Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: September 8, 2015
Challenges: NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs
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Blurb from goodreads:
Protecting those in trouble is what Army Ranger Garrett Harding does best. But after helping a feisty redhead toss a couple of losers from her Idaho bar, the woman is anything but grateful for his assistance—in fact, she seems to know him. Worse, she almost certainly hates him.
The only thing Rachel Maguire wants is to send this smart-mouthed, muscled military man packing. She knows Garrett has his own reasons for staying, so when he offers Rachel a deal—two days to prove his worth or he leaves—she reluctantly agrees. Despite wanting to loathe him, Rachel finds herself drawn to his quiet confidence…and the way he fills out a t-shirt.
But when Rachel receives a phone call from the past, everything changes. The stalker who destroyed her life ten years ago is closing in once more. Refusing to put anyone else in harm's way, Rachel hits the road hoping to lure danger away from those she loves. But Garrett won't leave this sexy spitfire to face her stalker alone. He'll do anything to protect her. Even if it means risking his life—and his heart.
Look at that yummy cover; hot rugged man, gorgeous dog, sigh. How could I resist? Add in the blurb and I was sold. I hadn't read the author so, bonus, new author! After all that, I didn't love the book but I did enjoy it and I'm hoping Jonathan and Luke get their own books.
Garrett is an Army Ranger who was injured in the line of duty. He's not disabled but his injuries are enough to disqualify him for active duty. The good news is that his tour is almost over anyway. While recovering at his father's house, he decides to visit his late mother's sister. His mother left when he was five and he has still the emotional scars, as does his younger brother Luke. They also have issues with their father who was, and still is, emotionally distant.
On his way to his aunt's resort lodge, he stops off at a bar and meets Rachel, a woman who needs a hand throwing out some troublemakers. He's instantly attracted and so is she, until she finds out who he is and then she goes from fire to ice. But she lives at the lodge and as she gets to know him, she realizes that he's not so bad and that she judged him without knowing the facts. Rachel has been hiding from a stalker for 10 years and has made a home for herself at the resort owned by Garrett's aunt Peg. The stalker is still after her after all this time, which struck me as odd. I'm not sure how realistic that is.
"Rescued by the Ranger" had insta-love, family drama, action, and a sweet, if rapid, romance. But it dragged at times and my mind would wander. At almost 400 pages, there was a fair amount of fat to trim. I identified the bad guy fairly early on but didn't find him believable. And his actions near the end the book seemed unlikely given what we'd seen and been told about him; where did he get the knowledge? the supplies? Certain things just didn't make any sense; vague, I know, but I don't want to reveal any spoilers. I was glad to see Rachel defend herself from him; she needed help in the end but she wasn't waiting around to be saved, she took action.
The romance between Rachel and Garrett occurred too fast for me, even given the circumstances. The attraction was there, and realistic, but the speed at which they arrived at love didn't work for me. Despite that, I was rooting for them; they were good together and I wanted to see them succeed. I just would have liked it to be a more realistic journey. The end of the book, which takes place a few weeks later, was a good ending, if still a bit too soon.
All that said, I really liked the characters, enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know them. I'd love to see Luke and Jonathan get their own stories; Luke may since we get hints of a romancne between he and Rachel's friend Sally. I'll give Brown another try, see if this story was just a miss or if her style just doesn't work for me.
Some quotes I liked:
Her took her mouth, thrusting deep, the same way he longed to take her luscious body in a much more fulfilling way. But his goal was all about trust, and sex wasn't the key to earning hers. (That, folks, is just plain hawt! - Bea)
Garrett stroked her hair and breathed in her clean, fresh scent. Was there anything he didn't like about this woman? Maybe her hot temper and penchant for holding a grudge - but she was also quick to forgive. To be fair, she'd had good cause to hate his guts when he arrived. Rachel leaned away from him. "Are you smelling me?"
Truth was she couldn't remember the last time she'd felt truly safe. That Garrett, stranger and object of her disdain three days ago, had thought to give her the gift of his protection, even for one night, was nothing short of miraculous. No wonder she harbored impossible feelings for him.