#Harlequin Heartwarming Series Book Review | “The Rancher’s Rescue” (Book Two: Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Cari Lynn Webb [of a five book series!]

Posted Saturday, 3 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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In keeping with the change of name for my Romance & Women’s Fiction Twitter chat [@SatBookChat previously known as @ChocLitSaturday] – I am announcing a change of features here on Jorie Loves A Story. Since January, 2014 I carved out a niche of focus which I named #ChocLitSaturdays as I have felt the best time to read romantic and dramatic stories are the weekends. This spun into a Twitter chat featuring the authors of ChocLit whilst I supplied weekly topics which would appeal to readers, writers and book bloggers alike. We grew into our own Saturday tribe of chatters – then, somewhere round the time of my father’s stroke in late [2016] and the forthcoming year of [2017] I started to feel less inspired to host the chat.

I had new plans to re-invent the chat in its new incantation as @SatBookChat but I also wanted to re-invent the complimentary showcases on my blog which would reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of #ChocLitSaturday the chat were the stories I was reading which complimented the conversations.

After a difficult year for [personal health & wellness] this 2018, I am beginning anew this Autumn – selecting the stories to resume where I left off featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read whilst highlighting a story by the author I am chatting with during #SatBookChat. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – for the remaining weeks of October and most of November, I will be featuring special guest authors during #SatBookChat whose stories I have either read, are reading or hope to read in the future if their newer releases. The reviews on Saturdays might inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

Our holiday break for the month of December will find us resuming #SatBookChat the week after New Year’s, 2019 where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction.

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Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this Summer to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a five-book series from Harlequin Heartwarming entitled “Return of the Blackwell Brothers”. This differs as each of the reviewers and book bloggers who are committing to this review tour are posting at different intervals as each of the five novels release which is also co-dependent on the format we are signed on to review. As you know, I can only review books released into print and/or audiobook formats (as due to my chronic migraines I am unable to read books in ebook formats) – therefore, I am happily signed on to read four of the five novels in paperback.

Between receiving the first novel in this series and the two which followed it, I was given the good news of being able to read and review all *five!* novels in the series! Therefore, I will be able to continue my readings straight through til the end without the worriment of how to secure a copy of the one book I would have ‘missed’.

My reviews will be showcased from August through December 2018 beginning with the first novel by Carol Ross. Only the first and second novel will showcase the book synopsis, author photograph and her biography as the rest of the tour will only feature the serial information which is also seen on this post. Each of us had the flexibility to choose when we are posting our reviews which was another added bonus to this particular review tour. I elected to post mine on Saturdays, as for the past four years Saturdays have been happily focused on Romances (previously strictly by ChocLit) and I am going to continue to expand this featured part of the week encompassing more Romances by both ChocLit and different publishers. Except for when I needed to post during the week in lieu of Saturday due to health issues or life in general.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Rancher’s Rescue” direct from the author Cari Lynn Webb in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoyed beginning this lovely five-book series from Harlequin Heartwarming:

I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting to find in the segue between the Rancher who needed a Nanny and the Nanny who needed a second chance – at life, at romance – at everything to be honest! Lydia was running towards a place she could re-start her life, even if the one she’s left behind was still looming over her shoulders. What I appreciated about the ways in which Carol Ross introduce the elements of Romantic Suspense into her narrative is the unexpected nature of it – your thinking your settling into one kind of story, whilst being giving elements of surprise suspense where you become dearly concerned over the welfare of a character.

Ross knits in a lot of humour into her stories – even the kind of humour where it isn’t entirely meant to be funny, as it is awkward circumstances of two people trying to come together but who feel they have nothing in common with each other, so why attempt civility? Except in this case, it is the bloke who is at odds over his hired nanny (on first meeting) who makes soaking into this story quite enjoyable due to the natural high levels of tension erupting through the opening chapters! You truly feel you want to invest in reading this story if only to see if Lydia can succeed in making a positive impact on the twin girls’ lives or if she can even soften their father’s heart a small bit or if he will forever remain judgemental of everyone who doesn’t fit the image he has for a woman to be in hie life on his ranch. On that level, I was thinking about a second Hallmark Channel film which was Straight from the Heart (2003) (starring Teri Polo) where a city girl fell in love with a rancher!

I’ve mentioned Hallmark Channel quite a heap on this review because what I loved about reading The Rancher’s Twins is the fact it has the same kind of uplifting heart I love finding in certain Hallmark Channel movies – let’s face it, sometimes they have a few duds amongst the gems, but overall, what I love most about the ones which truly wick out a love of joy for me to be watching (esp the latest series All of my Heart) is how you feel pulled into the story-lines in such an organic way of alighting straight into the shoes of the characters! You can’t wait to see if they will get a happy ever after (even if mostly its a given but how will it pan out is always the critical mystery!) – and this same feeling is tucked inside the very first Return of the #BlackwellBrothers!

I am overjoyed I am able to participate in my first serial review tour! What a wonderful start to a series I am super excited to continue reading! I have not received the second book in the series The Rancher’s Rescue but I am dearly anticipating it now!! If I dare say – this particular one I’ve just read ought to be considered for Hallmark! It would fit well with their series of Western Romances – they haven’t put together a new Cowboy / Ranch Romance in awhile… hmm,… (*nudge, nudge*)

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Twins

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Return of the #BlackwellBrothers:

The Rancher’s Twins by Carol Ross → August 1st
The Rancher’s Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb → September 1st
The Rancher’s Redemption by Melinda Curtis → October 1st
The Rancher’s Fake Fiancée by Amy Vastine → November 1st
The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart → December 1st

The Rancher's Rescue
Subtitle: Return of the Blackwell Brothers
by Cari Lynn Webb
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335633774

Also by this author: Single Dad to the Rescue, In Love by Christmas, Her Surprise Engagement, Three Makes A Family, The Texas SEAL's Surprise

Also in this series: Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, The Rancher's Twins, The Rancher's Redemption, The Rancher's Fake Fiancee, The Rancher's Homecoming, Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st September, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 381

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #ReturnOfTheBlackwellBrothers

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About Cari Lynn Webb

Cari Lynn Webb

Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She's been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent's 70 year marriage and her parent's marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn't always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.

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my review of the rancher’s rescue:

After concluding The Rancher’s Twins, a bit more was revealled about Big E – the grandfather giving all kinds of strife to his grandsons and giving the impression he was no longer interested in running the family’s ranch. The shambles this man left things was wicked awful and yet, at the end of the last installment, not everything we were perceiving as readers was exactly the way we felt we were being lead to believe – as there was a bit of a unique cliffhanger right at the very end of the novel! That particular dose of insight gave me a newfound respect for the Blackwell Brothers series as it added a hidden layer of depth to the evolving story-lines – one I hadn’t foreseen coming and one which it would appear is still becoming hinted about in The Rancher’s Rescue. At least, I hope it is will continue to thread into the background of the stories – as Big E is one grandfather no one will soon forget!

Meanwhile, whilst we re-focus off Big E (as we had previously) and re-focus on the son who returnt home at the request of his brother – we find Ethan less than enthused to be home! He cares about his work and his career as a Equestrian Vet but beyond that, he has no inclination of staying longer than necessary; something I had a feeling was going to change, as how often does life go according to our plans? It was good folly finding Ethan and Jonathan at odds with each other – they didn’t quite agree on their plan of attack to sort out the ranch’s crises but they respected each other enough not to let that draw a wedge between them too.

I truly like Grace – the accountant who works at the store where the Blackwells purchase everything they need for their ranches. She has a winning personality but she also doesn’t put herself first – she tries to find the middle ground, work with people and still find time for herself. What was interesting I thought is how she was hiding she was in her first trimester – as when she first came on scene in front of Ethan and her parents, I was half expecting Grace to be far enough along to be ‘showing’ and thereby, raised eyebrows would have been on Ethan. Mostly as they had been separated for awhile now and he would be instantly surprised by her condition. Though, this isn’t how it came about and as she isn’t showing outright, the baby was as secreted in her heart as it had been at conception!

There isn’t anything quite like a small towne where everyone knows what is happening before it actually happens! Such is the case as we cheekily get a purview of the kind of life Ethan would have if he wanted to stake a claim to come back home, live in his hometown and actually find that these neighbours of his wouldn’t mind what his finances said, they only wanted to support a Vet they could personally rally behind to do a job they felt was being left undone by their current in-towne Vet. For Ethan, it was a bit of a wake-up call to how many food centered invitations you could accept in a small space of time and still feel as if you were accomplishing something you never set out to do once you were home. I had a good chuckle of a laugh over how no one who called him cared if he was licensed and only wanted to have a conversation with him ‘friend to friend’.

The prickly personality of Katie threw me off slightly – only because I remembered she was spunky round the edges but not to the point of not getting along with people. Whenever she was seen round Ethan you could say the two were ‘fire and ice’ and could melt ponds! She seemed to be a bit miffed whenever he was nearby, almost as if she didn’t have patience for his reactions and his sense of priorities. I am sure the pressures of a failing ranch whose owner was missing had something to do with her mood(s) but evenso, half the things that seemed to set her off didn’t seem to be that dire to me.

My favourite ‘new’ character is Coconut – the angora rabbit who has a re-settlement issue and has to be isolated at first to see if she will come down! I truly loved how this rabbit was introduced but also how kind Ethan was to recognise what was wrong with her immediately and make her feel comfortable as soon as he could! He might feel exasperated by his situations in life right now but at least being a Vet has a calming affect on his moods! I think I would have felt as overwhelmed as Ethan does when he realised how many animals on the ranch needed his care and how no one else seemed to be making their welfare a top of the list priority.

Sisters have their own ways of working things out but when it comes to Grace and Sarah Ashley, I think what would benefit them the most is better communication! Sarah was never given the chance to shine in her life – to try new things or to take an active interest in the family business. Grace on the other hand was given all the opportunities but never had the chance to take time off. It was almost as if the family expected everything out of Grace but nothing from Sarah Ashley; to where almost in sync with each other, both sisters were envious of one another. Grace wished she could have some downtime and ease of peace she perceived Sarah had herself and Sarah for her part, wished others would treat her with a woman who had a brain rather than a simpleton who couldn’t do any hard work or labour. You truly felt for Sarah Ashley who was pigeon-holed after a childhood injury – wouldn’t you suppose her parents would have given her more responsibilities after she had healed? It made no sense to me their parents would continue to show preference for one sister over the other especially now that both were adults.

When it comes to relationships Grace and Ethan have some work to do! Both of them are all but cringing being in close quarters with each other and yet, they both have secrets to spill but are holding back for reasons which only make sense to them! I had to smile – how they both hedge their bets against each other, trying to defer what they really wish to talk about and drag out the inevitable a bit more in the process! The sad bit though is that due to each of their hesitations, they never truly get round to the subject(s) they want to discuss nor of settling the silence which as transferred between them. It is a good lesson in how anxiety and fear can go unchecked and fester into a bit of a nightmare to overcome.

Sitting on a secret is never easy – keeping one from the prying eyes and heart of your sister is another matter entirely! As I observed Grace and Sarah Ashley volleying back and forth to see who would break their silence first about the secrets they were keeping from each other, it reminded me of the sisters I used to know back in high school. The ones who thought they were being super clever and not revealling more than they wanted at any given point in time only to realise sadly not long after that they weren’t the best at keeping secrets at all! Not from each other and not from anyone else who had perceptive eyes! I kept wondering what was holding Sarah Ashley back from confiding in Grace? It made better sense why Grace wanted to keep a bit of distance on her secret from her sister, their parents and the community – but in Sarah’s case!? It felt like she was going to put enough pressure on herself to solve her problems if it broke her spirit in the process which felt terribly sad to me.

I personally love how Ethan keeps going on ‘house calls’ and how he keeps debating with himself about the logistics of those actions! He isn’t one to mince words nor the realities of his life – from the ranch falling into a slow-burning state of ruin and his career as a Vet being placed in jeopardy due to his actions helping his former neighbours – you truly started to feel for Ethan. He was at a cross-roads in his life and he wasn’t entirely sure which way he should go. It was compounded by the fact Grace was facing her own situation she hadn’t expected to find herself – giving us a lot to consider and chew on as we’re reading The Rancher’s Rescue. Mostly as if you consider the title itself – there is definitely a reason for consideration about the word ‘rescue’.

As we shift through this installment – we gather more questions than answers about Big E – he’s this elusive character threading in the background of the series, even though I realised in the first story he’s the catalyst of the changes in the Blackwell brothers lives, the hardest part is finding rationalisation. I had a sneaking feeling Grace’s parents were going to be understanding when it came time for her and Ethan to finally have their heart-to-heart conversation. The way she is herself you can tell a bit about how she was raised and the kind of parents she had. It would have felt much more awkward if this had been written in a very stereotypical way; I was so thankful Webb took this route instead!

OOh and just as I had hoped – we get more insight into Big E himself right at the ending of the novel – I am always full of big smiles from reading this series! The ways in which the characters are drawing closer together, re-affirming their own life goals and dreams whilst the balance of one family’s future is still slipping in and out of the safety zone – there is an overwhelming uplift to read the Blackwell Brothers series! You come for the heartache, the family drama and the budding relationships but what stays with you the most is the enduring nature of the characters who populate the series! This is there story – where each new installment is a delightful new piece of the puzzle which knits out their legacies!

on the contemporary rom styling of cari lynn webb:

One lovely addition to reading Harlequin or ChocLit novels in particular, is how we as readers are blessed with ‘letters from the writer’ – which happily have the tendency to include snippets behind the scenes of what went on during the writing process for the story we’re about to read! In this instance, it was truly heart-warming reading about how Ms Webb grew up with brothers, found her sisterhood tribe in the authors within the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series and felt as if this particular series was meant for her given how much she adored her brothers IRL! I felt it was quite a kismet moment for her as well – especially as each writer in turn has been talking about what led them into this series, how they enjoyed bringing it to life and how the series itself bonded them together even moreso than they were originally!

I had noticed Jonathan’s name was shortened to Jon almost immediately as I settled into the second installment in the series and for the life of me, that felt unusual as I thought for sure he went by Jonathan in The Rancher’s Twins. I knew there might be a few discrepancies here or there throughout the series as each new writer would want to put their own style and voice into the sequences which followed the first book but this switch-out seemed odd as I had become used to knowing him as Jonathan.

There were a few other small changes from what I could remember of the first story – as I was noticing this I also started to see how Webb was moving the story forward into her own perception of where the series needed to go next. Despite the differences, the heart of the series is intact – you have a family in dire straits who are trying to sort out the details of a recovery without the main person who holds the answers to be accountable for the missing information whilst you have a small towne full of heart and community appeal settling in the background.

It doesn’t take long to find your feet in the second installment – you get swept up in finding out more about Ethan and longing for Grace to find her voice whilst feeling worried over Sarah Ashley for how she’s choosing to overcome her own shortcomings! This story has what you were hoping to find and a bit more as well – for me especially, I was thankful the chaotic circumstances were not soon unwound and solved; it makes it more realistic to have the ranch in the throes of disaster still than trying to put a band-aid on a bad situation or worse, resolve the whole affair too quickly and make it feel less realistic!

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A note of apology:

I am thankful to have become a part of the review team from PRISM – as I have felt charmed by the continuity within this series but also, the blessing truly was being a part of my first ‘team’ of this kind. This is one reason why I regretted my health overtook my sense of time and deadlines for the Blackwell series!! I somehow muddled my deadlines between the second and third books in the series – hence why this second review is being featured on the first Saturday of November during #SaturdaysAreBookish my new feature here on Jorie Loves A Story which features stories of both Romance and Women’s Fiction shifting through sub-niches of both genres and act as a curated list of stories which interest me most as a reader.

Most of these stories are also staples of thought and discussion on the chat which accompanies my Saturday mornings (or the afternoons for those in the UK and midnight random joys for those in the Pacific time zones!) – this particular Saturday, I had planned to discuss why I love serial fiction which is grounded in families and what benefits having relationship-based fiction to be interconnected to the families behind the heroes and heroines of these kinds of Romances. In particular, this year Harlequin Heartwarming gave me both the Rocky Mountain Cowboys series by Karen Rock to love and this newer one, the Return of the Blackwell Brothers by the serial authors who encompass the five book series. I am going to defer this chat for a future #SatBookChat – in fact, I might wait til January, as I’ll have read all the books by then in the series.

The reason the chat did not move forward is because I was struck down with a seriously horrid bout of food poisoning! It really bummed me out not only because I missed the chance to chat up this wicked lovely series but because I was in such good spirits Saturday morning, it felt like being struck down my lightning! Something weird, completely out of the blue and horridly horrible! It also delayed me from promoting this review as anyone whose had it knows it takes you quite a long while to ‘reset’ and come back from the ‘dead’ of what it involves!

Despite my grievous error in dates and time-lines, I’m thankful I can finally read and share my thoughts on this second installment! I will be reading the third “The Rancher’s Redemption lateron this month and I look forward to discussing where the story shifts next as I do! Until then, I hope you’ve been enjoying this readerly journey of mine and hopefully I might have inspired you to pick up one of the stories as they become available.

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Do you get equally as giddy as I do over limited series?

Do you *love!* #amreading Contemporary Westerns & Cowboy/Ranch narratives?

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This review tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

This review is cross-posted to LibraryThing.

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst
readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!
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Be sure to read the #SatBookChat feeds to see where the convo took us during @SatBookChat. We meet-up at 11a NYC | 4p UK on Saturdays if you want to join our conversations. Everyone is welcome to attend – readers, reviewers, book bloggers, and writers alike – sharing our love for Romance & Women’s Fiction stories.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Rancher’s Twins”, “The Rancher’s Rescue” & “The Rancher’s Redemption”, “The Rancher’s Fake Finaceé” and “The Rancher’s Homecoming” as well as the synopsis for “The Rancher’s Twins”, the author photo of Cari Lynn Webb and her biography; the promo badge for the Return of the Blackwell Brothers series and the Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #SaturdaysAreBookish banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 3 November, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

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