I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Rancher's Forgotten Rival by Maisey Yates
Published by Harlequin, Harlequin Desire on January 25, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Billionaires, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Western, Fiction / Small Town & Rural
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Will amnesia turn these enemies into lovers? Find out in the first Carsons of Lone Rock novel by New York Times bestselling author Maisey Yates.
Welcome to Lone Rock, Oregon’s Wild West.
Chance Carson is the one man in Lone Rock who gets Juniper Sohappy all riled up. His family is ranching royalty. He’s arrogant, insufferable and obnoxiously charming—she’ll keep her distance, thanks. But when Juniper finds him on her property, injured and without his memory, she saves his life…and sort of lets him believe he’s her ranch hand. Making the entitled rancher work a little is one thing…but actually liking the man is another. Falling for him? No way. And yet the passion between them is as undeniable as it is unexpected. Will it survive the truth?
Maisey Yates is one of my favorite romance authors, so I was eager to dig into her latest release, THE RANCHER’S FORGOTTEN RIVAL. Here’s an excerpt from the book, and catch my review at the bottom.
Excerpt, RANCHER’S FORGOTTEN RIVAL by Maisey Yates
“You know, I take people to the hospital every day,” she said. “They don’t just go there to die. They go there to be healed. I understand that there can be bad traumatic memories connected to that. But… But the hospital can be a good thing.”
“Logically I know that. But…”
“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry that the first memory you’re having is so sad.”
“I think it’s probably the strongest one I have. Because I think I felt that sadness inside of me before I ever saw her face. What a hell of a thing. That I almost died. Out there in the field. When…”
“When what?” she whispered.
“My parents have been through enough,” he said. “She must’ve been my sister.”
“Oh.” The word left her body in a gust.
He knew what it was like to lose someone. He was…human.
Just the same as she was.
Just the same as they all were.
The Carsons and Sohappys weren’t so different.
She was hoping he might see that during this time, but she hadn’t expected it would be her own lesson.
She…she had never heard anything about that and she didn’t know why he thought it. Or if it was true. And it still settled hard in her chest.
He was getting way too close to remembering things, and it was getting… Dicey. It was one thing to think that she wanted to endear herself to him this way, but him sharing something personal like this, something he never would’ve shared otherwise, it felt like a violation. And she had never thought that she would feel like she violated Chance Carson. But this was different. The situation with his sister.
No. He had a sister. And she was alive and well.
Callie Carson was much younger than him, and she had gone off and married a rodeo cowboy who lived in Gold Valley.
But the way he was talking about it, it sounded like he was younger.
She felt hungry for more, but at the same time she didn’t want to press him. For so many reasons, but maybe the biggest one was her heart felt so tender right now. For him.
That wasn’t supposed to happen.
“All right,” he said.
He stood up, and she stood at the same time, ready to take his bowl from him.
“I can take the dishes.”
“Oh no, that’s okay,” he said, and she put her hand on the bowl, and her fingertips brushed his, and their eyes locked.
And she felt a frisson of something magical go through her. Something hot and delicious and sticky like cayenne honey, flowing all the way through her veins.
And she could hardly breathe around it. She could hardly think. All she could do was stare. And feel the thundering rhythm of her heart, like a herd of wild mustangs, the kind that you could find out here in Eastern Oregon, and she was sure that he could hear it too.
This book has a triple threat of amnesia, enemies to lovers, and an epic family feud spanning generations over a piece of prime land. The Carson and Sohappy families have been neighbors for many years, and the two families have been at war for almost all of those years over a piece of land that has water. The Sohappy’s claim that the Carson’s great-great-grandfather got their great-great-grandfather drunk, ultimately losing this prime real estate that’s vital for their ranching operations in a rigged card game. The new generation has kept the feud going, but will Chance Carson and Juniper Sohappy be the ones to put this feud to bed?
Juniper finds Chance in a field near the border of their lands, unconscious and all alone. When Chance awakes, he doesn’t know who he is or how he got the blow to the head. She is an EMT as well as a rancher, so she takes Chance to her cabin to tend to his wounds. Telling him that he works for her in a moment of weakness and confusion might not have been the best idea, but it let’s her get a little bit revenge on him and his family.
Juniper is spunky, extremely loyal to her family, driven, and a bit stubborn. Chance is a ladies man, but has the same family values as Juniper. Neither of them want to settle down, so it’s surprising when the feelings for each other that they’ve kept buried surface as they get to know each other without the family feud between them.
Chance’s amnesia only lasts a few days, so where do they go from here once he remembers who he is and who Juniper is? Their attraction is undeniable and their verbal sparring is ever present, but can they join the two families in a way where they can ultimately be together if they want to?
I give THE RANCHER’S FORGOTTEN RIVAL a four out of five. This was a fun, quick read to start off a new series set in small town Lone Rock. Having Chace’s amnesia only short term while the rest of the book deals with their struggles to join together their families made the plot move along nicely. I enjoyed the characters of Chase and Juniper, as well as their families. The rural setting was nice and descriptive, and I could imagine the setting easily. I enjoyed the racial differences between Juniper and Chance, and the author’s way of showing Juniper and Chance’s different experiences due to this. Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing more from the Carson and Sohappy families.
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About Maisey Yates
Maisey Yates is a New York Times bestselling author of over one hundred romance novels. Whether she’s writing strong, hard working cowboys, dissolute princes or multigenerational family stories, she loves getting lost in fictional worlds. An avid knitter with a dangerous yarn addiction and an aversion to housework, Maisey lives with her husband and three kids in rural Oregon. Check out her website, maiseyyates.com or find her on Facebook.
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