Published by HQN Books on December 27th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
The Wyoming men are back! In their quest for true love on the range, are these ranchers bold enough to open their hearts to the women under their protection?
Ren Colter may own an enormous ranch in Wyoming, but he scorns his wealth. He's closed himself off since his fiancée left him years ago, so he's shocked when he allows Meredith Grayling to stay with him. He tells himself it's only to protect the blonde beauty from a stalker, but Ren's alpha instincts soon kick in.
The last thing Merrie wants is a devastatingly handsome man like Ren lurking around her. He's too experienced, too appealing for her already shot nerves. What she needs is just to get away from it all: the man haunting her waking dreams and the one hunting her like an animal. But no woman escapes this Colter cowboy!
You can follow the Wyoming Men series on Goodreads.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Randall Colter has brought his friend Meredith “Merrie” Grayling to his step-brother Ren’s Wyoming ranch. Merrie needs a place to hide because there’s a stalker out to kill her; Ren’s place has high tech surveillance, so Merrie should be safe. Ren’s ex-fiancée, Angie, did a real job on Ren six months before, and he still hasn’t recovered from her betrayal. Ever since Ren has been an absolute beast to almost everyone: he’s angry, nasty, he’s prone to violent outbursts; he hates almost everything, and can’t bear the thought of women, but Merrie stirs something in him. Is she as sweet and innocent as she pretends to be?
First, I must mention that it was only my second book by Ms. Palmer, the first one being a reissue, and I was curious to see how it differed from her older work. I went into WYOMING BRAVE, because I love a good romantic suspense, and I was a bit disappointed, as the romance is at the heart of the story, the suspense angle rather slim; it was not at all what I expected. Had I known beforehand that the story line was that of an ogre and a scared virgin, I would have abstained.
WYOMING BRAVE felt to me like a throwback to the 1950s: Merrie is 22, and because of her despicable, horrible father, she has not even been kissed, never even been on a date. She is the ultimate virgin, and Ren is really a big, bad wolf, not that he’s a sexual predator, but he has huge anger issues, and in my opinion, he still needed much more counselling. Ren is really the first man Merrie has ever known, besides her father, and she is immediately taken with the gorgeous cowboy. I saw her as having daddy issues: Ren is 36, and at first he is so mean to her, I couldn’t fathom why she could be attracted to him, besides his very decorative person, and that in some twisted way, he was behaving that was somehow familiar to her, like her father, although Ren maintained that he would never hurt a woman. I have to say that I disliked Ren from the beginning, nothing made me change my mind about him whatever the author and the other characters might have been saying, and that proved difficult for me to believe in the romance. While I understood where he was coming from, he seriously overdid it: granted, he was cheated on, and Angie was horrible, but still. On the other hand, while Merrie is a type of character I care nothing about – a perfect virgin, cruelly abused by her sadistic father – I really liked her; she was lovely. The passages where she interacts with an abused horse are wonderful and very moving.
The secondary characters are absolutely marvellous: from charming Randall; Suri – Merrie’s sister – and her husband Paul; Tubbs, a Shakespeare-spouting ranch hand; even characters of dubious backgrounds; but mostly Ren’s positively adorable and delightful housekeeper Delsie, who was definitely my favourite character. I can only surmise that this type of old-fashioned romance is not for me.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.