Friday, May 31, 2013

JAKE by R.C. Ryan

Publisher: Grand Central/Forever

Date published:   February 26, 2013
ISBN:  978-1455502448
Genre:   Contemporary Western Romance
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

The last Conway male who is foot loose and fancy free, Jake, has no desire or plans to head down the marital road on the heels of his brothers, Josh and Quinn. Jake likes the ladies and the resident veterinarian has no reason to change his wandering lifestyle. That is, until he meets neighbor Meg Stanford.

Meg left Paintbrush, Wyoming years before. Actually it wasn’t Meg who pulled up stakes and left but her mother. The only reason she has returned to Paintbrush now is her father’s sudden death. Estranged from him since childhood Meg never got over how he turned his back on her. How could a father act like his once loved and cherished daughter no longer existed? Be that as it may, she has a life, a very full and fulfilling life, as a trial attorney in Washington, D.C. With her father’s death she put her career on hold for a week—and one week only—to auction off the ranch and all that goes with it. When she arrives, however, she discovers she has a seven year old step-brother named Cory.

Bemused and upset that Cory will not talk to her Meg is at a loss what to do. When Cory’s pony, Shadow, is injured, she calls on Jake. Jake is quickly taken with not only Meg but the sad little boy, Cory. When the Stanford ranch is vandalized Jake quickly suggests Meg and Cory come to his family home until things settle down. At the Conway ranch he can also keep a close eye on Shadow and make sure the pony is healing. When the vandalism escalates and Cory disappears Jake and his family do what they do best—they stand with each other.  But is that enough to save a scared little boy?

JAKE is the third in R.C. Ryan’s Wyoming Sky series about three brothers who find true love when they least expect it. I’m a huge fan of western romance, particularly historical westerns but contemporaries, such as this series, are a real close second. There is a certain romance to the west, something about cowboys and how they live that makes them a combination of larger than life, but still so very human. I like the Conway family—and not just the three brothers. Ms. Ryan gives her readers a fantastic family with pretty much something for everyone. From grandfather Big Jim to Cole, the father and the two women who have cared for the Conways for years, Ela and Phoebe, they are the kind of family you want to get to know.

This series is formulaic in a lot of ways – for the most part the storylines are pretty much the same with different names for the heroes and heroines and one story melded into the next. The version I read was an ARC so hopefully some of the issues I saw were fleshed out in the final edits—things like Meg goes back and forth how she viewed her relationship with her father as a child. At one point is portrayed as cold and unfeeling and the next as loving and she wonders how such a super dad could have turned his back on her. I also had a bit of a time when she has Meg winning a big case by having a suspect confess in a brilliant courtroom manoeuvre.  Meg is a private sector attorney—it would be a prosecutor who would have brought down the suspect. A prominent attorney would be involved in a criminal case if he or she were defending a suspect, not prosecuting them.

I’m not much for stories that “star” younger children, especially when they are too cute or too precocious. Cory was a refreshing change because he was down to earth and his emotions while dealing with his parents’ deaths and meeting a sister for the first time were well done. When he disappears I wondered why with all the law enforcement there no one used the GPS in the cell phone to track the suspect.

Except for the love scenes, which are well done, JAKE is a cross-generational kind of read. I wouldn’t have a problem with a pre-teen reading it—especially when it comes to Cory and the things he is dealing with in his young life.

Each book is a standalone and do not necessarily have to be read in order however, to truly enjoy they I would.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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