Best Man Rancher
A Western romance
by Maisey Yates
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add email@example.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 27 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2022
HARLEQUIN - Romance (U.S. & Canada), Harlequin Desire
After all these years of wanting,
will just one night be enough?
Being his brother’s best man is a privilege for Kit Carson. The rancher likes his future sister-in-law…and he really likes her sister, Shelby Sohappy. Now that he and Shelby are thrown together for wedding preparations, Kit can finally make his move. Shelby is still grieving her husband, so his offer is just one night with no-strings—he knows her heart can’t handle more. Kit is certain he’s fine with that…until he isn’t. And now Shelby's expecting. Can the best man prove he's the man for Shelby?
From Harlequin Desire: A luxurious world of bold encounters and sizzling chemistry.
You’ll be swept away by this bold, sizzling romance, part of The Carsons of Lone Rock series:
Book 1: Rancher's Forgotten Rival
Book 2: Best Man Rancher
Book 3: One Night Rancher
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 17 members
A great weekend read!
I really enjoyed Shelby and Kit's story. They have a history, growing up together in the same community, although they weren't close. Their story is filled with a backstory of loss, on both sides. Which hurt my heart for them.
They managed to make it work in the end, working through many obstacles to get there. Love really did win in the end, and both characters allowed someone new into their heart.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a family oriented, small town romance with great chemistry and plenty of heart.
A perfect example of hated attraction
Shelby and Kit have known each other forever, their feuding families keeping the lines between them drawn very clearly. Now that her sister is marrying his brother, however, the feud seems to be forgotten and the lines have disappeared just as quickly.
Shelby married her childhood sweetheart at age 18 after six years together and they had another eight before he was suddenly killed in an accident. She'd always been attracted to Kit, but for a myriad of reasons, she knew better than to act on any of that attraction.
Kit tried to put Shelby - a very married Shelby - in the box labeled "off limits" but that lasted only as long as her marriage did. When his best man duties crosses paths with her maid of honor responsibilities, one explosive night was supposed to satisfy everyone's curiosity so they both could move on. Until the unthinkable happens.
Realizing that their lives are going to be forever joined regardless, Kit and Shelby have opposing ideas about how to move forward. I really loved the careful exposition of their thoughts and feelings, making it easy to understand both her hesitation and his insistence. I also loved how they eventually worked out a resolution. Even if it still left a lot unsaid, it allowed them to spend the necessary time working through all their emotional hurdles and paving the way to their HEA.
Both Kit and Shelby have suffered tremendous losses, which gives them an avenue to understand each other that becomes a very solid foundation for their relationship. I really enjoy the thoughtful, introspective writing from this author, and this short but packed story is an excellent example of her skill with words. If you love contemporary cowboy romances, you don't want to miss this. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Best Man Rancher is the second novel in Maisey Yates' The Carsons of Lone Rock series, and while I loved the first book in the series, Rancher's Forgotten Rival, this novel proved yet again that Ms. Yates just gets better and better with every novel. If you've ever suffered the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, family or friend, and tried to get past the pain and devastation of it, Best Man Rancher will tug at your heartstrings and resonate within you--if I could give it 10 stars I certainly would.
Shelby Sohappy has been attracted to Kit Carson since grade school, but since their families had been feuding for generations, Shelby knew that's all it ever could be, and so she married her high school sweetheart, Chuck, right after graduation, and had a happy marriage for 14 years--until he died, two years before this novel begins. Shelby has been grieving her loss ever since. Anyone who's suffered such a loss will certainly understand the depth of her sorrow, and her struggle to move on. What complicates matters is that even though she loved her late husband, she was always secretly attracted to another man, Kit Carson, and although she remained faithful, her feelings of guilt at this secret attraction still haunt her.
The Carson/Sohappy feud ended in Rancher's Forgotten Rival, when her sister, Juniper, fell in love with Kit's older brother, Chance, and as this novel opens, Shelby is helping to orchestrate her sister's bachelorette party, and will be Juniper's Maid of Honor at the wedding, and Kit will be his brother's Best Man, putting these two former enemies into close contact, closer than either of them expected, much closer--an attraction both finally act on, and one that ends up with Shelby getting pregnant, something she always wanted to happen with her late husband that never happened, and certainly something she now has no idea how to deal with, other than to let Kit know the result of their one-night stand.
Kit, who lost his younger sister to disease when she was still a child, was also deeply affected by it, and has avoided serious relationships ever since, never wanting to experience such a devastating loss of a loved one ever again, yet when he finds out that Shelby is pregnant, suddenly, he's willing to step up, marry Shelby, and be a father to his unborn child, and that's when this novel gets really interesting, and it's also when Maisey Yates really hits her stride as an author, as she delves deeply into the harsh reality of heartfelt guilt, loss, grief, and grieving--really gets inside her character's heads and hearts, and delivers one heck of an emotional, second chance romance you'll not soon forget--I know I certainly won't.
If any of this subject matter has ever touched your own life, this is a novel that will definitely resonate, and it's one I highly recommend. Although it works as a standalone, I also recommend reading the books in this series in the order they're written, for a better understanding of some of the references and characters in this novel, and the basis of feud between these two families.
I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this novel. The opinions stated are my own.
Best Man Rancher was a fast read that took you on a journey of grief and pain. If you're looking for complicated plot lines, you won't get that here. You will get a love story of two broken people who have suffered so much hurt and loss that it bottled all their love up inside them, and neither knows how to let it out again. The book is a love poem written by Kit and Shelby as they take steps toward healing. The poem could have finished once they discovered that loving each other was scary but worth it, but Ms. Yates gave us more. She finished the poem by scrawling the truth of life, loss, and grief with emotional truth. We only get so many trips around the sun, and both Kit and Shelby needed to come to grips with that, to stand at the very pinnacle of their grief, and look down to see that they could find everlasting love again. With all the heat and steam you expect in a Harlequin Desire, you also get so much more than you're expecting when you read page one. You don't want to miss this Carson brother romance.