Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Honeymoon with the Rancher was an amazing and beautifully crafted love story by Donna Alward with two so very different people being brought together by unusual circumstances.

If your mother had tried to "direct" your entire life, wanted that perfect country club wedding, suggested you marry the right man and thought your boss to be that man how would you feel? The right man being a Canadian well known politician, a lying, cheating man who had a mistress. How would you have felt and how would you have chosen to react? Well you don't want to know my answer. However, Sophia Hollingsworth finally decided to take charge of her life. So she packed her bags thinking she was going to a 5 star hotel, taking designer clothes, stilettos and off she went solo to take advantage of the honeymoon that had never been cancelled. It had been booked in Argentina at the Esta Vista del Cielo. However, what she found was a dusty and very "homey" ranch, a sexy ranch hand and no reservation. On top of that, the ranch was being renovated due to a fire.....no spa, no pool and the employees were on leave while the ranch was being restored.

When the very sexy and handsome ranch hand greeted her she was stunned. He was determined she not stay but her taxi had left, he was alone taking care of the ranch. He saw her vulnerability, so he allowed her to stay. What she didn't know was Tomas was more than a ranch hand, he was part owner. He was an amazing looking man, mysterious and he believed her to be a spoiled rich girl. When he dropped the "bomb" this was a "working ranch”, which the guests all worked whether cooking, mucking out stalls, herding the cattle, simple ranch chores at first she was shocked. And then he taunted her and she was determined to prove herself. Not only to him but also to herself and let me tell you it was a most amazing transformation where Sophia was concerned. After a few days of shared barbs, they worked in sync, learned a little about each other and well the attraction was there and then some.

Tomas Mendoza was such a complicated man. He came from wealth but in college he met and became friends with Miguel, the son of Carlos and Maria. And then he met their daughter Rosa and fell in love. As much as his family wanted him to head up the family business, Tomas loved the ranch and Rosa and then when she was on her way to meet him in Buenos Aires, she was attacked and killed. So many layers of guilt but there was one thing for sure, he loved the ranch and wanted no part of corporate life, He was also sure of another thing, he was going to challenge Sophia because she insisted on staying and because Maria and her husband were taking a mini-vacation, he would have to somewhat make sure she enjoyed her stay. However, she was going to work for it just like all guests did whether it meant painting sheds, cooking, riding herd on the cattle; she would learn he meant business.

Sophia blossomed under Tomas guidance, his acceptance of how much she accomplished at the ranch. She loved learning new things, experiencing life and she got the ranch and him. She saw the simple beauty, the easy life. Just when she thought she was getting to know him better, he would close off. Tomas would share a little of himself and then he would retreat. Both of them felt the attraction, the sparks, in fact she even shared with him that she was a virgin. They shared some touches, kissing and even innocently slept together but it was torture for both of them and they both knew it would end. Tomas couldn't forget and he blamed himself for Rosa's death.

My heart ached for Sophia because of her experiences growing up, her honestly not knowing who she was or what she wanted but here at the ranch she learned quickly. However, she felt she might have taken this trip for revenge. But she was determined to make things better for herself and figure out who she was and where she was heading. But there was one thing for sure, the chemistry sizzled between Tomas and Sophia and she knew he was holding back and he had secrets. Soon she would have the opportunity to meet the other owners Carlos and Maria. As much as she was looking forward to it, she silently resented they wouldn't have their time alone. Seeing Tomas with Maria and Carlos made her realize the affection in her home hinged on conditions, achievements, and knowing the right people. Yet she knew her mother wanted the best for her. However, she also realized one thing that evening, "she would respect and accept herself".

There were only a few days left and Sophia enjoyed her time spent with Rosa's and Miguel's parents Maria and Carlos. Her heart ached however, because she was leaving the ranch and Tomas behind. She made a decision to move forward, leave a few days early to do some sightseeing before she had to leave Argentina. However, Tomas had other ideas and he went along with her because honestly, he didn't want to let her go. I felt while reading this, was this a good sign? Could he learn to let his guard down and share his feelings? Well I hoped so because love, acceptance and finding "home" is what it was all about! Honeymoon with the Rancher had a spectacular ending, one I will personally remember for a long time. If you want a warm and sincerely romantic read, then this one is for you!

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