing through his body. She had him harder than the damn pot. His attraction to the woman intrigued him as much as it scared the hell out of him.
"Kaydee," he said again, but this time he reached out to lightly touch her shoulder.
Letting out a startled cry, she turned toward him with the sprayer still in her hand. Water immediately pelted his face and the side of his head with the force of a mini power washer, blasting his flesh with a shock of heat that ran down his neck and chest. Luckily, it was only hot and not scalding.
"Oh my God, Leo!" She dropped the sprayer, then shut off the water with one hand and yanked her earbuds out with the other. "Are you okay?
"Yeah. I needed a good soaking." He slicked back his wet hair and grinned. "No harm done."
But apparently, she chose not to listen, because she grabbed a nearby dish towel and started to mop the wetness from his face and chest. "I'm so sorry. I didn't hear you come in."
She stilled, and her gaze slowly rose to meet his. "Oh, crap. Exactly how long were you in here?"
Loving the flush of color that swept up into her cheeks, he decided to tease her a little more. "Long enough to know you'd be dangerous on the dance floor."
"Yeah, to others." Her blush increased. "Oh God, I can't believe you saw that."
Before he could reply, she dropped her forehead on his chest, and her whole body shook as she laughed.
The unexpected move and feel of her soft curves brushing his body removed all traces of teasing from his mind. He always wondered how she'd feel in his arms, and now he knew, even if — technically — he didn't have his arms around her. Yet. Because he could. It'd be so easy. So damn easy. All he had to do was put his hands on her back.
But that would be playing with fire, and he didn't want her to get burned.
"I can't believe I got you soaking wet." She drew back and started mopping his shirt with the towel again. "I'm so sorry."
Thankful for the reprieve, he went back to teasing. "No harm done. I won't melt."
She snickered and continued to dry him off, but her nearness and press of her fingers weren't doing his libido any good, so he placed his hand over hers to stop her movements.
Before, at least a wet shirt had separated their skin. Not now. His palm covered her hand, and the feel of her soft, warm skin kicked his pulse into gear.
Once again, their gazes met, but this time mortification and teasing were no longer present, just a raw, untamed attraction. It posed a danger big enough to rival her lethal dance moves.
Her gaze dropped to his mouth, and Leo's heart rocked in his chest. A sensation he hadn't felt in years. Leave it to Kaydee to induce the movement. It was strange. He knew he should back away, but he didn't. Couldn't. It felt as if his whole body was coming alive, and until that moment, he hadn't realized how truly out of touch with life he'd been the past few years. Perhaps always.
Would he wake up even more if they kissed?
Ignoring the red flags going off in his head, he lifted his other hand to cup her chin and slowly lowered his mouth.
"Is everything all right?" his gram called out from the other room. "I thought I heard Kaydee scream."
The startled woman in his arms jumped back and turned to face the sink. "Everything's fine. I just didn't hear Leo come in, that's all," she called over her shoulder before returning her attention to the dishes. Too bad she didn't save some for the sprayer, because she fumbled with it, and this time, she managed to get herself wet. "Dammit."
Leo handed her the towel, but kept his mouth shut. Mostly because he was trying to keep from laughing.
"Thanks." She mopped up her shirt and glanced at him. "Shut up. Not a word."
Then she burst out laughing.
He joined her. It'd been a long time since he'd laughed with pure abandon. It felt good. Kaydee always made him feel good, and he was finding it harder and harder to fight his attraction to her.
It was a sobering thought. He didn't want to be attracted to her or anyone. And yet he was, and he was beginning to realize he had no damn control over it.
* * *
Kaydee Wagner was laughing on the outside, but on the inside she was trying very hard not to give in to the urge to snuggle against her hot friend. Again. It hadn't been her intention earlier, but when she'd stupidly drenched the poor guy with hot water she'd forgotten to keep her distance. Just thinking about it now sent another wave of heat into her face, and it burned as she recalled how her embarrassment had turned to bliss. When she'd set her head against Leo's wet chest, she couldn't stop from melting into his incredible, hard, sexy body.
A treat for sure. She'd always had sort of a secret thing for Sebastian Stan in the Marvel movies, but Sebastian had nothing on Leo Reed. The handsome former Army Ranger had starred in her fantasies ever since they met. But he was so out of her league. Guys like him only wanted to be friends with girls like her. A fact he'd proven several times over the past few months, even though she'd caught him looking at her with interest in his gorgeous blue eyes.
That was okay, though. Thanks to growing up an army brat, Kaydee had learned early in life how to adjust and move on. She was far from good girlfriend material anyway. Thanks to that army brat lifestyle, "restlessness" was her middle name. She never stayed in one place more than two or three years. Putting down roots was not in her wheelhouse.
Besides, she didn't have a lot of free time, between her long list of household repairs, part-time job at the salon, and helping her friend find a location to open a beauty shop. Yeah, she was too preoccupied to date.
Still, there was something about this man that made her want to hug him and never let go. It was a new and peculiar feeling.
The moment Leo had appeared from out of the blue in her yard and offered to help when she and her grandfather had been struggling to carry a couch into her grandfather's side of the house, Kaydee was smitten. She knew right then that he was different. Between his generosity, good manners, gorgeous blue eyes, and panty-melting smile, she was never the same.
"Want some help with the dishes?" he asked, bringing her mind back to the present.
See? Most men would've made fun of her startled reaction, scarfed down their food, then handed her their dirty dish.
"No. You eat." She motioned toward his covered dish on the counter. "Thank God your food withstood my water attack."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Army Ranger's Surprise"
Copyright © 2018 Donna Michaels.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 stars I purchased a copy of the novella The Men At- Ease Ranch Series book 5 : The Army Ranger's Surprise by Donna Michaels and this review was given freely. Leo and Kaydee's story is steamy, inspirational, heartwarming and satisfying. Watching the growth in Leo and the couples in this series was both enjoyable and a pleasure.
Kaydee Wagner doesn’t like staying in one place too long. She’s just moved in next door to her grandfather and is already counting down the 2 years until she can move out again. The biggest bonus to her most recent move is the grandson of a neighbor, former Army Ranger Leo Reed. This is the second book in this series I’ve read. I really enjoyed the other book so I thought I’d try it. I was familiar with Leo from the other book so I was interested in reading his story. It was decent enough. The thing that affected the rating was unfortunately was their interactions with their friends. They seem more like teenager conversations rather than people of their ages and it really annoyed me. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Another cowboy from At-Ease Ranch fells in love. Leo past is not something that he brags about and that is why he doesn't let people get to close to him. Until he meets her grandmother's neighbor Kaydee. The sparks fly and soon is hard to stay away from each other. We see Leo struggle through the whole book he feels incompetent and little by little his self-confidence is growing and Kaydee is the one to thank for. But he still thinks that he will screw up with her so he wants to let her go. But is too late Kaydee is in love with him and will he opened his eyes will the other boys help him to see the truth? A story with not so much happening but with two great characters with great chemistry. Enjoyable read. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
The Army Ranger's Surprise is the fifth and final book in The Men of At-Ease Ranch series and it is the perfect ending to an awesome series. This series brings attention to the men and women who have served and been affected in one way or another, whether it be flashbacks, having trouble being around people and noises or just not being able to cope. Our hero in this book has been there, Leo Reed suffers from PTSD, and although with the help of this ranch and his friends he is able to cope now, but is not happy with how he handled things and doesn't feel worthy of love or happiness. On visits to his grandmother he meets Kaydee Wagner, an Army brat that never stays in one place long but she gives him hope. Although Leo still finds it hard to believe that good things await him, can his life possibly have a happy ever after? I loved all the characters in this book, ones from previous books in the series, Fiona and I can't forget sweet Lula Belle but Leo's grandmother and Kaydee's grandfather are really great in this book, they are hilarious but serious when the situation calls for it. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of romance that like it funny, touching, heartwarming, passionate and loving. Five "hopeful" stars for this one!!
These rangers won my heart with the first story, and it has been one of those series that I have eagerly anticipated for each title to be published. The tales are a perfect mix of tight brotherhood, swoony romance, deep emotions that have brought me to tears, and humor that has made me laugh out loud with the comical moments. I knew Leo's story would be an emotional one, he has gone through so much since he returned from service. Leo has been a part of each story, more of a reason for the ranch to exist than maybe anyone else. His battle against the memories, the inner demons, has let to some drastic decisions in the past, but he has finally found his place in a world again, slowly coming to accept and leave behind the nightmares of his former times in the rangers. Kaydee Wagner is a spirited and kindhearted woman. She has a connection to Leo that is a tangible force in the tale. She turns out to be just so perfect for him, as suitable as Leo is for her, and her wanderlust and restless soul, the byproducts of an army brat moving around all her life. It is hard for her to open up and accept people into her life, knowing that they will never stay, the risk of giving her heart feels too big, because there are no guarantees of continues relationships and root in one place, when everything is temporary. Leo and Kaydee, they get each other. They understand and accept each other, and the passion and the harmony between them is a beautiful thing to be witnessed. The physical connection between them is scorching hot, the mental connection and the hearts finding their soulmates takes a bit more effort to be accepted. I was an emotional mess reading this story and not just from the ardent, adorable love story developing between Kaydee and Leo, and Leo finally finding himself again, but also from the tight friendships between the rangers, the way they looked after each other, had each others backs, and were there to encourage, support, and mess with each other whenever the moment arose. There were heartfelt moments that brought me to tears and those moments that made me sigh with content. But there were also tears because the past hurt is so deep, the demons gerning inside so painful, and the doubts vivid and the old wounds aching. Leo's story was everything I expected, and then some. It is poignant, sensual, loving, and entertaining. It takes the reader from the darkest moments of a human soul to the most exhilarating joy and the jubilee of life and living. The whole series is such an eye-opening look into the lives of vets after they return to the civilian life, the challenges they face, the hurdles they have to overcome. There is heart, humor, passion, and feels in each tale, perfect for binge reading during the summer days. Absolutely a must read series in my eyes. And Leo and Kaydee, them finding the peace of mind, heart, and soul, and their forever-after happiness, that tale is just filled with fervor and adoration. ~ Five Spoons
Nice and sexy romance, just not what I was expecting... The blurb for The Army Ranger’s Surprise had me salivating. The love between recuperating former Ranger Leo and the sweet neighbor he knocks up, forcing him to rise to the challenge couldn’t come fast enough. Unfortunately, it seems my blurb reading skills need exercising because the story was so not what I thought it was going to be. Leo had struggled greatly when he got out of the military, but after months of therapy, hard work and a supportive group of friends, he started to finally feel better. He still had some issues with his past, mainly guilt and a bit of undeserving-of-happiness-syndrome, but he was actively fighting it. He was one sexy construction/handyman. He was sweet and considerate and just wanted to help others in the way that he was helped. I really liked him and the way he tried to confront his issues as they arose. In one of his frequent visits to his grandmother he meets her new neighbor Kaydee, who is living with her grandfather across the street. Kaydee’s cheerful disposition, fun and caring personality along with a bit of clumsiness and shyness charmed the pants off Leo. Literally. I really enjoyed her fresh and natural ways. I loved their sizzling chemistry and how they were together. So, if everything was lovely and I enjoyed everything why was I disappointed? Well, because I was expecting things to go differently, as in, she’d get knocked up right away and they’d have to deal with it and their feelings would have no choice but to flourish in the process. First, the pregnancy didn’t really happen until 74% into the book, a measly 40 minutes before I finished reading it. I mean, the baby isn’t even born until the epilogue!! Also, both main characters had insecurities they liked to peruse at length in their own minds, which made for a slower pace than I personally liked. I have to confess to skimming during parts of the story, especially when I realized the pregnancy wasn’t happening when I wanted it to. The Army Ranger’s Surprise is a nice, sweet romance about learning to open up in spite of our fears, because the possible reward of true love is worth any pain. While I liked the story, I think my expectations about it prevented me from truly enjoying it. * voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
This is book 5 in the Men At Ease Ranch series and can absolutely be read as a stand alone book. I have not read any of the other books in this series and could follow everything that happens in this book just fine, although because I did like this book so much I went and bought those books so I can read about their stories as well. This one is about Leo Reed and Kaydee Wagner. Leo has been fighting his demons since he was discharged. And he thinks he has made a lot of progress and can move forward in his life. Kaydee is staying with her grandfather in order to help him but the house needs a lot of repairs. Leo steps up to help with those repairs since then he can be around Kaydee more without having to reveal anything about his past. Neither is thinking about forever at the moment but little do they realize that they will come to truly love each other. But they both still need to move on from things in their past in order to truly move forward and be happy in the present. I truly loved how this book is written. Leo has so many demons and the way he struggles is so true to life in the way a lot of vets struggle. It just pushes home how much can happen and how much our minds can push us down. Kaydee has her own issues just from being raised an army brat and knowing she is trying to work past it makes your heart break for them both. Reading about how Leo thinks and how his friends stand not only beside him but sometimes in from of him and behind him is a great thing. To know that your family and "brothers" can be more than just blood related is a truly beautiful thing. Once Leo works through what he needs to, with the help of his brothers, he realizes just how much he not only wants Kaydee but how much he needs her and loves her. This was a great read!!
This is my first book by this author. I've seen promos for other books in the At Ease series but for whatever reason, I never picked any of them up. This book has me wanting to rectify that as soon as possible. Kaydee and Leo were so perfect together, even with all of the baggage they're carrying getting in the way. I loved that they had built a friendship before pursuing anything. From start to finish, I was rooting for them to find a way to make it work. I want to know everything about how Leo's background made At Ease Ranch possible so I will be returning to the first four books in this series ASAP!! *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
I have read each of the books in this series and loved them all. This one is no exception. Reading about Leo in each of the other books made me feel protective, intrigued, and a little nervous for his story. I was afraid it would be too dark and painful for me. But he really has a beautiful story, a little lighter, and sweeter. I loved him and Kaydee together. They saw the real person beneath the facade they showed everyone else. I loved their friendship and their fierce need to be there for the respective grandparents. Speaking of Ava and Nate, they almost stole the show. Those two were way too cute and funny. I want to be like them at their age. I loved the sentimental and beautifully romantic way the story ended. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
I loved this story with Leo and Kaydee. Leo live at At Ease and is making the drive to his Grandma's from the ranch to check up on her while his Mom is gone. One weeknight he pops in to find her making out with the neighbor on the couch. A vision they don't make enough bleach for. Kaydee is in the kitchen doing up dishes. Leo's been watching Kaydee since she moved in with her Granddad (the man in the living room with his Grandma) and is attracted to her but tells himself he's got too much baggage. Kaydee is attracted to Leo too but she's only here until her Dad retires from the military two years away, and then she's moving. She learned early not to attach herself. But these two are like rubber and glue. I loved watching them dance around each other and slowly slip into their happy groove. They have a couple bumps along the way, but they manage to work through things thanks to lots of not so gentle encouragement from the rest of the crew at the ranch! It was great to revisit the ranch and see everyone again! It's got the right amount of tension, humor and sizzle. I love this series and this book was another winner! **arc from NetGalley and Entangled for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own**
I am absolutely loving the quirky stories of The Men At Ease Ranch series. They are not only entertaining, giving me lots of loud laughs, but they are informative as well. Kudos to Donna Michaels for continuing to handle the struggles of some vets with such grace, such class. Her books have helped me to develop a better understanding for their situations the amazing people that support and love them. Leo finally gets his story! It seems only fair since he is the reason that the men started the ranch in the first place. Leo is still having doubts. Leo still lives with the fear that he will fail others. One person he doesn't want to fail is his grandmother. And for that reason he finds himself making the hour drive into Dallas a couple of times a week. He won't admit to the other incentive - Kaydee, the new neighbor just across the street from his grandmother. Leo and Kaydee are perfect for each other if they will just open up, if they will just let themselves have something special. They are so alike. They are both runners. They will run from whatever this is for them. The funny thing about love is that you can't always control it. You definitely can't stop it. The emotional rush of finding it can be scary, funny, challenging and everything that someone that fears failure would never want. The journey makes for the best stories, and this one is one of the best.
I enjoyed reading Leo's story. He's been mentioned in prior books, but never focused on, so it was nice to read about him finally finding someone. Kaydee is also a fun character that I enjoyed reading about. I love the Men of at Ease Ranch series, and, while this is a worthy addition to the series, it's not my favorite book in the series. I found that, while I liked the characters, I didn't feel connected to them. Because of this, while I wanted them to have a HEA, I didn't feel invested in it. Even with this minor criticism, this is a delightful novel that is out just in time for summer beach reading. While this is part of a series, this is a stand alone novel. The author is on my must read author's list.
Top-Notch!! This is Leo's story FINALLY!! LOL!! This story is loving and heartbreaking but also fun and sexy. I have wanted to see Leo's HEA for a while and I thought this story was perfect for him. He needed a kick in the butt and Kaydee was the perfect person to do it! I also loved that Kaydee was always willing to be there for Leo when he was letting the past control his actions and she never once gave up on him. Highly recommended!
YAY! We finally get Leo's story and it's fantastic. This is the fifth book in the Men of At Ease Ranch series but you can read any of them as standalones without a problem. Prior characters and little jokes are referenced so those of us who have read the prior books get an extra little chuckle. Kaydee and Leo are great characters both of which are looking after aging grandparents. That's initially how they get together. What keeps them together...well that's a whole other story. Loved seeing these two find their way to a HEA. This entire series has been fun to read. I recommend this book and the series.
I was given an ARC of this book by NetGalley for my honest review. 3.5 Stars. I requested this book from NetGalley not realizing it was the fifth book in the At Ease series. The basic premise is that these are five Veterans that have founded this ranch and construction company to help vets transition to civilian life. The prior books told the stories of four of the friends and this is the story of Leo and Kaydee. Leo has been very damaged by his past, and had previously drowned himself in booze. He finally has his life together and while taking care of grandmother, he meets her neighbor Kaydee. Kaydee is very sweet, optimistic and giving. She is a ray of sunshine in Leo’s life. Leo’s demon’s are constantly threatening their happily ever after. I had a bit of a hard time warming up to Leo. If I had read the prior books, perhaps I would have understood Leo’s issues better. The book was well written and if you are a fan of this series, you will like this installment.
Leo and Kaydee are just friends, brought together by the blossoming relationship between Kaydee’s grandfather and their neighbor, Leo’s grandmother. Leo visits his grandmother often, even more so that his mom is out of town, and these visits start to involve time with Kaydee more and more. Leo has had a rough time readjusting to civilian life, and his confidence needs some shoring up. His buddies at the At-Ease Ranch are more than supportive, but Leo just can’t let go of his own disappointment in himself. His attraction to Kaydee leads to a fling that soon becomes more than he thinks he deserves. The author does an amazing job of charting his personal battle with his inner demons and how he learns to let love and friendship heal old wounds. These are people you’ll love to root for, cheering with each success and milestone accomplishment. As the fifth in the series, we also get updates on the four other happy couples as well as the wonderful relationship between the grandparents. I loved the people, the romance, and the message of this book. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
This is book 5 in the At-Ease Ranch series and it features Leo and Kaydee. This is a love story between two people who REALLY need each other. There’s just something about Leo and his struggle that gets me right in the heart and it doesn’t hurt that he so good looking. He’s a good man if he can only see through the effects of the PTSD. I really thought there was some sabotage going on at work but we didn’t get to hear anymore about that. Kaydee is great! She’s got a great attitude. The interventions are amazing! I love that moment when they realize this is their own intervention. All the guys at the ranch are the greatest. This entire series is fantastic but this is probably my favorite book in it. The romance IS the story line and it ran smoothly throughout. Characters are amazing and the ranch is inspirational. I can’t wait to read more from this very talented author.