Rocky Mountain Shelter by Vivian Arend

Rocky Mountain ShelterWhy I read it:  I received a review copy via the author.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Innocence and passion are an addictive mix…

The dark-haired stranger next door triggers every protective instinct Trevor Coleman never knew he had. From the moment Becky Hall literally falls into his arms, the last man standing of the Moonshine clan doesn’t even attempt to resist sweet temptation. Becky is beautiful, mysterious and heartbreakingly vulnerable…and he’s a goner.

To escape the hell she was trapped in, Becky left everything behind but her courage. And for once in her life, good people step up to make a difference. A helping hand, a new job…a very attentive and libido–stroking neighbour. Now a new future awaits, one that shockingly includes sexual pleasure instead of icy pain, and a sexy cowboy who’s more than eager to show her the ropes.

Becky’s sweet smiles and seductive innocence draw him in like nectar, and Trevor knows one taste will never be enough. But with secrets growing thicker than a bumper crop, changing a life will take more than a new ID and a cowboy’s good intentions.

It’s gonna take sacrifice to break these chains.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Rocky Mountain Shelter deals with somewhat darker themes than earlier books in the series. Trigger warning: rape (not on page, not by hero, not graphic). The book begins with Becky escaping from what readers later learn is a cult where the men are polygamous and the wives aren’t always willing (and sometimes they are ‘shared’). Becky has been preparing for a while and one night, she takes off and, very fortunately for her, is picked up on the highway by a trucker with a heart of gold, with mysterious links to the Coleman clan.

Shortly after, Trevor Coleman comes across Becky fixing a leaky roof in her newly rented cottage adjacent to his family’s ranch. He’s curious about who owns the land as he’d like to suggest their family rent the acreage for extra grazing and growing, but when he meets Becky, his initial impulse takes a backseat to his fascinated attraction to the pretty lady who does what needs to be done even if (like climbing on to the roof), she’s scared.

Becky, for her part, is not all that welcoming. Her experience has made her shy of men and she’s still trying to get on her feet. But Trevor is charming and persistent in a non-asshole way and soon, she accepts his help and friendship – a friendship which later slowly develops into a romance.

Rocky Retreat by Vivian Arend, narrated by Tatiana Sokolov

RockyRetreatAudio-222x222Why I read it:  I’m a fan of the series and buy these whenever there’s a new one out. Rocky Retreat is a novella length audio I’ve had on my TBL for a little while.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Finding white-hot love in a white-out…

Eight months ago, Lee Coleman met the woman of his dreams…then lost her to another man. He buried his disappointment by throwing himself into work on the family ranch, but when a winter storm leaves him stranded, Lee finds more than shelter in the rustic safety of a hunter’s cabin—he finds a second shot at love.

Rachel Malone’s heart has been broken and stomped on by her cheating ex, and she’s determined to never fall in love again. But a rebound fling? Doesn’t sound like such a bad idea, especially when she’s snowed-in with a gorgeous, sweet-talking Coleman.

Despite their off-the-charts chemistry, Lee makes it clear he wants more than a temporary romp. In fact, he’s made it his mission to put a smile back on her face, even if it means taking it slow and resisting the scorching heat between them. This time around, he wants forever, while Rachel is positive that forever is a fool’s dream.

Lee can’t wait to prove her wrong…

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Rachel Malone is licking her wounds after finding out her husband of only six months had been cheating on her for at least five of them. She takes a few days off to regroup, staying in a remote hunter’s cabin. When Lee Coleman is stuck in a storm and takes shelter in the same cabin they are forced to hang out together for a few days, until the weather clears enough for them to get safely down the mountain. Lee has had a thing for Rachel since he first met her but because he’s 24 and she’s 33, she shrugged off his advances, thinking they weren’t serious. Lee realised his mistake (ie not persisting) when Rachel married douchebag Gary. Now that Gary and Rachel have split, Lee sees his chance and he’s not going to make the same mistake twice.

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