Cris Reads | At Wolf Ranch (Montana Men #1) by Jennifer Ryan

After years on the rodeo circuit, Gabe Bowden wants nothing more than land of his own and a woman who will claim his heart for more than one night. When he has the chance to buy the enormous Wolf Ranch spread, he snaps up the incredible deal. Everything is set, until Gabe rescues a woman on the deserted, snowy road leading to the property, and the half-frozen beauty changes everything.

Ella Wolf rushes to her family's abandoned Montana ranch after her twin sister is murdered. She knows she's next . . . unless she can uncover a secret hidden somewhere at Wolf Ranch. The last thing Ella expects is to be rescued by a rugged rancher with his own agenda. A man who almost makes her forget how dangerous love can be.

As an unlikely partnership sparks into something so much more, and a killer closes in, can Ella and Gabe learn to trust one another before it's too late?

When I started At Wolf Ranch I was expecting a straight forward cowboy romance but it's really so much more. The gripping story is filled with suspense, as Ella tries to find proof of her uncle's nefarious deeds and gain justice for her family. I thought I knew where the story was going and where the evidence would be found based on a hint from Ella's dying sister, but Jennifer Ryan continuously threw in twists and turns that kept me on my toes.

In terms of Ella and Gabe, I loved how they grew closer over time, building their relationship from a place of friendship, support and attraction, into an enduring love that went beyond the high-tension situation they were in. Gabe protected Ella both physically and emotionally, making sure that she had the time to grieve without feeling rushed into a sexual relationship. Even though they're from very different walks of life they find common ground in their dedication to their families and their love of animals. It was such a sweet romance that, despite the moments of grief and loss, truly made me laugh and smile. 

I really admired both the hero and heroine and enjoyed their little personality quirks. Sometimes when characters are so kind and good, they can feel like unnatural specimens of perfection which we, as mere mortals, just can't relate to. Ryan created two main characters with so much heart and genuine emotion that you can't help but fall in love with them and their flaws. The romantic elements of the story were on the sweeter side of sexy but Ella and Gabe still managed to pack plenty of heat. I guess there's just something about those Montana men. 

I supremely enjoyed At Wolf Ranch and I'm so excited to read the next installment in the Montana Men series, When It's Right, which comes out later this month. It's already on my TBR pile and if you're a fan of outdoorsy book boyfriends with hearts of gold and dirty minds then this series is one for you!

Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.

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About the Author:

Jennifer Ryan is the New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted Series and The McBrides Series. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances featuring strong men and equally resilient women. Her stories are filled with love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.
Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn't writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home and in how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

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